The Last Girl by Joe Hart

– By J.W. Fox – The highly touted novel The Last Girl has been on my to-read list for a while but always got bumped back. YA dystopias are on the wane and it seemed Joe Hart’s new novel was just the latest in a long line of Hunger Games/Divergent copycats. Sadly, I was right. […]

Thoughtcrime 030: Social Commentary in Science Fiction

Jon and I discuss the prevalence of social commentary and political themes in science fiction and whether it helps or hurts the genre. Movies, TV, and even a few books are covered…


– Paulie Spiceflow – It is hard to understand what the people behind Andron were trying to accomplish. There are all sorts of cryptic lines, symbols, and some sort of hunger games in the middle of it all but nothing is clearly explained. Alec Baldwin and Danny Glover star in this low budget dystopian action […]

Thoughtcrime 027: Mary Sue/Marty Stu Character

  I go solo for this episode to discuss character development, and a common mistake many new authors make: creating a Mary Sue/Marty Stu character.

Is This the End of Young Adult Dystopias?

– By Paulie Spiceflow and Jacob Foxx – One of the biggest box office flops this year was Allegiant, the third installment of a franchise based on an extremely popular young adult novel. It will likely earn less than half than the previous movies in ticket sales and has been almost unanimously shunned by the […]

Speculative Fiction Continues to Tilt Toward Young Adult Readers

– By Jacob Foxx – If you’ve worked in a bookstore the past decade or two, you’ve probably noticed something strange going on in speculative fiction. Publishers are making bank on young adult titles, pushing aside traditional “high-brow” genre fiction. These novels sport younger protagonists, young adult themes, and bend more toward action and away […]

Panem Et Circenses

– Jacob Foxx – In an era of sequels, prequels, reboots, remakes, and retreads, it is important to recognize and appreciate a truly 21st century story. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy has broken countless records and is one of the few successful franchises without a predecessor. According to Scholastic, over 50 million copies of […]

Devil’s Advocate: Was the Empire Really Evil?

– By Jacob Foxx – In science fiction, any entity with the word “empire” or “imperial” in the name, you can bet it is evil. But is that fair? Are empires inherently violent, oppressive, and evil? Today I’ve decided to play devil’s advocate, coming to defense of empire. Technically an empire is a group of […]

Machiavellian Drama Versus the Heroic Epic

– By Jacob Foxx – America is supposed to be the idyllic shining city on the hill, a place beyond the reach of the ruthless realpolitik of Europe. Our destiny is not in the hands of princes and bishops, all vying for power against one another in a tragic game of political strategy. We are […]

Why Does Dystopian Fiction Focus so much on the Young?

– By Jacob Foxx – Popular music has belonged to the youth since MTV. The most popular artists desperately battle for the attention of kids ages 12 to 21, sometimes shamelessly appealing to teenage angst and hormonal overload. Yet it is somewhat surprising to see literature, especially dystopian literature, shift its focus to the youth. […]