Christian Dystopian. It’s a Real Genre.

Christian Dystopian. It's a real genre

Whenever I say I’m writing a Christian Dystopian, I feel like I can see the other person’s thoughts.

They’re either thinking: “Oh, cool.” or, “What’s that?” or “That is so wrong. ”

In general, I get the impression that dystopian can’t be Christian. Oh, but it can, just like fantasy, mystery, and all the other genres.

I want to take a second to really look at what Christian Dystopian means, and then flail and tell you about the amazing books I’ve found in this genre. *squeals*

Christian. What is Christian?

In the genre “Christian,” it generally means no cussing, explicit language, clean romance or none at all, and also has faith elements. These could be like The Chronicles of Narnia, not really talking about Jesus, and salvation (while it being an underlying message) or it could be the person becomes a Christian over the course of the story. Perhaps they are a Christian, or just struggling. That kind of thing.

Dystopian. What is that?

Well, with today’s books, dystopian basically means Hunger Games. Oppressive governments, limitations, catastrophes have happened to change the world into an awful place, etc etc. Think Divergent, Matched, Shatter Me, and other series. There also, an unspoken rule that demands a love triangles… or maybe that’s just me and my hatred for love triangles. 😉

Dystopia literally means, “not-good-place,” and is the opposite of Utopia. It’s the bad terrible version of our world.

But honestly, It’s our world if you only remove a few bits of freedom. Maybe that’s why it’s popular: we’re so close to becoming something like in a dystopian book, constricted and without freedoms or rights to our name. Yes, even in America.

Granted, we’re probably not close to living underground in Pods, or being part of an elite group of which only one (a teenage girl of 15 with conflicted love interests) can save all the of us from imminent death BUT STILL. You get my point.

The Differences Between Dystopian and Christian?

Hope.

Most Dystopians have zero hope, and if they do, it’s on something that one shouldn’t place their hope on because it is bound to fail, or it’s only human.

Take Hunger Games. It’s a great story, and it is what it is, but I’ve always said it lacks hope. The ending? *shudders* My friend pointed out the hope is on Katniss. And poor Katniss is suffering PTSD and Anxiety and not a person I want to put all my faith into.

In the Christian Genre, hope is in God, and his love for us, his ability to save us. Because frankly, we can’t do it. We can’t save ourselves, or at least not for very long. We’ll come to the end of rope in the end, even if the end of our rope is the end of our life.

There’s nothing wrong with stories lacking hope. They’re stories, just like the rest, but I find they can be depressing books, ones lacking purpose and a real sense of closure. I read the Hunger Games series a few years back all in one weekend (which I don’t suggest you doing) and I felt like this in the end:

sad peanuts lonely linus grief

 

 

“Christian Dystopian? That’s going to be Tacky.”

Nope. Sorry. They’re not tacky. Now, I can’t speak on the behalf of all Christian Dystopian books, but I can speak on the behalf of the ones I’ve read. And none of them have been tacky.

The list is small,  but it’s growing!

A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes (The entire Out of Time series, really. I’m working on A Time to Speak at the time of writing this post)

Anomaly by Krista McGee (also a trilogy I’m in the midle of.)

Counted Worthy by Leah Good

 Why Am I Bringing This Up?

Because I’m currently writing a Christian Dystopian series, and I want people to have a better understanding of this genre, not upturn their noses at the mention of Christian and Dystopian in the same sentence.

In this little blogging community the genre is well-known and well-loved. But outside of this blogging community, I’m pretty sure it’s not. And why is that? Combining a popular and really interesting genre with Christianity is a fantastic idea and a great testimony. A they touch on amazing themes and I’ve learned quite a bit more from them than I have any other fictional work.

So what do you think about the Christian Dystopian genre? Have you read any good books recently? Any you didn’t like as well?

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Christian Dystopian. It’s a Real Genre.

  1. Oooh this is a really interesting discussion. I mainly write in the fantasy genre, but even there I try to add hope and have characters struggle and go to that world’s version of God for help. I think Christian dystopian is an awesome thing, and I hope it gets much bigger! 😀 We always need hope, especially when we look at all the chaos going on the world right now, and where it might be going.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read some christian dystopia, and I guess I’ve heard people say that it’s not a real genre. You’re so right about what makes it different–hope. That’s really true. Because hope is what God is all about 🙂 I wouldn’t say ALL non-christian dystopians are hopeless-hope is a pretty human theme-but there are some pretty depressing endings out there *cough* Allegiant *cough* And dystopian is one of my favourite genres, so I think it’s so cool you’re writing dystopia and adding christian elements. (is it narnia style, or is it about conversion, or are the characters christian?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree on Allegiant, even though I never got around to reading it. (I tried the first chapter, but I knew what was coming.)
      It’s more about conversion. I think it would be really cool to do it Narnia style, it’s so clever. Perhaps some day, when I’m clever enough. XD

      Like

  3. Omw, yes, that’s exactly how I felt after I finished The Hunger Games! I absolutely hate the lack of hope in secular dystopian. The Hunger Games would have been SO much better if Katniss had had Christian faith. And that’s why I love most Christian dystopian. Out of Time series = perfection. I just LOVE those books!!!
    And I really want to read Anomaly and Counted Worthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you totally should! They’re all so different from each other, and I love it. I just finished reading A Time to Speak the other day and now I’m all caught up and waiting for the next book with everyone else. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am trying to figure out what genre my book is. Nutshell. Bible is outlawed. Last Bible torn in two. 500 yrs later a society of refugees is living without contact with the rest of the world with only the old testament to guide them. Christian dystopian or no?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That defiantly sounds like Christian Dystopian. It’s rarely new genre/idea, but that sounds about right. A futuristic “bad world” where there is a Christian element or presence related to the plot. Also, that sounds like a really book!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s