Post-apocalyptic settings are becoming increasingly popular in the science fiction and speculative fiction circles. The most popular contemporary example would be “The Hunger Games.” In case you aren’t into YA fiction, or you’ve been living under a rock, “The Hunger Games” is set in a post-apocalyptic United States in which most of the population has been eradicated by civil war. The few survivors (of the losing side) are fated to toil in a dystopian society. They often go without food, thus “The Hunger Games” is an ongoing theme outside of the actual Hunger Games in which children of all sectors (including the Capital) fight to the death.
When I look toward the future, my personal anxieties hinge on the idea of “peak oil” and how that will affect the global food supply. (“Soilent Green”, anyone??) This video, narrated by economist David McWilliams is an excellent overview of how fuel and food are interrelated.
While they don’t always go hand in hand, dystopian-apocalyptic stories explore some of my favorite themes:
Stories set in dystopian-apocalyptic futures are full of high-pressure situations. The stakes are high, but the characters are often pushed to a point where they must take risks in order to preserve their dignity (or family member, or way of life, etc.) I’m a big fan of epic storylines, and the dystopian-apocalyptic format is the perfect launching pad for big, life-altering adventures.
What are your favorite post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories?