Second Annual Writers’ Roundtable Discusses Utopian vs Dystopian Fiction

GameStop, Inc.

Writers Stephanie Grey, Gary Morgeinstein and Robert “R.C.” Davies take part in the Second Annual Writers’ Roundtable Discussing Utopian vs Dystopian Fiction.

Daniel Knauf once said to me (and I am paraphrasing) that writers are some of the most egotistical and neurotic people at the same time. What’s more neurotic than fear of a a utopian society is constantly visiting the dystopian on in the works of fiction we create in our own heads.

Writers Stephanie Grey, Gary Morgeinstein and Robert “R.C.” Davies took part in the Second Annual Writer’s Roundtable discussing Utopian vs Dystopian Fiction and luckily, my literary friends did not disappoint, nor did they fall into world that Knauf had joked about with me.

The conversation followed influences, what is more ideal for better storytelling and which of the two will allow their characters to possibly seek redemption or at least strive for hope and peace.

A bit of background on our writers and their most recent works:

Stephanie Grey

I write different kinds of fiction, actually. My first book, The Immortal Prudence Blackwood, was a historical fiction/thriller. A Witchly Influence is fantasy. My book coming out next year, which is currently untitled, is dystopian. It’s a genre I’d wanted to write about for a while, mostly because I love the idea of thinking of alternate routes the future can take. That’s what’s so interesting about dystopian work: everyone has a different view on what our future will look like. Some go with zombies, or a form of biological warfare that decimates the human population, or a catastrophic event like an asteroid impact or alien invasion. There’s probably a book out there about genetically altered waffles morphing into real people, and suddenly we’re all waffle people wearing human skin as a suit to blend in until all of the waffles take over. Either way, that’s why I chose to write a book in this particular genre. I wanted to create my own version of what dystopia could be.
As for the main challenge of writing this kind of story, well, that’s easy: making fiction sound plausible. Everyone’s on board to read fiction, but if it becomes too far-fetched, people lose interest. The trick is to create a story and a world that’s out there enough to engage interest and maybe even be thought-provoking on some level, but to also keep it reeled in enough that people won’t just stop reading because the plot has become too far-fetched. 

Author page: Follow Stephanie Grey on Twitter @AuthorSGrey

Gary Morgenstein

Dystopian fiction is simply more interesting. Who doesn’t want to play God and get to re-do the whole bloody thing? But you have to make sure that when you’re world-building, you follow your own Divine Rules. In A Mound Over Hell and the upcoming A Fastball for Freedom, I created a dystopian world set in the 22nd Century where an America which has failed at democracy lost World War 3 to the Islamic Empire and is now ruled by The Family. There are many layers – since social media is banned under the Anti-Narcissism Laws how do people communicate – which, whether that complicates my creative life or not, I must obey. But the demands of your brave new world always comes second to the overriding role your characters must play. Their courage and survival always drives the story. Even within the most terrifying and seemingly hopeless situations, people cling to hope and the belief that they can survive. That’s why the human race didn’t die out at the entrance to the cave. Putting average people in bleak situations is foundational to smart fiction. All of us aspire to be heroes, though few of us would put that as a career goal (except novelists). The best characters are the ones who have glory thrust upon them.

Author page Follow Gary Morgenstein on Twitter @writergary

Robert Davies

Yes, and I combined both to describe a future world where countries are replaced by city states.  My book examines two neighboring mega-cities – one horribly dystopian, and the other a polar opposite that would be considered Utopian. I wrote dystopian/Utopian to establish and examine the effect of societal isolation in the aftermath of a cataclysm:  Two totally different realities born of the same event, but geographic distance from other cities has compelled unique and unaligned approaches to reviving human civilization.

Dystopian/Utopian models have always been soapboxes from which authors preach, but now, the sermon is conditional.  For authors in 2020, writing in these genre brings risk of rankling the science-fiction orthodoxy, as well as alienating a large swath of the reading public.  A dystopian story is pejorative by default, but those most successful books today seem to be rooted in a profoundly Left/Progressive political point of view (Margaret Atwood’s anti-Christian Handmaid’s Tale is an example).  Conversely, If Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged within the last five or ten years, it would likely have been rejected, if not outright attacked.  The apparent requirement for a far-Left tone creates a chilling effect, discourages opposing views and stifles creativity.

Author page Follow Robert “R.C.” Davies on Twitter @rcdaviesbooks.

Anytime Costumes

One Response

  1. Anonymous November 20, 2020 Reply

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Eric Bana Talks ‘Force of Nature: The Dry 2’ – Interview

Eric Bana Returns for the sequel to ‘The Dry‘ in ‘Force...

Letitia Wright’s Talks about her Latest Film ‘Aisha’ – Interview

Letitia Wright’s latest film, ‘Aisha‘, a story about immigration, resilience, friendship...

Blake Crouch and Matt Tolmach Talk ‘Dark Matter’ Coming to AppleTV+ – Interview

‘Dark Matter‘ a science fiction thriller series based on the novel...

Event News Event Reviews
Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Takes You to A Whole New World at Segerstrom – Review

Disney’s Aladdin takes the audience on a thrilling chase and a wonderous place...

Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach on The Queen Mary this Halloween

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach for the...

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice’ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the Arts – Review

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice‘ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part something: Hermione and the Mini-gun pt 2

Have a lead salad instead!

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part ?: Hermione and the mini-gun pt 1

It can't fire more than 6,000 per minute!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Kurt v Sid – HASTA!

Hasta La Vista Baby!

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...