Episode 31: Getting out of the Utopia/dystopia binary

This bizarre Apple Computer ad from 1984 does an excellent job evoking the novel  1984 , in the service of selling you an expensive computer. Branding!

This bizarre Apple Computer ad from 1984 does an excellent job evoking the novel 1984, in the service of selling you an expensive computer. Branding!

We're living in an age of dystopian stories, while real-life social issues are getting pretty dystopian too. What's the point of telling dark stories in a dark time? Also, we discuss how Utopian stories and dystopian stories are actually quite similar -- just two opposite extremes -- and how the best science fiction exists in the nuanced gray area between the binary poles. Plus: what stories are giving us hope right now? 

Works Cited & Etc.

Thomas More, Utopia. You can read the 500th anniversary edition for free, edited by Stephen Duncombe

Hunger Games series, by Suzanne Collins

1984, by George Orwell

The Handmaids Tale, by Margaret Atwood (TV series created by Bruce Miller)

Walking Dead, original comic by Robert Kirkman; TV series developed by Frank Darabont

Green New Deal: original document from OAC and analysis from the NYT’s Lisa Friedman

Black Mirror, created by Charlie Brooker

A great article on the BBC website by Jane Ciabattari about Frodo Lives buttons and Hobbit counterculture in the 1970s

Iain M. Banks’ Culture series

Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow

Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Ammonite, Nicola Griffith

Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers’ series

The Uninhabitable Earth, by

Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer “emotion picture” video

Death in Ten Minutes, by Fern Riddell

W.E.B. DuBois first described the idea of “double consciousness” in an article for The Atlantic, published in 1897. It reappears in his essay collection The Souls of Black Folk.

The Expanse, created by James S.A. Corey

Harlots, created by Alison Newman and Moira Buffini

Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

Broken Earth series, by N.K. Jemisin

The Wrong Stars, by Tim Pratt

Tensorate series, by J.Y. Yang

The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Reenu-You, by Michele Tracy Berger

Warcross, by Marie Lu

Annalee Newitz