On Utopias

Utopias are never meant to be, they’re ideal fantasies. The name even says it. Coined by Sir Thomas More from Greek it literally translates as “no-place”. Of course the word’s meaning has changed a bit in the five centuries since he came up with it, but the implication is still the same.

So writing a series about how a utopia comes about certainly poses some challenges. Setting it in the future certainly helps to a degree, but the rest come down to what the utopia is, how to make it believable.

Reading the Culture novels by Iain M Banks, with its post-scarcity Utopian society, I always wanted to know how it came to be. Especially with much of the political going-on’s of the past few years, imagining how a society might evolve into something that would be better for everyone is appealing. It is the slightly bonkers challenge I’ve set myself with these books.

Of course the fictional society that the books will end up showing won’t be a true Utopia, that’s sort of the point of them, instead it will be depicting a society that could be considered Utopain. A society where people never lack for shelter, food or water. A society built on the principles of democracy and equality.

The point of these books is going to be reflecting the real world and some of the issues we face to do and show a society moving beyond that. Spoilers I suppose, but not really as the story is about the journey and the destination.