Texas Monthly

Will Dystopian Times Inspire Utopian Art?

As science fiction writers, Nicky Drayden and Christopher Brown believe that you can’t create a convincing future unless you keep an eye on the present. Dystopian novels, Brown has argued, depict the world “as it really is, through the refractive prism of extreme metaphor.” Classics of the genre, like 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale, are often described as prescient “not because their authors were practicing predictive futurism,” he has written, “but because they reported accurately on the character of the contemporary world they saw.”

At a moment when the world is feeling awfully dystopian, we asked Drayden and Brown, both of whom live in Austin, to offer some thoughts about what’s in store for us and what we might expect from science fiction to come. Drayden, a Houston native, has written four novels; the newest one, is scheduled to come out which he says has a more utopian bent, is due out on August 11.

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