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Satyr
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PostSubject: Dystopia novels Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:57 pm

Does anyone else enjoy a good end of the world novel?

Are the ones involving zombies any good?

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:14 pm

Never read one with zombies.

However, Swan Song is a good one. I read it years ago. I cant recall the author, but the storyline follows the end of the world after nuclear destruction, and the sickness and power struggles that arise in the aftermath.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:32 pm

A guy named McCammon authored Swan Song, I forget his first name and am too lazy to look it up. I have the book at home, I got it for a quarter at the used book store because I was intrigued by the front cover.

While not quite an Apocalyptic novel, The Fifth Horseman is a novel by Larry Collins and Dominique LaPierre in which Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qaddafi plants a nuclear bomb in New York City. The novel is told from a third-person perspective with various characters as the focal point throughout different parts of the book from the President, to Angelo Rocchia, a detective for the NYPD, to the three Dahaji's (who planted the bomb) and even Qaddafi himself.

The novel is filled with many twists and turns, yet simultaneously seems to move somewhat slowly. Essentially, there are probably a few scenes that could have been edited out as unnecessary, or at least condensed as all that they contained was character development. The reason I state that this is somewhat close to the Apocalyptic category is because obviously Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) would have occurred had the Libyans set off the bomb, and at one point the U.S. considered a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Lybia, and Israel considered a preemptive air assault.

The deciding event in the book is at best, predictable, and at worst, cliche'.

Overall, though, it's an excellent read due to the multiple vantage points from which the reader gets to experience the story, as well as the plot itself. Interestingly enough, the story also manages to highlight the positive as well as the negative aspects of all of the characters and delves somewhat into the psychology of the characters which reveals their motivations. The only downsides are the fact that the novel occasionally delves too deeply into character development, which takes the reader away from the plot itself somewhat, and brings them back not quite remembering exactly what is going on, and of course, the predictable ending.

Despite the novel's glaring shortcoming (the deciding event) and its debatable shortcoming (whether or not the character development is too much) I would easily give it an 8.5, and quite possibly a 9.

It did not appear to be on Amazon except for with an audio cassette for around eighty bucks. If either of you would like to borrow it, I would be happy to mail it to you, but you have to promise to mail it back when you are done with it because (despite the fact I've already read it three times) I will probably read it again.


Last edited by Pavlovianmodel146 on Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:49 pm

I made a mistake, it is on Amazon used for three-something, the shipping is slightly more than the price of the book, but it is worth buying.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:46 pm

Thanks guys, I added Swan Song to my Amazon Wish List....How about this one World War Z

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:55 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_(novel)

Quote :
We (Russian: Мы)[1] is a dystopian novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin completed in 1921.[2] It was written in response to the author's personal experiences during the Russian revolution of 1905, the Russian revolution of 1917, his life in the Newcastle suburb of Jesmond, and work in the Tyne shipyards during the First World War. It was on Tyneside that he observed the rationalization of labour on a large scale

Quote :
The dystopian society depicted in We is presided over by the Benefactor[5] and is surrounded by a giant Green Wall to separate the citizens from primitive untamed nature. All citizens are known as "numbers".[6]
Every hour in one's life is directed by "The Table," a precursor to Nineteen Eighty-Four's telescreen. It is also prefigured by Vicar Dewley's 'Precepts of Assured Salvation' in Zamyatin's 1916 Newcastle novella Islanders.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:25 pm

We
Yes, that looks interesting.

Thanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:19 pm

I presume you have already read 1984 and Brave New World?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altered_Carbon

Quote :
In the novel's quasi-cyberpunk and somewhat dystopian world, human personalities can be stored digitally and downloaded into new bodies, called sleeves. Most people have stacks in their spinal columns that store their memories.

Quote :
While most people can afford to get resleeved at the end of their lives, they are unable to update their bodies and most go through the full aging process each time which discourages most from resleeving more than once or twice. So while normal people can live indefinitely in theory most choose not to, only the wealthy are able to acquire replacement bodies on a continual basis. The long-lived are called Meths, short for Methuselahs. The very rich are also able to keep copies of their minds in remote storage, which they update regularly. This ensures that even if their stack is destroyed, they can be resleeved.

I read it years ago, I can't remember if it was well written.....
Dystopian fiction is not my preference.

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:34 pm

Yes, I've read those two.

I like them because in the writer's attempt to present an alternative reality, this one's failures and mythologies are clarified.

Clockwork Orange or even Hannibal Lecter, as a character, are interesting to me because they are fictional phenomena that contradict the popular delusions with their vulgarity.

That's why RU and Ziit and McMiserable and many others are fascinating to me as specimens, as actual living contradictions and challenges to the norm...often a norm they are not fully aware of and mostly challenging ideas other than the ones they think they are.

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:29 pm

In both those books that I mentioned, human instincts to resist this superorganism are redirected, punished or constrained.

In 1984, through the use of pain, betrayal, constant surveillance, constant rewriting of "history". Double-think became the norm, where everybody was aware of the lies, but nonetheless kept on reaffirming them for the sake of perpetuating the State.
The desire to resist, itself, was shackled and made into a tool of oppression. Unrest was made to be expressed into the 2 minutes Hate, against enemies of the State rather than the State itself. Nationalism against Eastasia and Eurasia, alternately was also used in this manner.
The Perpetual War also existed as a state of balance which ensured that no one state would gain supremity and through that success, be forced into a decline and eventual dissolution.

Brave New World is similar but approaches the subject differently. Instead of government apparatus being used to control existing humans, here the goverbment selectively breeds and psychologically conditions Alphas to Epsilons to perform certain roles in society.
The use of mass orgies and addiction to hallucinogenic drugs then serves as escapism for the resulting drones.
Disatisfaction is expended through promiscuity and escapism.

In both books, though, close personal relationships are forbidden and generally suppressed, as it seems to be the premise that such feelings of love and loyalty detract from love and loyalty to the State - so they are exterminated.

The moral of these stories, the impression with which the author intendeded to leave the reader, seem's to be that humanity will lose its identity through pursuit of collectivist power. That the perfect State can only exist when it consists of inhuman citizens. Or at the very least, retrained, reprogrammed, brainwashed humans.

What is interesting is that it assumes that an unchanging permanent State can arise, in defiance of mutability, when humans are not humans, but are something else.... drones, perhaps.
The species as an organism.

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:07 pm

Huxley's version seems to be more relevant, as present day circumstances indicate, but Orwell's version wasn't bad, as it reflected better the Cold War era....I think the Orwellian dystopia has been slowly morphing into the Huxlean one.

The last comment relates to my own vision of mankind's future: as an amorphous blob of asexual drones, like ants or termites or bees.

The predominance of one sex over another has mostly to do with biological function and malleability, and less to do with procreation. Sex slowly becoming obsolete, and the path-of-least-resistance followed.

Now some have commented that women are becoming masculanized as much as males are becoming feminized, but this ignores some basic facts, and the error can be explained through the thesis itself, as it implies it if it does not outright state it.
It's been a while since I've reread it, and I forget exactly what I managed to cover or how in-depth I went.

But in my mind it is still clear as day and so obvious I can't believe why many do not see it, or reject it....other than the usual psychological reasons.

When the state becomes the abstraction of alpha-male then both biological males and females are relegated to subordinate more feminine roles...this is more pronounced in males who are prevented from fulfilling their natural biological functions.

Now in the past, under more primitive technological situations and within more homogeneous social and cultural circumstances, the biological males still had an important role to play, and so their emasculation was not as great - they were representatives of the State's masculine monopoly, as it confronted nature and other states.

Therefore they were allowed their little kingdoms, called the family, by denying a female's sexual power, her choice...which is now called Paternalism.

As technologies advanced, due to these interstate conflicts, and because states became increasingly heterogeneous, the previous is becoming less and less important, and so parity between the sexes, under the states rule, began increasing....we are talking about an artificially maintained parity, the same as with all equalizations given that natural selection is based no inequality.

Because the state was an abstraction, like money is an abstraction of value or resources, anyone could symbolize it, in a world where muscles and intelligence are increasingly being enhanced via machines and tools and medicines and chemicals.

At this point males and females became interchangeable, and so promoting a pseudo-masculine type, a hyper-masculinity in the capitalistic west where risk taking and pseudo-individuality served the states purposes, was only a matter of efficiency. Now 100% of the population could be used for the same purposes.

So when unfit sexual mutations that turned males into female and female into male, in attitude emerged they were accepted as harmless.

It doesn't matter how you act or dress or fuck, just as long as your mind remains docile, loyal, disciplined to the state, which is the one and only truly masculine entity.
The very same genetic mutations that would constitute an individual a genetic dead-end are now promoted as alternative lifestyles or harmless human quirks of individuality, when they all think and behave in generally similar manners.

Individuality is now decided by the state, as surrendering to it's values and premises (emasculation) ironically makes you worthy of acquiring its most coveted positions of symbolic masculinity - wealth and power, within a social context.

The most revealing aspect here, and this is where dystopia novels become interesting, is that when you break down this system, take away its support and myths and values and ideals, the very individuals that act masculine, as representatives, are reverted back to their essence.

For example, if we exclude the sexual potency of a macho female and we eliminate the laws and technologies and morals that shelter her from reality, enabling her to behave in aggressive, sexually promiscuous ways, ways more associated with the male of the species, she reverts back to what she always was, outside the trappings of civilization.

This trend is part of a natural process both relating to my views of phenomenology and the circumstances of existing on a small overpopulated planet, with no easily accessible frontiers.

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:05 pm

Σατυρ wrote:
Does anyone else enjoy a good end of the world novel?

Are the ones involving zombies any good?
There's end of the world, period. And there's end of the world with survivors (at least maybe). MccARTHY'S The Road is very good, though I like it less than his SW/Mexico novels.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:57 pm

Road warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome comes to mind.

Then there is also Soylent Green, Farenheit 451, Gattaca, The Island, THX1138, Logan's Run, 1984, Omega Man, Planet Of The Apes, and BraveNewWorld,
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:36 am

I haven't yet read the classics like 1984, or Brave New World, but I can recommend One by David Karp.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:30 pm

I know this is about novels, but Last Night is a really good (and not well known) movie about the end of the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:46 am


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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:45 am

I read This Perfect Day as a teen and was enthralled by it. I named all my video game characters Chip.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:16 am

Laconophile wrote:
I read This Perfect Day as a teen and was enthralled by it. I named all my video game characters Chip.
Damn, I've never felt this nostalgic about a book.

I need to read this again.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:00 pm


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:14 pm

Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' is an incredible book, it's filled with a lot of despair. Worth a read, but you need time and some solitude. No zombies though.

'The Lathe of Heaven' by Ursula LeGuin is also amazing, as is her novel 'Dispossessed'.

Zombies aren't necessary to a good Dystopian novel, and I prefer the ones that are more plausible and results of what are going on relevant to the culture of the time they were written. I've always found it so interesting that people write a lot of poetry that deals with they objections to the paths that culture is taking us on by writing dystopian novels. I suspect that the Zombie epidemic in writing/media now is directly related to our cloning and mucking with virus/bacteria combinations as cures for things we don't completely understand yet. That and our distrust of big pharma and our medical system in general.

More recently was 'Super Sad True Love Story' by Gary Shteyngart and addresses some of the culture issues of today.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:33 pm

I have watched the movie Road based on the book but will read the book eventually because the general moral context the story introduces is interesting to me but as with the films many questions remain unanswered. Its unique as it depicts the indifference mother nature treats her children with and how ruthless it is from our point of view.

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:20 am

Arditezza wrote:
Zombies aren't necessary to a good Dystopian novel, and I prefer the ones that are more plausible and results of what are going on relevant to the culture of the time they were written.


Then you might want to check out the novel and the multiple and well-deserved award winning film based on it The Rover [2014]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:44 am

Lyssa wrote:

Then you might want to check out the novel and the multiple and well-deserved award winning film based on it The Rover [2014]

Thank you for pointing out this book/movie to me. I will definitely have to see it or read the story.
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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:51 pm


In the Mad Max Dystopia novel, made into a movie, what is depicted is NOT anarchy, but a fragmentation of an earlier unified order, into pieces of order.
Little city-states in a world of vast empty frontiers, where Max begins wandering, trying to deal with his own demons, a traumatic past.

No anarchy here...this is not anarchy, but is full of laws, rules: small enclaves, dominated by a leader, with his own order.
City-States that will dominate and become nation states, repeating the cycle.

anarchy is, like Marxism, a political theory based on a romantic, naive, conception of humanity, and little, if any understanding of nature.
If not this, then it is a lie, like Christianity, manipulating minds with positive utopias, Paradise, presented as if Hell has been accepted.
You must go through hell to get to heaven, the message of Judeo-Christianity/Islam and Marxism./Anarchism, exploiting mental feebleness in the minds of those born of inferior genetic stock, promising a solution to this past/nature that determines and does not change.

Look at these scenes of worshipping chaos, randomness, chance...




Joker's tempting fate makes him an idol, to imbeciles, because in true Hollywood ending style, he survives every suicide attempt.
He lives...and this is what makes him a super-hero, an extraordinary character, because in real life he would blow his own brains out in a matter of months.
The average modern imbecile, lacking the Joker's "balls", his suicidal tendencies, his insanity, admires this, because it results in shock and awe, dominating those who cannot imitate it.
He becomes an icon to all the disillusioned men-children, who are not against Modernity but feel hurt because they've been so harshly excluded from its positive Nihilism, and they resort to negative Nihilism (I've defined and explained the difference in War Like No Other) - if they are excluded from Utopia, then Dystopia will be their alternative - destruction of all that leaves them outside, like Mad Max, wandering the emptiness.
They claim to be against materialism, but then use a low social status as an insult, and poverty as a negative.
They claim to love chaos, but then complain when you give them a taste of it.
They claim to know what nihilism, being rebels and free-thinkers, is but they use the common usage, and cannot comprehend that it is, itself, defined in nihilistic terms.

They've been duped, and now fight against windmills, not really wanting to get hurt.
It's all for effect, an image they wish they could sell as their "true" self, to escape what people see, how people have related to them in the past.
they want to impress by shocking the other with concepts they do not truly agree with, but are scared shitless of.

Watch the Joker reveal how he and Batman needs each other...they are two sides of the same Nihilistic coin, one validating, giving value, to the other.


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PostSubject: Re: Dystopia novels Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:16 pm


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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