Some days, when the real world is full of waiting, and pressures we wish we could escape… authors take us away, for even just a chapter or two, to the most amazing of places. They Cheer us Up, with a bit of Fun.
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Thomas More coined the word Utopia… perhaps a single word that was within itself a play on words, simultaneously meaning no place, and good place land, suggesting to some that this ideal place might in truth be unreachable. For others it was a theoretical, if unattainable land they aspired to create.
Utopian novels became their own genre, and were quite popular, but we seem to have drifted away from the Utopian creations, and are currently seeing more of their counterpart, the Dystopian these days.
Readers looking for Utopian works often turn to speculative fiction genres such as science fiction and fantasy as opposed to contemporary works that are typically grounded in every day reality, with a dash on unexpected, or “what if” thrown in to keep the stories alive with possibility and interest.
For many the appeal of Utopian Fiction may seem obvious… the lure of an ideal future or environment. In many ways it epitomizes escapist entertainment. Dystopian Fiction on the other hand can be harder to understand the appeal of… but for many who enjoy it, whether or not they are even aware of it, immersing themselves in a world in which the people are the heroes by the very act of surviving and thriving can be heartening, reassuring and encouraging. It can provide the reader with the belief we will indeed triumph over any obstacle we face, where Utopian literature seems to create the impression that we will mold our environment into our idea of perfection, no matter how much effort is required.