Back in late September I was approached by an author I worked with on Fauxpocalypse. She had an idea for a collection with the theme of Utopia.
It sounded like a fun idea–there are so many collections about Dystopia and I figured it would make a nice change.
It turned out to be tougher than I expected. Partially because if everything is going good, where’s the conflict to hang a story on?
Mostly, though, I think human beings are just wired to expect the worst. We look for problems, we imagine problems, and when we get bored I think we invent new problems, just to have an excuse to use our big brains and clever hands. But maybe that’s just me being cynical.
Every idea I started with seemed to want to become either a travelogue of my perfect vacation, or a dark “looks like Utopia on the outside but is really Hell on Earth” kind of thing.
But I persevered, and I think my story in this collection, “Endless Summer” strikes the right balance between hopeful and dull. I expect the other authors were struggling a bit as well.
It’s clear, reading over the other stories, that Utopia is kind of slippery concept. A couple of the stories, in fact, went in directions that I would call Hell on Earth.
But that’s okay. It’s a very diverse collection, philosophically. I’m sure my version of Utopia–put the maintenance men in charge–won’t sit well with other people.
All in all, a thought provoking collection, and maybe a bit disturbing, considering it’s supposed to be about Perfect Worlds.
We humans just don’t handle perfection well, I think.
Currently available on Kindle Unlimited, or you can buy it for a buck and get change back.