genre: dystopian

So I finished the three foundational books of the Dystopian genre, and here are my thoughts:

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell: (you have to spell it out or George Orwell will come smack you) It’s good? I mean, it’s a classic for a reason. I’ve read it several time voluntarily.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: Snakes physically manifested in my kitchen while reading this. It’s everything I hate about the genre. Even if I were reading it brand new it would feel clichéd and trite.

We, by Yevgeny Zamyatan: My skin is clear, my crops have been watered, my cattle are flourishing. 12/10 look forward to reading it again and again over the next couple years. (ps, Orwell said that Huxley ripped off Zamyatan, and poorly, which is hilarious and I agree with it)

Unused or underused dystopian fiction narratives
  • Main character being a cubical worker who has to deal with the crap given to them for trying to support themselves while working in a job they loathe only to find out that they’re also in the friggin’ rebellion because the “chosen one” blows it 3 chapters into the story. Main character ends up having to use their knowledge of bureaucracy to get the rebellion together and ends up taking down the dystopia from the inside out. 
  • Main character is a part of a rebellion against the oppressive government, but it’s one of seven different ones, all of them with differing goals because oh hell it’s more realistic to have more than one rebellion group in any given large scale government. Bonus points if the main character is in a group that’s just crappy as hell at trying to infiltrate the government or trying to take it down and that’s lampshaded throughout the entire narrative.
  • Main character starts off as the driving force of the novel of a rebellion against a seemingly oppressive government but something’s off. As the reader follows their adventures, they realize that the main character is making some incredibly questionable choices, leading to the reveal that the main character is taking down a government via a violent military coup and is creating a dystopia as we know them in the fictional sense.
  • Main character isn’t hated by the government for anything and this allows them to secretly take out the government because no one was noticing them.
  • Main character survives by sheer luck and by their dislike of social situations in a state sanctioned “Hunger Games” style event, which manages to kill off main romantic lead, but allows them to live and later has to deal with a ton of shit because they’re asexual and or aromantic and not into their dead partner in the game, and later joins the rebellion because they just want to get rid of the stupid government that wants to ship them creepily with the dead romantic lead.
  • The story begins with following the main character as the “chosen one to bring down the dystopian government” but the main character is suddenly killed in the first ten pages and it’s later revealed that the new hero of the book is the least likely person to have ever lead a dystopian YA novel (just use your imaginations for this one). Bonus points if this is a movie and this is never alluded to in the trailer.