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View Full Version : Fiction books that would give this world a bad name.



evila_elf
09-26-2011, 09:30 AM
Okay. Doing some research for my next NaNo novel.

Basically, we have been wiped out and a new group of people/creatures has taken our place (this will be a fantasy YA book, if that makes any difference). The only thing that remains of our 'history' are several books. Only they aren't nonfiction, but regular fiction books that are mistaken to real life stuff.

The books need to be ones that most people would at least know the subject/recognize the titles.

I was thinking Planet of the Apes or Animal Farm, though I have not read either. Does Animal Farm paint humans badly? or does it just have animals in it?

Don't need books about wars (as that is not a new concept to these people), but more like the whole planet is jacked up and deserved to be destroyed. Maybe even some scifi stuff, so this collection of books can be gathered from the same person (and so our society seems way more advanced than it was).

Umm...does that make sense to anyone? :D

TLPhillps
09-26-2011, 09:35 AM
Wait what? You want to write about a civilization where they emulate what they read in fiction books?

evila_elf
09-26-2011, 10:29 AM
Wait what? You want to write about a civilization where they emulate what they read in fiction books?

Guess more details are needed.

They are recolonizing the Earth from a few survivors left here. Several hundred years pass, so the generations don't know much of what happened, and then some books are found. These books are looked upon as the 'history' of the past generations that were wiped out. They know nothing of how the people really were except for the books. They aren't trying to recreate anything.

As with just about every group of people, there are going to be wars and battles fought, so what is in the books they find need to be more...shock value.

Does that make more sense?

Cath
09-26-2011, 02:19 PM
Try googling 'dystopian novels' you'll get more than you'll know how to deal with.

goldmund
09-26-2011, 02:29 PM
Animal Farm has very little to do with humans as far as the plot is concerned (outside of the whole metaphor, of course). Taken on a literary level, it's a book against pigs.

The first fiction book that gives this world a bad name that sprung to my mind is Mein Kampf, actually.

DrZoidberg
09-26-2011, 04:05 PM
The Bible (especially Old Testament) paints a pretty grim picture of humanity.

But you probably don't want to go there.

crunchyblanket
09-26-2011, 04:30 PM
You could always look at some Ayn Rand...

DeleyanLee
09-26-2011, 04:49 PM
I was thinking Danielle Steele, personally.

evila_elf
09-26-2011, 05:06 PM
The Bible (especially Old Testament) paints a pretty grim picture of humanity.

But you probably don't want to go there.

Steering well and truly clear of that! ;)

evila_elf
09-26-2011, 05:06 PM
I was thinking Danielle Steele, personally.

I haven't read her, but I know the genre a little. How does she apply?

ULTRAGOTHA
09-26-2011, 05:56 PM
The Gor books by Norman.

DeleyanLee
09-26-2011, 06:02 PM
I haven't read her, but I know the genre a little. How does she apply?

The books of hers I'm familiar with are a very 70's-80's view of the world, with all the subtle and not-so-subtle -isms that our culture has grown out of since then--plus lots of sex.

Interesting take on a world you're rebuilding, isn't it?

Cyia
09-26-2011, 06:29 PM
Definitely look up some dystopians.

Imagine if a future generation thought the Hunger Games were a real past fixture, or that zombies had infected the planet with a disease to make the dead walk and gorge on brains. The Handmaid's Tale would be another good one.

Throw in some Dickens or other poverty-heavy books about sad, downtrodden orphans.

Diet books or those about exercise crazes could be scary if people assumed they were the norm for food intake and activity.

Alice in Wonderland could freak someone out, if they didn't know it was fiction. Ditto Lord of the Rings, if they took it as an actual account of history.

Lord of the Flies

Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, (basically anything monster related)

lbender
09-26-2011, 07:32 PM
1984, The Time Machine (with Morlocks), Barbara Hambly's Darwath Trilogy - (most of humanity wiped out - very dark).

FabricatedParadise
09-26-2011, 07:41 PM
Clockwork orange?

Drachen Jager
09-26-2011, 08:42 PM
Lord of the Flies, The Postman, The Road, Misery, Blindness and Stranger in a Strange Land.

Those are a few off the top of my head.

Devil Ledbetter
09-26-2011, 10:50 PM
Animal Farm has very little to do with humans as far as the plot is concerned (outside of the whole metaphor, of course). Taken on a literary level, it's a book against pigs.

Taken on a literal level, it's against pigs. On a literary level, it's against communism.

virtue_summer
09-26-2011, 11:27 PM
Well, what novels have you read that you thought depicted the worst sides of humanity? I'd use those. That said, the apathy portrayed in Fahrenheit 451, which is way too real to begin with, spooks me.

Lastly, please read whatever books you decide to reference. Focusing a story around someone interpreting Animal Farm as real, for instance, if you've never read Animal Farm is putting far more work on yourself than is necessary.

Lillie
09-26-2011, 11:59 PM
American Psycho

evila_elf
09-27-2011, 12:01 AM
Well, what novels have you read that you thought depicted the worst sides of humanity? I'd use those. That said, the apathy portrayed in Fahrenheit 451, which is way too real to begin with, spooks me.

Lastly, please read whatever books you decide to reference. Focusing a story around someone interpreting Animal Farm as real, for instance, if you've never read Animal Farm is putting far more work on yourself than is necessary.

Only thing is, most of the books I have read aren't too well known. I want to try as much as possible to keep the reader from having to look up whatever books I use.

I don't plan on getting too heavy with the descriptions of the books in the story. But the new race of people have developed these bad feelings toward the people who came before them because of all these things they have read.


Thanks to everyone for the suggestions of titles! I hadn't been really planning on doing fantasy ie Tolkien, but now I am getting an idea for it...

Planning stories is fun, ne?

Selcaby
09-27-2011, 01:46 AM
Can they be more realistic books? How about something like The Grapes of Wrath? It paints a very unflattering picture of a quite small area -- they might assume the whole planet was like that.

Uncle Tom's Cabin, too. Depends how badly misled you want your characters to be.

evila_elf
09-27-2011, 02:57 AM
Can they be more realistic books? How about something like The Grapes of Wrath? It paints a very unflattering picture of a quite small area -- they might assume the whole planet was like that.

Uncle Tom's Cabin, too. Depends how badly misled you want your characters to be.

I was originally going to go for more realistic books. But this new society is going to have some level of magic going on, so if I use fantasy books, that could have led to them mastering how to do some of this stuff.

So many choices.... :D

Snick
09-27-2011, 03:28 AM
I can't remeber who wrote it, but there was a small series about a diplomat on a planet where the "intelligent" species believes everything that it reads. An eearly expedition left some westerns, so when the main character crash landed there, he met some characters herding animals and tryinf to wipe out the other intelligent species , a bunch of nasty reptiles.

As a general matter, you could select any genre of fiction as the thing that would corrupt the returnees. If someone doesn't know, then the fiction becomes fact. I knew a guy from Niger who was afraid that he would be shot as soon as he landed in the U.D., because he had seen and read crime fiction. If you are going for humor, then have them take to Romances. If you are going for tradegy, the use crime fiction.

skylark
09-27-2011, 10:35 AM
Seconding the Gor books. And 1984 would be a whole lot more unpleasant to emulate than Animal Farm.

You are going to have to read whatever you use, though, and probably before you do too much of the planning. And (you'll hate me for this, given what a timewaster it is) maybe go look at one of those "tropes" websites and see what it is that's considered a memorable stereotype now? That might be most likely to be what someone in the future would pick up on.

goldmund
09-27-2011, 12:07 PM
Taken on a literal level, it's against pigs. On a literary level, it's against communism.

That's what I hoped the forum would give me! :-D
Cheers, mate.

DrZoidberg
09-27-2011, 12:53 PM
I can't remeber who wrote it, but there was a small series about a diplomat on a planet where the "intelligent" species believes everything that it reads. An eearly expedition left some westerns, so when the main character crash landed there, he met some characters herding animals and tryinf to wipe out the other intelligent species , a bunch of nasty reptiles.

As a general matter, you could select any genre of fiction as the thing that would corrupt the returnees. If someone doesn't know, then the fiction becomes fact. I knew a guy from Niger who was afraid that he would be shot as soon as he landed in the U.D., because he had seen and read crime fiction. If you are going for humor, then have them take to Romances. If you are going for tradegy, the use crime fiction.

The movie Space Quest is a bit like that. But for Star Trek fans. That movie is pure genius, assuming you also like Star Trek.

Jimayo
09-28-2011, 06:45 AM
The Running Man, The Long Walk, and Rage all spring to mind.

jaksen
09-29-2011, 03:48 AM
So basically, they mistake fiction for reality?

In that case, Twilight.

:D

Buffysquirrel
10-01-2011, 05:09 PM
After hundreds of years, they wouldn't be able to read the books.

Bereheath
10-01-2011, 05:28 PM
Well, I'd have gone for the Bible as well, and wouldn't be squeamish about it. And while you're at it, place most other major religions on the same pile, as well as a couple of lesser ones and a large number of sects/cults.

Also every propaganda book, hate campaign and pamphlet out there. Loads of that around.

froley
10-02-2011, 12:00 PM
The movie Space Quest is a bit like that. But for Star Trek fans. That movie is pure genius, assuming you also like Star Trek.

You mean Galaxy Quest?

And yes, for me the ultimate condemnation would be discovering religious texts of any kind. With the possible exception of extreme Jainism.

JSDR
10-02-2011, 06:51 PM
I was also going to say Clockwork Orange but Fabricated beat me to it!

Sidenote: I once saw a picture book from a future/alien's point of view depicting what they thought we used common objects for. ie - they unearthed an old motel and they thought we used toilets as altars of worship due to the number of skeletons they found kneeling in front of them... lol....

Stlight
10-02-2011, 10:54 PM
I can't remeber who wrote it, but there was a small series about a diplomat on a planet where the "intelligent" species believes everything that it reads. An eearly expedition left some westerns, so when the main character crash landed there, he met some characters herding animals and tryinf to wipe out the other intelligent species , a bunch of nasty reptiles.

.

That would be Earthman's Burden by Poul Anderson and Gordon A Dickson. They did a second book Hoka about the same people. Hoka was the name of the species. The species looked like teddy bears. Different groups/countries were given different books producing different cultures - a Regency England and a Victorian England on differnt islands. You might enjoy the books if you can find them. They were meant to be amusing.

As snick said the Teddy bears almost finish off the lizard species. The humans accidently help.

Cath
10-03-2011, 01:29 AM
Pretty much any kids books - think 'Where the Wild Things Are' or anything by Roald Dahl.

mirandashell
10-03-2011, 01:47 AM
Someone did write a story about aliens finding some Disney films of Donald Duck and thinking that how humans were......

Any propaganda would be good for your purpose.

Buffysquirrel
10-03-2011, 02:09 AM
Someone did write a story about aliens finding some Disney films of Donald Duck and thinking that how humans were......

That's Arthur C. Clarke's History Lesson.

mirandashell
10-03-2011, 02:14 AM
That's Arthur C. Clarke's History Lesson.


Ah! Thank you.



I must get that one. I know of the story but I've never read it. And I do like Clarke.

Nugus
10-03-2011, 05:11 AM
That's Arthur C. Clarke's History Lesson.

You beat me to it!
I think that's a brilliant story - it's not about the content of what they aliens find, but rather how they interpret it. It doesn't have to be dystopian novels, anything could paint humans in a bad light as long as it is different from there own society.
Arthur C Clarke once famously said - "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." That's perhaps what you're looking for - the interpretation of your people in context of our society.
Hope that helps.

Tedashii
10-03-2011, 05:49 AM
Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Makes them seem like huge nerdy pissoffs those humans.

Also, Percy Jackson, a bit of James Patterson, and some Twilight as the coup de grace.

kuwisdelu
10-03-2011, 07:40 AM
Any literary novel.

We who like them tend to be judgmental, cynical bastards.