How Does Advanced Technology Create a Dystopian Setting?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

The answer to this question depends on what is happening to the world. A dystopian story can range from a total breakdown of society to just a few remaining people living in a desolate environment. The kind of threats that survivors face can also determine how the story ends. Whether it’s secret police, a lack of penicillin or zombies, the type and scope of the threats will set the tone for the conflict your protagonists must overcome.

Historically, dystopian fiction has been a tool for exploring the negative side of technological advancements. It asks the questions, “what could go wrong?” and is often based on the idea that utopian dreams are never as simple as they seem.

Dystopian stories also explore the concept of power. The most successful dystopian novels take a look at the way power is wielded in our modern society. This power is often held in the hands of a few powerful corporations, governments or military organizations. This is evident in the fictional worlds of 'Gattaca - 1997' and ‘Brave New World -1932’, where advanced technology is used to control the people by destroying their freedoms and identities.

It is important to establish the rules of your world as early as possible. If you don’t, you will lose a lot of readers. You can do this by setting up a prologue or writing in journal style. This can give your reader a sense of how the world works and what it will be like to live in it.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram