Matt Thorne

Troubled Times

The Island of Lost Souls

By

Bloomsbury 384pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

During the long period of Conservative rule from 1979 to 1997, dystopian fiction (especially in science-fiction and comics) was enormously popular. Occasionally there was an ironic set-up where the imagined future fascistic state wasn’t run by a Conservative government but a Labour one, a nihilistic prophecy that suggested there was no way conditions would ever improve. In the last few years, many authors have written novels which seem to imply that this dystopian nightmare is on the verge of becoming reality, with the added horror of a new environmental threat to replace millennial anxiety. (It seems particularly revealing that Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta, one of the finest works in the future-dystopia genre, was finally made into a film this year, twenty-four years after its first appearance in Warrior magazine, and seemed no longer to be set in a fantasy future but in a thinly disguised present.)

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