Well I’m starting the year watching World War Z…not the first time I’ve watched the film and certainly not the last.
It seems oddly fitting to start a new year watching a fictional dystopia of the destruction of the known world. I enjoy dystopian fiction, I wrote one myself in fact, available to read for free on my Wattpad page, entitled Farm Land. There is something captivating in imagining the end of all that we know and all we understand to be true about the world.
But there is something else within the genre I love even more, for just as the Nordic myths understood that the end of all things is also a beginning of something new, so does dystopian fiction. In the midst of destruction there lies creation; as the old world dies so a new one is born.
Many people choose to scoff at Science Fiction and its associated platforms. When I studied English Literature there were some who distinguished between literature with a capital L and literature with a little l, often snobbishly including Science Fiction in the “little l” category. But to me it is not the genre of a school of writing which denotes its value; it is the writing, and good writing will always be worthy of a capital L, no matter what the subject or the ideas.
I find Science Fiction and dystopian imaginings fascinating because they allow us to reform our world, reflect on our goods and evils and re-discover those qualities of ourselves we perhaps think are lost within lives spent in office blocks or family lives. We once were survivors. We were warriors. We succeeded so well that we came to dominate the planet and its other creations. But somewhere still within us are the traits of those warriors and survivors, and viewing our future as one where the world we know and understand can fall apart, allows us to see the possibility within us.
Imagine the world has been lost to you…what would you make of your life in a new world?
what might you find yourself capable of in that brave new world?