Episode suggestions

Dan and Paul take an in-depth look at the worlds portrayed Young Adult dystopian fiction.
SixFootTurkey
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby SixFootTurkey » 02 Sep 2015, 11:38

There are only two series currently that I actively recommend to people, this one and the Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.

The Vorkosigan series specifically, has a pretty healthy outlook on sexuality and gender without detracting from the series; it's part of the setting, the books aren't about pushing a viewpoint. It also touches on some serious topics (such as the TW for rape I mentioned) in a mature manner without tiptoeing around them, trying to apply 'super gritty realism', or making it a focal point. It's also just really fun and cool. ^^
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hascow
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby hascow » 15 Sep 2015, 09:55

SixFootTurkey wrote:"Steelheart" - Brandon Sanderson ('most YA'?)


To clarify what I mean here, Sanderson has written a lot of books, but most of them are not YA. Steelheart(and Firefight, the second book), are very obviously YA. Although he has a couple other books that are on the YA spectrum, this series is the most obviously YA. Sorry for any confusion.

For a little bit of a description, one day, a comet showed up and started randomly giving people superpowers, as well as a weakness(which is often very weird). But the superpowers cause them to be evil. Some of the most powerful of them will just take over a city, and the city will be transformed in some way. For instance, Chicago is taken over by an "Epic"(the name for the people with powers) named Steelheart who has very hard skin, like steel, and all of Chicago is turned metallic.
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Daniel
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Daniel » 17 Sep 2015, 10:09

Sounds cool, @hascow! Thanks!
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby LadyRhian » 23 Sep 2015, 15:21

Got a new book for you, literally hot off the presses. "Hunter" by Mercedes Lackey.

Joyeaux Charmand is a Hunter, one of a small band of men and women who can bond with "Hounds", creatures of Otherwere, to hunt escapees from the Otherwere dimension who are inimical to humans. These include creatures named after all sorts of human legends, like Goblins, Tommyknockers, Drakens, Gog and Magogs, Vampires, and Fae. Each is on an ascending line of intelligence, with the Fae being the most intelligent. Most Hunters are taken the city, the human capital, located on the east coast of what remains of America, to protect the Citizens (known as Cits) there. Joy would rather be protecting the Cits of the Hinterlands, as they don't have the barriers that the city has, but most Hunters are tasked to protect the city. However, the city and the Powers in Charge don't know about the Monastery that trains Hunters in the small community that Joy comes from, and the Hunters there make sure the city folk don't find out, as the Hunters are even more necessary in the Hinterlands than in the city. Additionally, all the best Hunters are assigned to the city. Joy would prefer to be where she thinks of as "home", but because her Uncle is the City Prefect, she must go there, but with a cover story provided by the Master Hunters at the Monastery. Joy is 16, and has been hunting since she was seven.

On the way to the city, the train is attacked by a pack of Draken and the worst, most intelligent kind of Fae, a Fae Mage, who wants Joy to come with him and be protected by him and his kind. She drives him off with the help of the army guns on the train and her Hounds, of which she has seven, making her a very powerful Hunter indeed. The video feed of her is edited to show her facing off against a Gog instead, and the truth is concealed from the Cits on the train and in the city. The leaders of the city have been keeping secret the more powerful members of the Othersiders, and the fact that the city's defenses are no longer impregnable.

But the Cits are left in ignorance. In fact, the city uses the Hunters as a distraction in that their hunts are televised by Cameras that follow the Hunters around. Every Hunter has their own color scheme so that they can be told apart, and they are ranked according to how many people are following their feed at once. These feeds are 24/7, but when the Hunters aren't on the hunt, the feeds show their former hunts or interviews with the Hunters. Joy, because of the incident on the train and interest in her as the Premier's niece, is already in the top ten before the arrives in the city, and she is being compared to Ace, the top Hunter, who takes poorly to the idea that Joy could outrank him. She pretends to be less than she is, recognizing a bully when she sees one, and hunts with her Mentor and another Hunter named White Knight, a Christian or "Christer" whose people of faith are blamed for causing much misery during the "Diseray", or the conditions that resulted in this world being broken.

But while Christians may have been blamed for setting off a nuclear bomb because they thought it was the apocalypse, they were broken when their "End Times" failed to come. In fact, the "Diseray" comes from the Christian Deus Irae, or "Wrath of God". But the fact of the more powerful Othersiders is not the only thing the leaders of the city are hiding, and when Joy stumbles on the truth, others work to ensure she is killed, leading to the death of Ace's brother, and him blaming her for his death. The only way that Joy can be free of the threat of being killed is to become a Hunter Elite- one of those sent in when the creatures they face are too strong for the regular Hunters. But can Joy and her Hounds survive the test to become Elite, especially when one of the foes she'll be facing is Ace?
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DaMage
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby DaMage » 05 Oct 2015, 19:02

Recently watched Battlestar Galactica for the first time and I would put it forward as a candidate. For the format that Fight the Future uses, maybe just covering the initial 2-part miniseries would be enough. You get the Apocalypse and how the various people deal with it.

Not really 'young adult', but still I thought I'd mention it since nobody else has yet.
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby shamanarza » 12 Oct 2015, 03:11

I've got to suggest "Feed" by M.T. Anderson. It tells the story of a world where people have the internet literally connected to their heads all the time. A world where you get spam, intrusive banner ads, and even hackers directly piped into your brain. A place where people are more concerned with the latest styles on "Wow!" (a reality TV shop) than the mysterious bleeding, weeping lesions that are starting to appear on people.
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Daniel
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Daniel » 14 Oct 2015, 13:58

Thanks a lot for these suggestions, @LadyRhian, @DaMage, and @shamanarza!
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby SixFootTurkey » 14 Oct 2015, 14:57

Another non-YA one, but worth mentioning because I find it handles it in a unique way. The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov deals with the decline of not a planet, but a galactic empire. Without getting into too many details, there are a lot of parallels between the [mysterious item] left behind for [future people] to find by [mysterious predecessors] and the versions found in City of Ember and Divergent.
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby p_Johnston » 17 Oct 2015, 19:59

I have a few recommendations ranging from spot on to probably a bit of a stretch.

1.SteelHeart by Brandon Sanderson. I know it has been recommended before but I wanted to put my vote in for it. Sanderson is one of the best fantasy authors alive today, and anything by him is worth reading

2.Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Same as above, I know it's been recommended. I just wanted to throw in my voice saying I would love to hear a episode on it.

3.Shades Children by Garth Nix. This is one that I really loved when I was a teenager. It takes place in a future where overnight every person over the age of fourteen vanished. The remaining children were rounded up and now are being used for "parts" to create monsters for the mysterious overlords. It's a bit darker then some of the previous books, but very good. I actually created this forum account to recommend this book.

4.The Dark City By Catherine Fisher. This book is more interesting then good. It follows a world where The Watch hunts the members of The Order who know how to use The Relics. The most amusing part for me is the numerous hints throughout the series that the beings who the order worship (also the ones who left all the technology) were just colonizing aliens who found the world and then abandoned it. Despite the hero's of the story worshiping them these colonists are painted as actually fairly horrible people, without the book every explicitly stating it. The world itself is worth a look even if the writing is a bit shaky.

5. Hollow World by Micheal J. Sullivan. This book is a bit of a stretch for the show because it's not really young adult and not actually a dystopia. The second part is actually why I think the book is so interesting. It follows a man who develops lung cancer so he invents a time machine and goes ten thousand years in the future. In this future he finds a perfect Utopian society in which everyone is immortal, no one is violent, and everyone has everything they could ever need. The reason i recommend this book is because the perfect society it presents is pretty close to perfect. They don't have a secret police force, they don't cull people who are different, it presents a picture of how human society might exist if humans achieved an actual utopia. (I do feel the need to mention that there is an interesting plot and conflict. It's just not one where it turns the society into a dystopia.)

6. Sabriel by Garth Nix. This book is a bit less dystopia and a bit more of a fantasy, but i still feel it fits. It follows Sabriel, a necromancer who specializes in putting the dead back to rest, as she journeys across the Old kingdom to find her father. I think this would be an interesting change of pace. The Old Kingdom in this book was once a thriving kingdom filled with magic, but is now a husk of it's former self. Most of the communities Sabriel encounters live in terror of dark magics and the undead. It feels like a fantasy world where everything has gone wrong.

7. A Confusion of Princes By Garth Nix (yes I know lot's of recommendations for his books.) This follows Khemri a Prince of the Galactic empire. The reason I think this book would be a good fit is pretty straightforward. The protagonist is a person for whom the Dystopia is a good thing. Khemri is a prince, one of the heads of the empire. He has power, immortality, and everything he could ever want. This books is a look at his journey from being a spoiled brat who never questions the value of the empire to a decent person who realizes how horrible the entire system truly is. I nice reversal of the typical role for the protagonist of this type of book.
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DaMage
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby DaMage » 19 Oct 2015, 01:34

p_Johnston wrote:3.Shades Children by Garth Nix. This is one that I really loved when I was a teenager. It takes place in a future where overnight every person over the age of fourteen vanished. The remaining children were rounded up and now are being used for "parts" to create monsters for the mysterious overlords. It's a bit darker then some of the previous books, but very good. I actually created this forum account to recommend this book.


This. I really like Garth Nix's books as a teenager and Shades Children fits this podcast perfectly.

Most of his works are young adult based, and most involve said young adult saving the world/universe after some bad event happening/or during it happening. Also if I remember rightly, SHader Children does not have a 'everything is fine' happy ending, it leaves it on a 'hope for the future' ending.
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Daniel
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Daniel » 20 Oct 2015, 23:41

Guess what we just recorded folks! Yep, it's Steelheart!! This book is awesome.

The title never fails to put the MC Paul Barman line in my head: "Feel smart, steal hearts and start meals with chocolates / I drop gems like I got holes in my pockets..."
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby hacofo » 26 Oct 2015, 11:55

I'm not really sure if it qualifies, but if it does I would suggest the "Northern Lights Trilogy"

It's difficult for me to classify it as young "adult" since the protagonists are just over 12 years.
And as for the dystopian part, that shifts over the course of the 3 books, but I view it as a dystopia non the less.

So, feel free to ignore the suggestion if it doesn't tick all the required boxes, but it would feel like a missed chance, to me if I didn't brought it up.
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby brothernature0 » 23 Nov 2015, 20:53

Worm - Wildbow
Adult/YA
Currently only available as a web serial, but the author is working on getting it published.

It's a story about superheroes!, but alas it didn't turn out very well for us humans. Might not seem to qualify as a dystopia at first, but then things escalate, and escalate, and then europe is gone.

Pros- one of the best books I've ever read

Cons- Super long.

https://parahumans.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/
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Daniel
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Daniel » 26 Nov 2015, 11:26

Thanks for these suggestions @hacofo and @brothernature0! We're definitely up for things that stretch the definition - look at A Boy and His Dog.
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Shimble_Shambles » 28 Nov 2015, 10:45

The How I Live Now podcast reminded me of a book I read ages ago, Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence. It's written in three short segments each told from the perspective of a different Young Adult protagonist. The final two thirds are a YA dystopian sci-fi, the first segment vividly describes a small British village dying from radioactive fallout. Tis an odd mix.
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Daniel
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Daniel » 30 Nov 2015, 23:54

Thanks @Shimble_Shambles! Sounds like a rough read...
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RoboNixon
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby RoboNixon » 10 Dec 2015, 14:27

I agree about Ready Player One being a good dystopia.

Do the early Wheel of Time books or Lord of the Flies qualify?
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Loonatic1993 » 19 Jan 2016, 16:52

I have a few animes to suggest, and some of them aren't all that "grim-dark" either.

I haven't gone over this thread, so I don't know if someone has suggested "Neon Genesis Evangelion." Seems like a fairly obvious one.

I suppose "Trigun" would be a fairly obvious choice as well.

For a couple options that while are about "post-disaster" (call it post-apocolypitc lite,) but are fairly light hearted and, in my opinion, very fun. I suggest "Martian Succesor Nadesico" which has some dystopic elements, and "Stellvia of the Universe."
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ritchards
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby ritchards » 20 Jan 2016, 00:56

Infinite Revius is a dystopian anime in your wheelhouse... although the translation I watched was rather poor so I don't have a good impression of it.
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A Court of Thorns and Roses

Postby PunkRockZoologist » 20 Jan 2016, 01:35

So, my partner worked as an intern for Bloomsbury Publishing in London for a couple of weeks last year (and I tagged along, best holiday ever), and she helped them work on a book by the American author Sarah J. Maas called A Court of Thorns and Roses. I think it would be really cool for you guys to do this one, as you've done a whole lot of sci-fi dystopia stories, but this one is set in a fantasy world, but is still very post-apocalyptic and dystopic. It is a world where humans are sort of downtrodden, especially on the island in which the first book takes place, and they live in constant fear of the Faeries and the High Fae, who in the past basically treated them like slaves, or cattle, and now their worlds are divided by a magical wall, but the humans still have to deal with eking out a meagre existence, while still fearing that some Faerie (more reminiscent of trolls or bogeymen in this book) will come south of the wall and kidnap them or hunt them for sport etc.
It's very intense and emotional, as all good YA books are, and it also deals with a lot of issues about class struggle and rebellion against an oppressive regime.
I definitely think it would suit this podcast, and my partner got to work on the second book, which isn't out yet, so we know some of the cool stuff that is coming too.
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Daniel
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Daniel » 23 Jan 2016, 04:52

@RoboNixon Lord of the Flies is on my list, even though a bit of a stretch! Thanks!

And thanks for the recommendations @ritchards, @Loonatic1993, and @PunkRockZoologist!
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Malcairad » 27 Jan 2016, 22:56

Titan A. E. or Futurama
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby ritchards » 19 Feb 2016, 22:43

BTW, the opening quotes, for those wondering (at least, according to my findings):

"This is the future, and humanity is all but extinct."
The Host

"First they start skipping proscribed drug dosages. Then they begin touching."
THX 1138

"I volunteer as tribute."
Hunger Games

"You can stop this. You can change things."
The Giver

"I know that there's something more."
The Giver

"Then we've only got one choice. We fight."
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SomeGuyFromRedDeer
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby SomeGuyFromRedDeer » 20 Feb 2016, 10:55

You seem to have enough suggestions to keep yourselves going for a year or two, but I would like to throw one more on the pile.

"Invitation to the Game" by Monica Hughes is about a group of friends who discover that there are no jobs to be had after finishing school, and begin to spend their copious free time training for and participating in a government run virtual reality program.
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Daniel
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Re: Episode suggestions

Postby Daniel » 22 Feb 2016, 11:17

Good work @ritchards!! How did you get all that? I will amend that slightly: that line is from the trailer to THX 1138 (not YA but a terrific low budget dystopia! And the line was perfect.)

Thanks SomeGuyFromRedDeer! I love Monica Hughes. Did you hear our Devil on My Back episode? That book absolutely held up! One of the best that we've done.

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