James Edgar Skye is a fiction writer in his current dystopian fantasy novel Rise of the Nephilim, which explores themes of good versus evil, the future, pre-apocalyptic worlds, and the hero’s journey. He was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and PTSD. His self-published memoir The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir was released in 2020.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own, and the ideas I explore are passionate to me as a writer. Any political views that come up are also my own. I do not exclude your point of view on anything I share.
Why Dystopian Fiction?
I chose to write dystopian fiction (alongside dark fantasy) early on in my writing career. What drew me to the idea is that dystopian writers tend to focus on specific ideas of what they believe would happen if, as individual and global societies, we would continue down the path of socioeconomic inequalities, for example. In my current work in progress, I am Aurora, Legend of the Myths of Old, I examine themes like socioeconomic inequalities in an imaginary world of Mantichora and when one person holds on to all the power (in this case, my antagonist) as the oppressor of the supposed perfect totalitarian controlled society, with mass poverty (sounds familiar, no?)
Perhaps one of the dystopian tropes that made its way into my work, more recently in I am Aurora, is individualism. The lone protagonist, whose destiny is to save a world that Aurora feels cannot be saved, seems so prevalent in my work. The character of Aurora reflects me more than most characters, even in my work Rise of the Nephilim, which I hope to release next year. Aurora is a fascinating character to write about because if I put a mirror up, she would reflect my life. She is independent and self-reliant and prefers the solitude of life. She exudes what my life has been like and even finds a best friend that was unexpected.
Dystopian came into my life when I was in middle school and my sister had just read Orwell’s Animal Farm, and I asked my mom if I could read more of his work (I absorbed the novella in a single day). That is when 1984 changed the trajectory of my writing career. I was facinated by the ideas of the writer (this was the late 90s when I picked this up). Then as an adolecent I thought how crazy it would be to have “Big Brother” watching you and even the “Thought Police.” Yet, do we know for sure that our cell phones are not always tapped? (I am not a conspiracy theorist only a writer.)
In retrospect, it seems silly now, but as a kid, the idea of 2 + 2 = 5 fascinated me–how could anyone honestly believe something so untrue to be fact? Looking at today’s political climate, you see just how crucial dystopian fiction can be for society. While Orwell wrote about Oceania in 1949, it is fascinating that we see everything that he discusses, a cautionary tale novel, as reality today. Maybe everything he discussed did not happen in 1984. It indeed came true.
To bring it all back around, dystopian is just one part of the equation of why speculative fiction became the genre I generally write in (not to say I do not write in others), but there are so many reasons I love dystopian books and writing them. Perhaps I will explore that list in the future. The dystopian worlds I build are cautionary fictional worlds that expand ideas coming to fruition today. Will my work reflect as well as Orwell’s? It is not for me to say, only that it is why I am here writing.
I plan on making this a series (one of a few that will appear in the blog section of my website). Leave questions below about ideas you want me to discuss in dystopian, dark fantasy, speculative fiction, or writing in general. Your feedback means the world to me, and I plan on writing my thoughts and ideas on these topics moving forward. If you made it this far, I hope you enjoy my work.
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Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay
4 responses to “Why Dystopian Fiction: Part One”
Hey there James, I’m glad to hear about your interest and love for dystopian fiction. I too adored Orwell’s classics and fell in love with his ideas early on, making me an even bigger reader than I ever thought I’d be today. I hope you have a blast writing within this subgenre! 😀
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It has been a blast, and thank you for reading my post. It is hard to find someone that does not adore Orwell and even other dystopian writers. It is just one part of the equation of my writing. I also add dark fantasy, mythology, and supernatural to my work. I will be writing about it soon.
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Wow! Thank you so much for sharing the post Why Dystopian Fiction: Part One. That means a lot to me and also, in hopes to support other writers, of all genres, to keep seeking their own inspiration and meaning for continuing to write.
I am excited to hear what others have to share. I enjoy meeting other writers and readers from all genres.
Again, thank you so much. I really feel honored and I appreciate you for that.