Sunday 20 March 2011

Booking Through Thursday.

It's been sometime since I have taken part in this. In fact it's been a few years and another blog ago. I miss it and I came across a reference that made me think of it again. Having a book blog gives me the excuse I need to take part again. I was actually in two minds whether or not to start this week. It's a serious subject and I wasn't sure I wanted that for my first foray back into the meme. However, it did get me to thinking and I wrote a reply in my journal. Having thought it over I decided to post it after all.

The news has been horrifying and addictive this week, with catastrophe piled on catastrophe, to a degree that–if I had read this in a book or seen it in a movie–I’d be protesting that it was just too unlikely, too farfetched.
But, topics for novels get ripped from the headlines all the time. Or real-life events remind you of fiction (whether “believable” or not) that you’ve read but never expected to see. Or real life comes up with an event so unbelievable that it stretches you sense of reality.
Hmm … I can’t quite come up with an outright question to ask, but thinking about the theory of fiction and how it can affect and be affected by real world events can act as a buffer between the horrific events on the news and having to actually face that horror. So … what happens when the line between fiction and reality becomes all-too slim? Discuss!
Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

This all of course depends on what you read. I can safely say that the bulk of what I have read in the last couple of years wouldn't become a reality. I don't see many werewolves or vampires making the news.

However, I do love dystopia novels as I have mentioned a couple of posts ago. I think in most of these cases (ignoring a few YA dystopia novels) it's a warning. Authors are looking around them and they don't like what they see. So they write "this is what could happen if we aren't careful". Of course they write about the worst case scenario and they are meant to scare and waken us all up.

In most cases such as Asimov, Orwell and Atwood people no longer think for themselves. They live under threat if they do no comply. I am pretty sure we see instances of this every day in our own lives or on the news. In each of these instances it's the fault of mankind. We allowed it to happen. In reality many readers will come away worrying about it. How often have you heard 'big brother is watching' and not in terms of the reality show?

This question of course relates to the events over the last few weeks which is all the more scarier since mother nature is to blame. How can we combat that? Who do we rise up against? Did we cause this? Of course that last question could lead on to even more discussions. Really though there is no one to fight. How can you fight an earthquake? So we all feel a sense of helplessness and send aid.

There have been so many of these large catastrophes lately that it does seem almost like fiction is becoming reality. The only books that I can think of that come close though is a series by Kim Stanley Robinson. Very much like "Day After Tomorrow". We have damaged our planet and ignored all the signs and it then fights back. Sadly I don't know how it turned out as I only read the first book. I have a feeling it didn't turn out well.

Moving away from that other than the dystopia books I can't think of any I have read where life imitates art. I was a huge science fiction fan years ago (I still enjoy it now and then) and I am sure that there are many things from those that have come to be a reality. I am sure I remember reading Arthur C. Clarke had predicted a few things correctly. My reading of these books though was so long ago that I couldn't give specifics but I am sure they related mainly to technology rather than current events.

Now my favourite books tend to be based on past events. Authors take the history of a place and integrate it into their novel. "New York" by Edward Rutherford is a prime example and was one of my favourite books last year. I learn a lot from these types of books and whilst they might not be quite as scary they do occasionally shock.

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