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Science Fiction, Utopias, and Dystopias

Introductory Notes

Alyssa Bruder

on 18 June 2013

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Transcript of Science Fiction, Utopias, and Dystopias

Introductory Notes
Science Fiction, Utopias and Dystopias
photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
A poem by Josh Gibbens
Smoke pumping into the sky,
A Gothic Skyline filled with black
Black architecture,
Dominating a brooding landscape

Clanking cogs grinding,
Making an inhuman scream
People walking silently,
in black uniform lines
No individuality survives,
Everyone dressed the same, skin pale to the eye
Morbidly cold to the touch,
Mere machines

Blackness permeating everywhere,
Flesh providing no warmth
I dream of what the world could have been like,
Full of colour and life, full of creativity and uniqueness
No place to voice my ideas,
Dangerous ideas crushed by those in control
Part of one collective mind,
Merely a subjugated citizen.
How is the world of "Dystopia" similar to the world presented in your summer novel?
Science Fiction
A term first coined by Thomas More
The prefix
means "apart, away, negative, bad"
A genre of fiction that deals with imaginary but plausible content
Because science fiction asks
What if?
it is a genre of infinite possibilities.
Usually set in the future, in alternate realities, other dimensions of time, or with new ideas regarding scientific law
Often used to
human institutions
Science and other speculative fiction puts real world problems into an unfamiliar context so
discourse can be brought back to the real world problem
Based on Plato's Republic
An ideal or perfect place, or a system of political or societal perfection
A dystopia is a futuristic, imagined universe in which
oppressive societal control
and the
illusion of a perfect society
are maintained.
An exaggerated worst-case scenario
Makes a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system
Dystopian Elements:
Propaganda controls citizens
Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted
A figurehead or concept worshiped by citizens
Constant surveillance
Fear of the outside world
Citizens live in a dehumanized state
Natural world is distrusted
Citizens conform to uniform expectations
Individuality and dissent are bad
Utopian Elements:
Everlasting life
All good and no evil
Infinite provision for all needs
A perfect balance between the individual and society
Complete knowledge
Full transcript