Utopias are neither as popular nor as frequent as their dark mirror, dystopias. Projecting from today into the future, using the thought experiment of extrapolation (if this goes on …)tends to produce more pessimism than optimism. That is hardly surprising in our perennially anxious times. Nor are vintage utopias palatable to a modern audience: they can contain racism, eugenics, or happily exterminate most of the biosphere (as in Joseph Fraser’s 1889 Melbourne and Mars: My Mysterious Life on Two Planets). What can seem perfection then can read like tedious hell now. Additionally, utopias are not easy to write well, as polemical perfection lacks conflict, tension, the inherent interest of the devil’s party. Some have endured, like Plato’s Republic, but it is certainly less read than The Handmaid’s Tale or 1984.
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