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“Please enter a name for your creation.” Lyla’s skin prickled with a million tiny goose pimples at the simple question. A name. A name? Her eyes wandered from the translucent screen in front of her to the other screens scattered throughout the alcove, each with creators comfortably engrossed before them. Some creators were alone like […]

Bohemian Rocketmen in a Yellow Submarine: Dystopia, Eutopia and the Music of Belonging

Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. Leonhard Cohen, Anthem (Selected Poems, 1956 – 1968) “Without friends no one would choose to live,”[1] Aristotle declares, while C.S. Lewis states: Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like […]


Fifty years after the Rebirth, the woods in what had been Maine were quiet. The morning sunlight shone through the soft green leaves and melted the cobwebs. The silver scales of River-Wardens glittered through the water as they sank into sleep, and the misty, feather-haired Tree-Wraiths faded into the tree bark. On a pond next […]

The Truth Will Set You Free

“The Truth Will Set You Free” is a free-verse poem that explores the dystopian elements underlying contemporary Western society. We live in a strange time that seems to be defined by two utopian pursuits. These pursuits are taken by two groups of people, those who seek comfort over all—“the tranquility of repetition”—and those who seek […]

Why Are We Drawn to the Dystopian?

Despite the modern commitment to avoid suffering and embrace pleasure at any cost, our world remains infatuated with dystopian tales that are specifically designed to show us a world permeated by suffering, injustice, pain, and hopelessness. While we are horrified when we hear about child abuse on the news, we spend millions of dollars to […]

Book Review: Cultural Apologetics by Paul Gould

In a little article titled “A Defence of Penny Dreadfuls,” G.K. Chesterton censures the modern intelligentsia because they “rate the gutter-boys for their immorality at the very same time that [they] are discussing (with equivocal German professors) whether morality is valid at all.”[1] One hundred years after Chesterton’s rebuke, our culture is so permeated with […]

Hope in Dystopia

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” George Orwell, 1984   Why is the dystopian theme in literature consistently popular? Let’s be honest — it’s not the less-than-cheerful storyline, the endless stream of desperation, struggle against oppression, and jarring finish. The very words leave us off balance. Yet, […]

This Captain, Buffeted

Chapter One of Griff Harrows: Told You No Lie   ‘A fugitive, this captain, buffeted’ Virgil, The Aeneid   The old man didn’t know. Griff rolled away from the screen with a grunt. He flipped his custom headphones onto his shoulders, flicked a stray piece of his dark hair out of his grey eyes, and […]