It’s Like That

Okay, so I’m way late getting in on the dystopia discussions. I’m also late to pick up the Hunger Games series, being only at the start of Book 1 while everyone else seems to be polishing off Book 3. (My excuse is that I’m only on Book 4 of Suzanne Collins’s Underland Chronicles and as a longtime Collins fan I really wanted to finish that first before starting anything newer.)

However, I can be the first to mention another trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic engineered dystopia revolving around life-or-death games: Battle Circle by Piers Anthony. In fact, I first mentioned Battle Circle in a comment over a year and a half ago. So who’s the trendsetter now, hmm?

Battle Circle was made up of Sos the Rope (1968), Var the Stick (1972), and Neq the Sword (1975). The series was my first introduction to the genre of engineered dystopias and therefore the yardstick I’ve subconsciously used ever since. I’ll be interested to see the parallels and differences between this Cold War inspired series and Suzanne Collins’s more modern futuristic drama.

I also want to recommend a new dystopic trilogy that’s just started in Mark Peter Hughes’s A Crack in the Sky. I had a chance to critique an early manuscript and this is a very cool book. It has a modern environmentalist and media culture mentality but also reminded me, at times, of Logan’s Run, another late 1960s book.

Which got me thinking “It’s Like That” would be a great topic for a blog post. There’s nothing new under the sun, and only 3, 7, or 36 different story plots, depending on how you count them, so maybe it would be fun to talk about some other new books, the classics they remind us of, and why. Suggestions, anyone?

—Greg, who also thought of that Shirley Jackson short story, The Lottery, when reading the Hunger Games opening. Dude, that was published in 1948!

Greg R. Fishbone

Greg R. Fishbone

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1 Comment

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One response to “It’s Like That

  1. I thought of The Lottery, too! (Also of the first book of the Ember series, and The Giver.) Saw a movie of it in high school or so, I think, and it really freaked me out and stuck with me.

    Love the idea of “It’s Like That,” though I don’t know how good I’ll be at coming up with them. Except that I’m working on a new sci-fi now, and I’ve known from the start that it’ll be a “Like X and Y, but for a new generation” type of sell. I think I have mixed feelings about that.

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