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Eyes turned skyward

Utopian and dystopian fiction

The utopia and its derivative, the dystopia, are genres of literature that explore social and political structures.

Utopian fiction portrays a setting that agrees with the author’s ethos and is portrayed as having various attributes that readers often find to be characteristic of that which they would like to implement in reality, or utopia, as the setting for a novel.

Dystopian fiction–commonly referred to as dystopic fiction–(sometimes combined with, but distinct from apocalyptic literature) is the opposite: the portrayal of a setting that completely disagrees with the author’s ethos and is portrayed as having various attributes that readers often find to be characteristic of that which they would like to avoid in reality, or dystopia.[1]

Many novels combine both, often as a metaphor for the different directions humanity can take in its choices, ending up with one of two possible futures. Both utopias and dystopias are commonly found in science fiction and other speculative fiction genres, and arguably are by definition a type of speculative fiction.

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