In order to clearly and effectively discuss literature, there exists a series of terms that are generally agreed upon. These terms serve as a shorthand when discussing aspects of a written work. They include a list of literary devises, genres, subgenres, and periods during which a work was written. These external structures are an integral part of literary theory and criticism. Occasionally the popular terms and methods of classification fall short, especially when new variants of old themes, or new social ideas, appear in writing. One problem facing literary critics today is the inability to categorize the emerging novels within the current subgenres, especially novels of the New Weird science fiction period, where the complexity of today 's problems are neither solved resulting in a utopia, nor amplified resulting in a dystopia. In these difficult to classify science fictions a new normal, rich with complexity, manifests as an exploration of today’s complexities. A new subgenre to classify these multi-layered, sociological science fiction and speculative fiction texts is necessary. The proposed subgenre provides classification for an evolving portion New Wave and New Weird science fiction literatures but can be retroactively applied to fictions of previous periods and genres. Feminist, Marxist, Ecocritical, and linguistic exploration of three texts, Woman on the Edge of Time, Dies the Fire, and World Made by Hand, show continued evolution of literature, and the birth of the nextopia subgenre.
Marge Piercy’s novel Woman on the Edge of Time is the oldest novel in this selection, Although other novels of the same era are applicable for inclusion in the nextopia subgenre, Piercy’s novel is self-contained...
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...ture, and pacified with a steady diet of mood altering drugs (Piercy 291, 289, 290, 293, 296). Connie visits a woman named Gildina, a middle class prostitute with a two year contract in the future urban center (287). Gildina was a “cartoon of femininity, with a tiny waist, enormous sharp breasts … her stomach was flat, but her hips and buttocks were oversized … she could hardly walk … any minute she might fall over” due to her “ridiculous tiny feet” and modified form (288). The dystopian state of the urban center, in addition to the presence of war, the realities of famine, loss, and grief, and the perpetual suffering of the human race prohibits Woman on the Edge of Time from inclusion in the utopia subgenre. The juxtaposition of the utopian aspects of the Mattapoisett village and the dystopian aspects of the urban center serve as an example of nextopian complexity.
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