Beyond The Handmaid’s Tale: Feminist Dystopia & Utopia

We always love it when worthwhile, interesting books are adapted to film or TV, as it invariably means that a multitude of readers will be drawn to the source. As sales figures and waiting lists and libraries attest, this has been quite a year for Margaret Atwood’s landmark 1985 dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale, owing largely to the recent Hulu series, as well as the current political climate. If you’re waiting for a copy – or if you’ve already read it – why not tap into the diverse tradition of feminist science fiction that explores gender and society in provocative and visionary ways.

Continue reading “Beyond The Handmaid’s Tale: Feminist Dystopia & Utopia”

The Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Beginning with Endings

~posted by Lindsay S.

While the words ‘science fiction’ still bring to mind spaceships and alien invaders, the genre has grown over the years. We at SPL have designed a science fiction checklist to help you navigate this expansive genre and all its facets. We hope you’ll explore the many worlds of science-fiction and find a favorite sub-genre of your very own. Continue reading “The Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Beginning with Endings”

Cult Classics: Nightmare Visions

Dystopian fiction is all the rage at the moment, but grim visions of the world as it might become, or as it already is, are nothing new. Here are some masterful views of our world glimpsed through a glass darkly that are perennially popular with our readers, and with good reason.

Atwood, Margaret
The Handmaid’s Tale
A day is coming soon when women will know their place: to clean, to breed, and to minister to their husbands’ needs. For many, that day may already be here.

Bulgakov, Mikhail
The Master and Margarita
The devil and his talking cat come to Moscow and find themselves right at home. Hilarious, beguiling and mind-bending, this surreal satire is a Continue reading “Cult Classics: Nightmare Visions”

It’s the End of the World As We Know It

The leaves are falling, the bubble has been popped for awhile now, and the holidays are right around the corner, which means it’s the best time to read dystopian fiction! Knowing these characters have it worse of then we do definitely puts a spring back in my step.

In Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde society is based on a Colortocracy. Those lucky enough to see the higher end of the color spectrum live in a higher social class. Eddie Russett, a lower level Red, has one goal:  to marry into the Oxblood family in order to ensure a higher familial red count. However, this goal goes array when he commits a violation that sends him to East Carmine, a city on the Outer Fringes. He is sent to do a chair census and once there meets Jane, a Grey who instantly captures his heart. Although Jane is a lowly servant girl Eddie will risk all he ever wanted for her attentions. Continue reading “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”

After The Hunger Games

I just love a good dystopian nightmare.  I’m not sure what this says about me, but some of my favorite books take place in future worlds shattered by environmental apocalypse or ruled by terrifying and mysterious dictators. 

What is it about these books that’s so appealing?  I think it might be the fun of seeing bits of our own present in an imagined future, or watching characters struggle in extreme circumstances.  Not to mention the fact that our own reality, with all of its problems, looks pretty cozy after you’ve spent a few hours in a science fiction wasteland. Continue reading “After The Hunger Games”