Five Fascinating Facts about Dystopian Fiction

Interesting Literature

Interesting facts about dystopian novels and the history of the genre

In a previous post, we recommended 10 of the best early dystopian novels and offered some insight into how they came about. This might be considered a follow-up post to that earlier one, offering a brief history of dystopian fiction in five interesting facts.

1. The word ‘dystopia’ is older than you might think – but then, so is the genre. The word ‘dystopia’ has been traced back to 1747, where it appears as ‘dustopia’, but is clearly being used with the same meaning as the modern ‘dystopia’. Although dystopian fiction itself is sometimes said to have begun with the 1908 Jack London novel The Iron Heel, there are several Victorian novels which qualify as dystopian fiction, at least of sorts. One of these is Samuel Butler’s 1872 novel Erewhon – the title, almost the word ‘nowhere’ backwards…

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