This week’s TTT has to do with futuristic or historical settings. I’m much more future-thinking than past-thinking, so I decided to go to with the former and evaluate the livability of certain futuristic settings. As it turns out, well, it’s pretty bleak. 😛
Admittedly, my definition of ‘futuristic’ is extremely loose. The following titles are either futuristic in feeling or set in the future—at least as far as I’m aware.
1) Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
Ready Player One calls out the MMORPG gamer in me. I used to play Ragnarok Online, Seal Online and several other MMORPGs when I was young, and DEAR GOD, YES, COME TO MAMA.
PROS: Accessible education! Maybe society has a better chance at attaining equality for everyone? I feel like this book gives a glimpse on how technology, if used correctly, can do wonders for providing education across all ages and social classes.
CONS: Increased risk of obesity because your lives pretty much centre around the computer. And equality or not, still pretty terrible if you’re born poor in the slums.
LIVEABILITY: 7/10. Honestly, I haven’t read this book in a while and can only remember how cool I think the system is so this rating is definitely inaccurate, though.
2) The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Pitching in a number of kids into an area and having them fight to the death? Maybe it’s the dystopian lover in me, but there’s something deliciously horrible about the setting in The Hunger Games.
PROS: If you live in the Capitol, you can dress up however you like and (possibly) not be judged for it. Technically, there’s less gendering.
CONS: Unless your name is Katniss Everdeen, you will most likely die a horrible, violent and untimely death.
LIVEABILITY: 0/10 to 3/10. It really depends on where you are born, the Capitol or one of the dead-end districts, but even then, it’s still pretty bleak.
3) Pokemon – Satoshi Tajiri
I’m not sure if this is actually futuristic but I’m going to go with YEEES because they’ve got healing hubs where pokemons don’t die and you can heal them in seconds. You can’t get more utopian than that. Forget school, I’m going to be a pokemon trainer! 😀
PROS: You can travel around the world as a ten-year-old with your Pokemon buddy, who will protect you and work together with you. Additionally, you get to live out your (okay, my) childhood dreams.
CONS: You can travel around the world as a ten-year-old with your Pokemon buddy, who on the off-chance might decide that you’re food and eat you. Also, there’s technically only one acceptable career path of choice, and it’ll probably be tediously boring after a while.
LIVEABILITY: 7.5/10. This would be really, really fun for a while but there are so many things that can go wrong. More and more people would mistreat Pokemon, and chances are, none of us can stop them the way heroes and heroines in the console games are able to.
4) The Martian – Andy Weir
I’m stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I’m screwed.
PROS: Let’s face it, it’s pretty cool to live on another planet. You are making history!
CONS: It is SO easy to die. SO EASY. And the loneliness—and hopelessness—would probably drive any lesser man to insanity. I’m definitely a lesser man than Watney.
LIVEABILITY: Probably about 1/10. I assume most (all?) of us don’t have that botany knowledge and survival skills that Watney has and therefore could probably last for about, well, 12 seconds.
5) 7 Seeds – Yumi Tamura
So you wake up several hundred (?) years into the future in a capsule and discover that the world has ended, humans wiped off the face of the earth by plagues and natural disasters. Only you (and some other people) have been selected as ~the future~ and must now survive, live and thrive in this new world. It’s back to basics, and you live like cavemen. Except nature is not like you know it and everything is out to get you.
The drawing in 7 Seeds is not for everyone as it’s very old-fashioned, but I really wish more people would read it. Everything is so hopeless! People die all the time! It’s violent and gory and messy and absolutely crazy.
PROS: Let’s not kid ourselves.There are no pros.
CONS: EVERYTHING IS A CON. Everyone you know is dead. These new friends of yours? They might actually be bad and out to kill you. Nature is quite literally man-eating. You will die.
LIVEABILITY: 0/10. Maybe 1/10 if you want to be responsible for the future of the human race. I certainly don’t. GOODBYE.
6) Across the Universe – Beth Revis
Similar to 7 Seeds, except in Across the Universe, you wake up in a spaceship shooting across the universe, taking you (and select others) to a new planet since the earth is dead, and humankind can’t continue there.
PROS: Hell, at least you’re alive when everyone’s dead. And you’re traveling in space; that’s pretty cool. You’re also making history if you succeed.
CONS: The fate of the human race is upon you breeding with others and producing progeny. Also, the new planet may not be 100% habitable. Also, the possibility of aliens. 😦
LIVEABILITY: 1/10. Being in a spaceship for centuries on end, however big it is, is pretty trapping. And does the idea of being stuck in a spaceship with people whose intentions you’re not sure of scare you? It certainly scares me.
7) Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
PROS: Seems like an easy (though meaningless, perhaps) life. You work as you should, socialise as you need, and then go home and watch TV as you’re meant to. Day by day by day.
CONS: Being booklovers, this world would be hell on earth for us. Freedom is essentially non-existent.
LIVEABILITY: 6/10? I imagine it would be pretty acceptable if you were born this way and never knew any better and are happy to follow along. It’s not much of a life in comparison to what we have, but at least you’re not in danger of being murdered unless you, well, rebel.
8) A Sound of Thunder – Ray Bradbury
I can’t mention Bradbury without mentioning my favourite short story of his: A Sound of Thunder. The main character time-travels to the dinosaur age to hunt, because apparently that’s what they do in the future. Unfortunately, he makes a mistake that essentially re-routes the whole course of history.
PROS: Time travel’s pretty cool. I’m not into hunting—dinosaurs or otherwise—but hey, seeing them would be cool too. And scary. And cool.
CONS: You can veeery easily make a mistake and change history, and that change will most likely be bad.
LIVEABILITY: Maybe about 8/10 in the pre-changed future. We don’t get a lot of info of what’s happening, except that time travel’s apparently possible. ?/10 for the new future, though.
9) The Giver – Lois Lowry
Who else read this for school? The Giver remains one of my favourite dystopian settings ever, mostly because it’s quite genius, and Lowry is a good writer. I’ve only read the first one and have no intentions of continuing the trilogy, though.
PROS: Seems like a relatively simple life where you don’t have to make choices. Sure, your freedom might be limited, but I assume there’s comfort in knowing that you’re meant for something and your existence is be useful to society.
CONS: It’s so grey. And you can’t question anything. And you can’t make your own choices.
LIVEABILITY: 6/10. Honestly, Jonas’s parents seem perfectly happy doing what they do, and I assume Jonas would be as well if he hadn’t been assigned as The Receiver.
10) The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.
PROS: I can’t think of anything, honestly. Even if you’re alive, this book is still pretty bleak.
CONS: Aliens, man. Evil aliens. Evil aliens who look human so you can’t actually differentiate between your enemy and your allies. THIS IS A TERRIBLE WORLD TO LIVE IN.
LIVEABILITY: 1/10. I don’t have any survival skills, but at least there are other humans to rely on… if they’re actually humans.
Do you agree with my liveability scores? What futuristic setting would you definitely NOT want to live in? Alternatively, what’s on your TTT this week? Let me know in the comments and link me to your post! ❤