It is my pleasure to share a guest post by author Julian North, who explains...
I didn’t set out to write dystopian. My novel, Age of Order, was inspired by my experiences fighting to get my two young children into school in my adopted home of New York City. You could say that the book was born out of anger and frustration, then raised on glimmers of hope. What started as a way to blow off steam evolved into a vessel to discuss the unfairness, inequality, and occasional brilliance I saw around me through my favorite medium: dystopian science-fiction.
Despite not setting out to write in a particular genre, dystopian fiction is one of the genres I enjoy most as a reader. The Road is one of the most powerful works ever written, in any genre (IMHO). Every father should read that book. I’m counting the day till Pierce Brown’s Iron Gold is released. The Giver brought Dystopia into the modern world, Hunger Games made it a sensation. I think people are drawn to the opportunity to imagine a new place, how they would start over. The popularity of shows like the Walking Dead is an illustration of that.
Ultimately, I write dystopian for the same reasons I read it: I enjoy it. One of the best things about writing in this is you get to create a brand new world, but one that still looks familiar to the reader. It’s that familiarity--the plausibility of the world--that makes dystopian compelling. At the same time, I try to guard against letting my own voice or opinions creep into my writing. I want to create characters and let them experience the world. It’s their story, not mine.
Age of Order
by Julian North
GENRE: Dystopian Young Adult/New Adult
What if the people who thought they were better than you… really were?
In this world, inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. And all people are not created equal.
Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendor and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first.
Age of Order is a novel that explores the meaning of merit and inequality. Fans of the Hunger Games, Red Rising, and Divergent will enjoy this world of deception and intrigue, where the downtrodden must fight for a better future.
I dashed towards the dilapidated collection of storefronts hugging the fringes of the worn avenue, the rusted metal gates firmly closed, lean-to homes piled on their concrete roofs. Makeshift cardboard dwellings crowded the sidewalk. I ran for one of the lightless alleys between the buildings. Lurkers lived in those narrow corridors as surely as rats lived in the sewer, but I’d rather face them than the machines. I leaped towards the darkness.
A finder beam latched onto me as I sailed through the air, the comparative safety of the alley as tantalizingly close as candy in a shop window. I imagined the tight little dot on my leg, hot and hungry. I could almost touch the alley wall. But not quite. The hulking metal slave fired.
A correction pellet sliced through the fabricated leather of my sneaker and bit into my flesh. The force of the impact was enough to screw up my balance too. I landed on one foot instead of two, falling forward. Chewed-up concrete surged towards me. I sacrificed my right palm and left elbow to protect my head, and the viser strapped to my left forearm.
I scrambled to my feet and ran down the alley, my jaws clenched, but the pain wasn’t what was bothering me. I told myself that my shoe had blocked a lot of the pellet. That I probably hadn’t gotten hit with a full dose. That what was coming wouldn’t be that bad.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I’ve been writing since I could grab a pencil (remember those?). Then I had kids. Not much time for writing anymore. Until they started school… in New York City. I’m not from here, and the tumult of that experience inspired me. Age of Order grew from a diary of injustice. Now I write what I’m feeling, and let the rest flow from there. I hope you enjoy it.
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