The latest photo prompt from the Daily Post is Masterpiece – so naturally the entries thus far include things like architecture, awesome geological features, and smiling children.  Mine is more reflective of my reading habits, which I think is legitimate because the prompt in full reads:

‘No matter where you are (and where you’ve been), I’m certain you’ve stumbled upon something extraordinary: a place that blows your mind; a work of art or object that speaks to you; or even a location or scene that’s special, unusual, or even magical in some way.’

Boom.

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I bloody love a good dystopia, and there are plenty to choose from – but The Handmaid’s Tale is probably my favourite – and may actually have started the whole thing, now I think about it.  I first read it as a teenager and it just tapped into something in my brain, or ‘spoke to me’ if you prefer.  It felt frighteningly plausible, which a lot of these books do – a good dystopia essentially speculates on possible fallout from the introduction of new technology, so is generally grounded in recognisable science and social situations.

The Handmaid’s Tale may have the edge for me because it was my first dystopia, or because of Margaret Atwood‘s prose, or perhaps because of being from the perspective of a female protagonist; comparatively rare given the others I considered photographing were Oryx and Crake (also by Atwood, also awesome, but with a male narrator), Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and 1984 by George Orwell.

I strongly suggest you read them all, and an honourable mention must also go to  The Passage by Justin Cronin, which I read in February this year.  It was never really in the running for this photo because I read it on kindle, which is not as aesthetically interesting as a paper book – but if you like dystopia it’s a damn good read.

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