Once Again Demonstrates it Knows More About Sci-Fi than The Grauniad. Well-played, Mr. Knighton.
Folks, just because you decided to sit down and read the synopses of a dozen movies, does NOT make you the expert on said movies. I’m not as big a fan of some Dystopian Fiction as our Fisker is. I think Divergent is rather poorly done (with flat-out terrible science in the succeeding installments). And I would say that Mockingjay is a desperate attempt to retrieve a Leftist vision from what was (intentionally or not) an anti-Big Government story. With the result that honestly, the third book falls flat, IMHO. It also doesn’t help that Katniss goes from central player to ‘hardly a participant.’ It may be more realistic, but it’s not interesting reading to have everything go on off-stage.
But I do love Blade Runner and would play Shadowrun in about as much time as it would take to grab my books and dice. So I can’t say I hate it, either. Indeed, a number of my stories are post-apocalyptic. Though one is already in the rebirth of civilization. Another is…well, the Guardian would hate it: It’s Weird Western, so it’s post-nuclear/magical apocalyptic Dystopian AND lone gunslinger. But yeah, it has action. 😉 And my Urban Fantasy isn’t post-apoc yet. But if I ever write it far enough, I’ll get there, Kate Daniels style.
The bottom line as to why Dystopias are fun to write is, as Knighton says, it makes the commonplace interesting to write about. “Just another day in the office” is boring as probing for earwax. “Everyday is a struggle for survival” is inherently more interesting. That’s also why The Walking Dead despite its characters being Too Dumb To Live, is better television than 95% of the dross on the little screen. We’re convinced anything can happen. Anything can go wrong. It’s the NASCAR principle brought to scripted TV “Come for the car-crashes, stay for the concessions.”