For this week’s Roundtable Discussion, we answer the question Why do you read novels about future societies?
I’m a big fan of cause and effect. I love seeing how things progress–small things, usually–and grow into a future society that’s on one hand recognizable and on the other, completely alien. I love when an author can take a current issue and have the freedom to blow it up to the extreme in a future society. Unlike straight-up fantasy, there’s a basis of reality in these kind of books that gives me something to latch onto as a reader. It still feels like fantasy, but there’s an undertone grounded in issues that exist today. It gives the story some urgency and definitely deepens my connection to the world and characters.
I think the reason I enjoy them is because the main character is usually thrust into a dangerous situation that forces them to overcome impossible odds. The books I love (HUNGER GAMES, INCARCERON, THE COMPOUND, CITY OF EMBER) show a new version of a familiar world with characters that are called to action and they SURVIVE. It’s interesting and exciting to live the adventure along with them; knowing that they will most likely survive (and if they don’t…well that’s not a book I’m going to like). The best written in this genre offer main characters that are likable, brave, loyal and sympathetic.
Despite deaths and destruction in these future societies, these books aren’t about tragedy- – they’re about (somewhat) ordinary teens called on a hero’s quest and struggling against impossible odds and SUCCEEDING. The themes are about humanity, love and hope.
Our discussion continues tomorrow…