Let’s not kid ourselves. The first ten years of the 21st century haven’t been the best of times. Terrorism. War. Pandemics. Environmental disasters. Political fallacies. Human rights atrocities. I’ll stop there before I run the risk of sounding like a Billy Joel lyric, but I think you get my drift. Worldwide angst is at a high level.
In turn, the world of speculative fiction has taken a darker turn the past few years. Much has been made about this by the genre community. Some go so far to treat this trend as bad. These people posit such desperate questions as “Why are writers so black and blue? Why can’t they write about the great things in life?” This shallow reactionary attitude points to many individuals missing one of the most important aspects that writers, editors, and publishers perform in society.
We serve as the voice of the people. Consider Dark Futures: Tales of Dystopian SF another voice added to the cacophony of the cultural zeitgeist.
I’m not only talking about novelists and short story authors, but this applies to anyone in the creative arts: filmmakers, playwrights, artists, sculptors, and so forth. We digest the world around us and produce work that functions as a mirror of society. Others view this work as a means of coming to grips with the world they fight through day to day. It’s voyeuristic escapism. It’s a twisted form of schadenfreude—I’ve got a crap life but at least that didn’t happen to me. It’s entertainment.
Happy endings and pleasant entertainment will always rightly have its place in the world. But the human race seems to like things that comes in pairs…night and day, left and right, and good and bad. People like variety. Need variety.
We hope that Dark Futures: Tales of Dystopian SF fill that dark niche hiding in your personality.
Jason Sizemore is the award-nominated editor of Aegri Somnia, Gratia Placenti, and Apexology: Horror. For five years he was the fiction editor of Apex Magazine, a professional-level online zine of dark SF and fantasy. Since 2004, he has own and operated Apex Publications — publishers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. You can find him on Twitter using the account @apexjason.
Dark Futures: Stories of SF Dystopia is now in your local bookstore (and if it’s not, ask for it!), and also online direct from the publisher Dark Quest Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, among others.