Is Detroit a dystopian novel?

dystopian Detroit

And so today’s random question is why would a Detroit writer have any interest in writing science fiction? Because, after all, there is more than enough real world strangeness going on in this city on a regular basis to fill countless volumes stretching from here to the horizon. No not that  horizon, the other one.

But, see, that’s the thing. It’s specifically because there are so many unusually unusual things about this city  I love that makes it the perfect environment to stretch your imagination to the breaking point. Because science fiction, as I said in an earlier post, is all about the ‘what if’. It’s the ‘what if’ that takes you down the road to the ‘holy….’, and so forth. And in Detroit, we’ve pretty much seen it all, so it takes quite a bit to shock a Detroiter because what we consider normal is pretty much sci fi to the rest of the world.

You think I’m stretching things? Check out the meaning of ‘dystopian’ in the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


noun (ˌ)dis-ˈtō-pē-ə

: an imaginary place where people are unhappy and usually afraid because they are not treated fairly

Full Definition of DYSTOPIA
:  an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives

For those familiar with science fiction, you already know that dystopia, which is essentially the ugly flip side of utopia, or the ‘anti-utopia’ – is a critical ingredient to many sci fi tales. And to those of us familiar with Detroit, I mean damn. If that doesn’t sound like certain elements of home then what does? Not that this in any way defines us in total as a city, because Detroit is simply too many things, but God knows this definition has got to ring a bell. In the popular imagination, and in some ways for real, Detroit is one big dystopian novel. It is a story waiting to be told in so many different ways that the headlines simply can’t address. Aren’t even trying to address.

This is gonna be fun…

Share Button
Share this:
About the author
Writer and musician.

No comments so far!

Leave a Comment

This site is using the Seo Wizard plugin created by
happy wheels