A Golden Age of Dystopian Fiction (New Yorker)
Dystopias follow utopias the way thunder follows lightning. This year, the thunder is roaring. But people are so grumpy, what with the petty tyrants and such, that it’s easy to forget how recently lightning struck. “Whether we measure our progress in terms of wiredness, open-mindedness, or optimism, the country is moving in the right direction, and faster, perhaps, than even we would have believed,” a reporter for Wired wrote in May, 2000.
I doubt the ritual of going to a comic book store will ever really be part of my DNA again. I even tried multiple times to get onto mailing lists as reminders, but newsletters don’t fit into my sales flow very well. If there is an option to be notified only when a trade is available for pre-order, sign me up. I have made numerous efforts to integrate comics back into my life. I’ve tried and tried purchasing and reading one issue at a time, and it doesn’t work for me. The industry left me behind, stuck in a business model that caters only to the people who pushed me out of their stores with their jeers. So great for you, you can keep them, but then don’t complain that I don’t buy your “diverse” titles fast enough.
Dark Futures (Slate)
For novelists, whose work typically takes at least a year (and often much longer) to produce, delivering an up-to-date depiction of contemporary life must be a maddeningly elusive goal. In the time it takes to write a novel that perfectly nails some new technologized form of connecting, the rest of us will most likely have left off using it and moved on to something new.
The horrors of The Handmaid’s Tale aren’t just fiction: many of them have already happened (The Telegraph)
Indeed, the crucial point about Atwood is that what she writes isn’t so much science fiction as, to borrow her own preferred term, speculative fiction: she’s preoccupied with creating mirror images of own own world that are distorted, but still hauntingly familiar.