Category Archives: Dystopia from the Rock

What are your favorite Dystopian stories? | Ask the Authors

With submissions pouring in for our upcoming Dystopia from the Rock anthology, we thought it would be a great time to ask our existing stable of novelists: what are your favorite Dystopian novels?


Ellen CurtisEllen Curtis, author of Infinity and From the Rock editor: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, because it showcases how society struggles against willful ignorance and vice when those are presented as the easy options. Other recommended content: A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood for one of the most chilling pieces of dystopian writing, and Stepford Wives, because f**k man, striving for utopia in tiny doses is still terrifying. Continue reading What are your favorite Dystopian stories? | Ask the Authors

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Tips for Writing Different Genres

Last week Engen announced their next anthology – Dystopia From the Rock. This genre isn’t as widely known as their previous anthologies (I know I did a double-take), but don’t fear!  If you’ve never written dystopian before, you’ve got until October 31 to learn how!

Today I’ll be offering some tips on how I write strange-to-me genres. Although I mostly stick to Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Fiction, I’m not against branching out.  If I have an idea for a story, I’ll chase it wherever it’ll take me.

What follows are some of the steps I take to get myself into the mind-set of a new genre (and that I will surely be using when I try to write something dystopian):

  Continue reading Tips for Writing Different Genres

“What is Dystopia?” | Dystopia from the Rock

This week, Engen Books announced its 2019 call for submissions and focused in on Dystopia as the genre of choice for their anthology collection. As Dystopia is slightly separate from the ‘Big Three’ genres we’ve explored to far (Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror), we thought it would be appropriate to ask the question: “What is Dystopia?”

The word Dystopia comes from Greek heritage, where it means a society or community that is undesirable or frightening. Directly translated it means ‘not a good place’ and is used as an opposite for Utopia. In fact, many successful Dystopian stories use elements of both Utopia and Dystopia, in which a seemingly-Utopian society is revealed to be Dystopian for those of a lesser class. For a great example of this, see the 2005 Micheal Bay film, The Island description.

Dystopian stories are often allegorical. They have a hard time not being so, as depicting what we imagine to be a troubled future cannot help but have some reflection on how the author — and the reader — views the present. Dystopian novels seem to often start with the goal of answering the question: “If we continue down X path, how bad could things get?” A common hallmark of dystopian stories is that often enough time has passed that the protagonists cannot directly remember what the world was like before or were not present for the changed, making a society so different from our own that it may as well be alien.

Continue reading for some great examples to read to prep for writing your own Dystopian epic!

Continue reading “What is Dystopia?” | Dystopia from the Rock

Call for Dystopian Submissions!

Over the last three years, the From the Rock series has become one of the preeminent anthology series’ in Atlantic Canada. We have been home to some amazing established talent and helped some new authors break through that have gone on to dominate their fields, becoming genre bestsellers in their own right. From the Rock is a title readers consistently ask for, review well, and a great way for avid readers to get introduced to indie talent they might find interesting.

And this year, we’re doing it again! Continue reading Call for Dystopian Submissions!