Recently, talk among book enthusiasts has circulated that YA dystopia has burned out. The genre is certainly huge, but whether it’s burned out, cliched, or tired in any way depends on whose books you read. Are there certain authors who give YA dystopia a burned out feel? Are there authors, or characters, who have brought fresh situations or themes to the genre? And if the genre is burned out right now, how might it be "revived?" Discuss.
YA Dystopia used to be such a huge genre in the 2000's up to 2016, when Veronica Roth's 'Allegiant' was released in the theatres. I used to re-read Suzanne Collins' 'Hunger Games' and watch the movies. Until it sort of all became really boring. The action of the plot was there, and so were the likable characters. It began to feel really negative, since the entirety of Dystopia was that the world was inevitably ending in some horrible way. Or the world had already ended and the harsh new reality of the world to come was a dystopia in itself. Since I've found myself reading YA Fantasy and New Adult Fantasy recently, I haven't read any YA Dystopia books, but if there was to be a revival of the genre, it has to be reimagined. No more oppressive governments and fight to the death situations. Something unique but altogether terrifying if it were to happen. – talonsx1 year ago
This is an especially interesting topic considering the recent rise of dystopian shows, however more digestible for the general public and perhaps less confronting – Lily1 year ago
I think it was certainly the fact that all the big books to come out at that time were fairly similar. They didn't really have anything meaningful to differentiate them. Also they created that book-to-film conveyer belt very quickly and I think that heightened their sameness. The oppression they were fighting against never really felt that serious, I guess in that way it worked for a while due to the youthful notion of being rebellious against anything. – limbamurphy10 months ago
It could also be worth mentioning that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and when there are extreme weather events, people may not feel like reading dystopia series because it is starting to read as too-real? That is something that has turned me away from the genre recently. – Jordan10 months ago
One thing that should be kept in mind is that the young adults towards whom the genre was marketed in the 2000s to mid 2010s (the time when the genre was in full bloom, lots of new books coming out along with movie adaptations) have all grown up. I believe the Divergent series was what caused the downfall of the genre as it showed authors of that time that YA Dystopia has a formula and if that formula is followed with some minor tweaking the book is gonna be successful. The new YA Dystopia has a new audience which do not respond to the same old formula, so it is time to change the formula and create something different altogether perhaps – Blueberry5 months ago
YA dystopia is dead; Hunger Games was such a unique concept that the others following it became similar and very lacklustre. But it is also becoming blurred what YA actually is as a genre. I think early on in its success YA was where books with young female protagonists go even though the subject matter wasn't suited for YA. *Ahem* Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses. Now with the introduction of New Adult, the lines between what YA is has become extremely blurred. – hannahclairewrites5 months ago
Dystopias are often used in science fiction films to explore the worst possible outcome of the ideals of the present. How has the depiction of the bleak future changed over time, and what themes, if any, emerge from era to era?
Very interesting topic that can be taken in quite a few directions in terms of focus. A couple cool things to look at with dystopian films is the effect that advancements in CGI has had in depictions of the future and connecting the themes to the political climate surrounding the era the film was made – Dominique Kollie7 years ago
I read a book that where the author mentioned her definition of a dystopia being the corruption of a utopia, and it got me thinking about the paradise we were trying for in a lot of dystopic movies. The first one that came to mind was Serenity, but there are so many. – chrischan7 years ago
I remember one of my professors mentioning that during the Cold War quicksand was used a lot more in movies as a physical representation of the uneasiness Americans were facing, I wonder if any similar themes or metaphors pop up in dystopias in different eras. – Rayna7 years ago
I think there is a current trend towards environmental dystopias in film, specifically the anthropocene that focuses on catastrophic global events that are caused by humans. I am thinking of films such as Snow piercer. – Treva7 years ago
There definitely seems to be more movies lately where we caused our own destruction, be it through technology (Terminator and its sequels), environmental negligence/manipulation (Snowpiercer), or trying to change people and then a disease breaks out. – chrischan7 years ago
Another way of approaching the topic could be to locate when dystopias first came about (in literature or film) and ask why this happened. I believe this happened at the same time as we began to imagine utopia. One is often seen as the flip side of the other (as brilliantly realised in the film '2001'). Have a look at British Library publication 'Out of This World' for an overview of the topic. – Benedict Hadley7 years ago
perhaps it would also be a good idea to look at how this dystopian trend reflects on people's view and beliefs of the world now. dystopian writing is a more recent trend even if there have been significant writings in the dystopian genre before. I think focusing on the impact of dystopias in modern media would be a good way to narrow down this topic. – Jutor7 years ago