So rumors are that this whole teen dystopia thing has almost run its course, just as the whole teen vampire thing did. Who knows what’s next? But before we bid a fond farewell to the genre that gave us The Hunger GamesDivergentMatchedUglies, and the granddaddy of them all (or grandmother, depending if one goes by author or character) — The Giver, how about we raise a glass, or a salute for you teetotalers/under-agers, in honor of those teen dystopias that almost but didn’t quite make it (as few as there were, apparently).

Say, Pockmarked the Stars, where the population is segregated by one’s proclivity to acne, with the worst cases forced into mining far-off planets, until one teen unravels the hypocrisy that lies at the core (or is that pore) of it all — a hidden cache of Clearasil handed out only to the elite. One of whom she loves. She thinks:

Pockmarked the Stars

Pockmarked the Stars

Or maybe Lichen-Crime. For centuries now, or at least years, the government has banned the word “like” from spoken vocabulary, has made it a crime to speak or even write it, even in its oddly bastardized form meant to show the long passage of time. Lessa Tarn has always abided by the rules of her oppressive society. But when an enigmatic dark-eyed dark-haired dark-dressed boy named Dark enters her world, it does not take long for her to commit the first lichen-crime in centuries. Or at least days. And then it begins to spread. Like lichen.

What other wonderful teen dystopias did we miss, readers? Tell us below. The creator of the teen dystopia we like best wins a book from the FanLit Stacks.


  • Bill Capossere

    BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is an English adjunct by day and a writer by night. His essays and stories have appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other literary journals, along with a few anthologies, and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of Best American Essays. His children's work has appeared in several magazines, while his plays have been given stage readings at GEVA Theatre and Bristol Valley Playhouse. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, or teaching, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course or the ultimate frisbee field.

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