Sarah Rees Brennan is the author of the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, the first book of which was an ALA Top Ten Best Book of 2009, and the co-author of Team Human with Justine Larbalestier. Her new book is Unspoken, a romantic Gothic mystery about a girl who discovers her imaginary friend is a real boy. Unspoken was just nominated for Best Fiction For Young Adults 2013 by ALA/YALSA. Sarah writes from her homeland of Ireland but likes to travel the world collecting inspiration…
SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with several authors involved in the new anthology, After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, and featuring stories asking: If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe’s wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.
CHARLES TAN: Hi Sarah! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For you, how would you define Dyslit or what are its essential characteristics?
SARAH REES BRENNAN: Thank you for having me!
Dystopian literature: it’s the end of the world as we know it, and everyone’s feeling absolutely terrible.
Society has collapsed and either humanity lives in the depressing ruins being murdered on the regular, or a different and much more oppressive society has been built up (and secretly, people are murdered on the regular). Anyone who thinks they feel fine is wrong and will quickly discover their mistake! And while everyone is suffering incredible amounts of torment, there arises a thematic point which highlights something troubling in our current society. The whole thing seems generally very hard luck on the characters.