What the heck is it? A lot of people don’t know – I didn’t even know until I wrote Reduced and Reused. Oh, sure, obviously dystopia is the opposite of utopia, but as for genre, it’s hard to say if it falls under science fiction or suspense or both or neither.
Here’s a general definition: a story that takes place in an altered version of our own world, arguably one less livable as we, currently, would describe its condition.
By that description, dystopian fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction; of course, other specifics of each particular story or book could determine an additional sub-genre, such as thriller, suspense, romance, and so forth.
So here’s REDUCED:
A basic cover, simple, no frills. The photo, although one cannot tell from looking at it, is an actual location shot. In the woods – well, duh – where part of Reduced takes place.
From the synopsis:
“Fiction or prediction?
“Meeting at an abandoned summer camp, a dozen old friends gather after the alarm is raised. Life becomes more precious, more tenuous, as time passes. Government controls tighten, people are herded into the city… or killed. Towns are obliterated. And soon, the enemy agenda becomes obvious.
“Abby will come face-to-face with death, bear the responsibility for a young girl, and endure the severing of childhood relationships in the most terrible ways imaginable. From mere concealment to reconnaissance to aiding a rebellion, where will it end? Will the entire region be decimated, and who will be left alive to know?”
Abby is one tough chick – in her previous life, when the world was “normal” or what passes for such, she was once a vulnerable little girl who went to summer camp with her best friend, Emmy. They kept going back, every year, and at different times met many of the characters within REDUCED.
Abby crammed a lot of learning into her early adult years, and by the time of the “event,” she’s an experienced outdoorswoman, comfortable with a knife and rather talented with both pistol and shotgun, and an excellent tracker. She’s really only close to one person, Emmy, but together with a few select friends from back in the day, they all manage to survive. For a while. Mostly.
The book came about because of a somewhat disturbing dream I had, just over a year ago. It became a scene near the beginning of the book, in a convenience store, right after the “event” occurred. Woke me up out of a sound sleep, in fact, and I was so totally awake that I almost got up and started writing it all down. That thought lasted approximately three minutes, because, frankly, I don’t do middle-of-the-night stuff well at all. Ick.
But I did start the next morning – and was finished within six months. Could have been less, but life got in the way as it tends to do quite often.
And here we are now. It’s time for you to read REDUCED.
Why? Because it’s pretty good – shameless promotion alert – and I’ve been told the sequel is even better. Because you’re interested in this sort of thing: strong women, dystopia, survival, government screw-ups. Oh, and because those of you who like science fiction in general will get a kick out of the name of the catalyst that sets the whole “event” in motion.
And here’s the question: fiction, or prediction?