Tag: Dystopia

Sleep and Synchronicity

Two spectacularly haunting new works of fiction share a frightening and resonant premise: a world in which sleep is disappearing. Insomnia has a storied history, of course, as both ailment and plot ...

Shakespeare Off the Grid

Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel, Station Eleven, a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Fiction, depicts a world radically depopulated by a vicious outbreak of superflu. A traveling ...

Adventure Capitalists

William Gibson has become a reluctant prophet for cyberculture. Although his early work failed to imagine some technological particulars (like the smart phone), he foresaw that cyberspace—a term he ...

Kids in Cages

In June 2011, the State of California permanently shut down the Preston Youth Correctional Facility, a reform school for orphans and juvenile offenders that had been in operation for over a century ...

What’s the Matter with Dystopia?

Dystopia is flourishing. In the process, it is becoming routine and losing its political power. If current fiction is to be believed, postapocalyptic wastelands will in the not too distant future be ...

Global Warming and Network Think

On August 26th, 2014, in the lead-up to the United Nations summit scheduled for the following month, the New York Times carried a story on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest draft ...

Complicity and Critique

In a posh Delhi neighborhood, in a walled estate with glass chandeliers and bathrooms of Italian marble, a 25-year-old heir to his family’s business and real estate fortune dreams of transforming the ...

Writing Technology

Read my blog, please, but don’t dare peek into my diary. Even though these two genres employ some of the same conventions—a diurnal relation to time, a preoccupation with subjective experience—one is ...

The Hope and the Horror

In 1953, a young Jean Franco set sail from Europe for Central America. She arrived in Cuba a few days after Fidel Castro’s ill-fated assault on the Moncada Barracks. Continuing to Guatemala, she ...

The End of the End of the World

Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy may be one of the most significant works of 21st-century literature that you haven’t read. Which is surprising, since the novels have been well reviewed, avidly ...

Megalopolis Now

It is no surprise that New York City, immodestly known as “the capital of the world,” figures so strongly in the popular imagination of apocalypse: think of the submerged Statue of Liberty in the ...