The thing that interests me most about dystopias is how they portray what we fear most for the future of humankind. Along with this come many different themes of our society’s downfall, but the one that I personally think brings to light one of the more relevant apprehensions of humans today is that of technology.
It all seems harmless at first, almost trivial. We love the ability to have access to immediate knowledge at our fingertips, to communicate across thousands of miles effortlessly, and of course, to order things from Amazon and have them delivered the next day. These things are a result of the ever growing presence of technology in our daily lives. However, along with the benefits of these numerous advancements comes many unforeseen complications. Things like lacking security and privacy in a world of increasingly big amounts of information are real issues, and continue to worsen. We see a dramatic take on this in Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, where surveillance is taken to the extreme and is depicted as outright oppressive. We enjoy the freedom that the Internet gives us, but we don’t want our information used against us. Another aspect of the technological dystopia is technology gone too far. With new advancements being made regularly, where do we stop? Can we keep developing, or is there a point at which our inventions surpass us and become our downfall? This idea is explored in For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund. In this novel, we see a society that’s been torn apart by their own innovations in genetic engineering that went too far. With genetic modification of humans becoming more and more realistic, it’s no surprise that we see it portrayed in this post-apocalyptic scenario. It’s a concept that many are wary of, and thus the worst is often imagined.