I write about a broken future. I am of the generation after the one promised flying cars. We saw miracle technology in our cartoons, but we watched death live on the news, and many of our heroes stumbled and fell before their time. So when I envisioned a world for my first heroes to stride through, it was a shattered thing of tangled public and private loyalties, a place of poisoned resources and rotting infrastructure, with much of the population scattered into small, isolated communities and its new gritty, dirty new urban centers built on crumbled patchwork ruins.
But, you know, being a dreamer I also made it a world of boundless optimism and ferocious idealism. A place and a time when cynicism gives way to creativity and energy, where people refuse to bow under the weight of the past. They step up to the nigh-insurmountable challenges of making bad better, and they succeed by making the most of what is left.
That doesn’t fit the traditional dystopian mold. ( Dystopia: an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one) In proper dystopian fiction everything is awful and either the System swallows up the protagonists (1984, Brazil, 12 Monkeys….) or the system must be destroyed, and rebellion is the main (Hunger Games, also 12 Monkeys and about a gazillion others)
So does the world of The Restoration Stories count as dystopian? Some readers seem to think so, others disagree. Me, I don’t care as long as readers keep liking it.
Not familiar with my stories? You can read a description of the first one here : Controlled Descent: A Story of the Restoration