#9 – The Dystopia Classic

The Cold War brought with it new tales of nuclear war in science fiction, both in the early days of the 50s and 60s, and later, when fears began to rise again. In this episode, we look at the highlights of these stories and how they vary widely in how they address the consequences of nuclear war. Book recommendation: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. The Office of Technology Assessment's 1979 nuclear war study. Other works mentioned: On the Beach by Nevil Shute (un-recommended) A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. Dr. Strangelove Fail Safe The Postman by David Brin The Day After WarGames
  1. #22 – Nuclear War
  2. #21 – Apocalypse How?
  3. Writer's History #1 – Max Hawthorne Interview
  4. #20 – Philip K. Dick
  5. #19 – The New Wave

Dystopian fiction has become a popular subgenre of sci-fi in its own right, but the earliest dystopian novels shared some unique elements in common, inverting the standard tropes of the hero’s journey. In this episode, we explore what has made these stories so enduring.

Book recommendation: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
My essay on the inverted hero’s journey.
Link to the Heroine’s journey.
Link to O’Brien’s speech.

Other books mentioned:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Check out this episode!

About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.
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