Three characteristics of Dystopian literature are:

Using the texts of Octavia Butler's Bloodchild and William Gibson's Neuromancer.

Humans interfacing with technology

  • Surrogacy
  • Male pregnancy of aliens in Bloodchild
  • Embodiment/disembodiment
  • How are bodies defined when they are the possessions of the aliens in Bloodchild
  • Blurring the lines between humanity and technology, or even the animal and the artificial
  • Sex between the main character and the alien in Bloodchild
    • The sex between the alien and the human is possible because of alien technological advances and the “natural” parasitism of the alien race, in Bloodchild the interfacing between human and technology is also the explicit interfacing between human and alien
  • What is humanity if it is continuously interfacing with the alien, or other, or technology? Do we become surrogates or vehicles for some other experience or phenomenology? Are we turning into cyborgs?
  • Altered states of mind
  • Intoxication as a way of being (reflecting real-world anxieties about intoxication?)
    • Drugs
    • The substances given to the humans in Blood Child (eggs)
    • Interfacing with the matrix in Neuromancer

Ecocide: the destruction of nature, or separation from nature, or of Earth specifically

  • Pollution
  • Urban sprawl
  • Toxic nature or nature as toxic, overly dangerous, overly wild
  • In Bloodchild humans have escaped the earth, and are in some strange colony and have been “saved” by their alien overlords

Totalitarian or authoritarian rule

  • An inability to change the way things are
  • The feeling of having passed a point of no return
  • In Bloodchild, the aliens are in charge.

Three qualities of dystopias

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