Dyslit Essay

Just in case you thought I’d given up serious blogging to spend all my time trolling (or perhaps trawling) Deviant Art, let it be known that I just wrote a real essay about Literary Things.

It was for Tor.com‘s Dystopia Week (to which I say, ONLY A WEEK?) and was an analysis of why teenagers like tales of dystopia.

The funny thing is, lately everyone wants dystopia essays from me, because dyslit is BIG and I am officially a famous fake expert in how teens think, especially about dystopian fiction, thanks to the whole writing Uglies thing. (Score.)

A snippet:

Teenagers’ lives are constantly defined by rules, and in response they construct their identities through necessary confrontations with authority, large and small. Imagining a world in which those authorities must be destroyed by any means necessary is one way of expanding that game. Imagining a world in which those authorities are utterly gone is another.

It’s little wonder, then, that a lot of YA dyslit embraces both extremes of hyper-control and of chaos, wedding an oppressive government with post-apocalyptic ruin . . .

Click here to read the rest. And then comment here or there with your gentle sledgehammers of correction. Don’t let us fake expert adults define you!

And now . . . back to trolling Deviant Art! Because it’s Fan Art Friday. (Well, not here in Sydney, or even in New York, but somewhere in the world. Like, say, Hawaii.)

Here’s a cutie from strawberrycream17:

I mean, seriously: Awww. Happy times. Check out strawberrycream17’s stuff at DA.

And another quiet moment from Tobuishi, who, after last week’s Fan Art Friday, quite understandably requested that I use a piece of hers that didn’t have the word “boobs” in it:


Click here to see her other stuff at DA.

I love how a lot of fan art and fan fic shows characters doing, you know, sort of nothing. Fan artists like showing the downtime that’s part of everyone’s real life, but doesn’t ever quite get shown in canonical texts, because doing nothing isn’t part of the uber-dramatic Story we authors are telling. Believe me, if we put it in there, editors would probably edit it out!

Fans actually want to see the downtime, though, or at least imagine it, because that makes the characters more real, more like someone you could hang out and do nothing with. So downtime becomes a major theme of the para-literature of fan fic and fan art.

Maybe I’ll save these thoughts for another essay about Literary Things. But you know I’m right.

And speaking of just hanging out, here’s another example, by Irrel, of everyday life aboard the Leviathan:

HAH! GOT YOU! Awkward moment is awkward! (Here’s the source on DA.)

Okay, some fan art is totally dramatic, telling its own fantabulous non-canonical story, or even predicting what will happen in a not-yet-published book like Goliath. This is why writing Serious Essays is a pain, because you have to keep second-guessing yourself.

Awkward, heh.

So for the next Fan Art Friday, let’s do something different. Send me art that’s not regular two-dimensional drawings and such. You know: fan fic, sculpture, cosplay, music, models, video, photography, or whatever else you can come up with or find out in the interwebs.

I’m curious as to how much is out there. And I think we’ve had quite enough of a certain couple’s canoodlings!

See you soon.

62 thoughts on “Dyslit Essay

  1. HA. The fact that you used “trolling” here amuses me greatly, as that’s exactly what I accused you of doing on April first.

    I’d love to see some non-drawing fanwork. EXCITED.

    THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH ALEK/DERYN. NEVER.

  2. It’s Friday here….for another 3 hours, 3 minutes. XD

    And yay! Does a Kneaded Eraser Bovril count for next week? LOL

  3. Let it be known that Scot Westerfeld TROLLS deviantart

    πŸ˜€

    I am suddenly inspired to draw Fan art.

  4. I love the Dystopian Essay.
    And the fanart is all lovely!

    On another note, does there happen to be any Uglies film updates?

  5. OMG!!!!!! I would LOVE to have one of my fanfics up here. I just don’t know how though… It’s on DA. Hmm… What do I do exactly? THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!!! πŸ˜€

  6. “or even predicting what will happen in a not-yet-published book like Goliath” oh my god did I just read that

  7. don’t sweat it. I spend most of my free time on Deviantart too XD

    There seems to be a total overlosad of dystopian fiction in my house, seeing as my sister is studying uglies in class and my grade is focusing on 1984

    Yeah, there has been alot of the “certain couple” lately, but hey i’m not complaining! at least you know what the fans want XD

  8. Scott, I have fan art that is in the form of a photo. I don’t have a DA account. What should I do? Should I send the file via email as an attachment?

  9. Would a picture of an animal we wished you wrote about work? If so, how do we send it to you without creating a deviantart account? You probably already explained this twenty times. Anyways, the made up animal I have a model of(made it myself in two hours of painful hot glue.) is pretty awesome.

  10. Oh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE fanart! πŸ˜€ these rocked and I can’t wait for next week! Eep!

  11. Hey, Scott, I mentioned this at the meetup, but I just wanted to reccomend this link to bascially everyone: http://scalzi.com/whatever/003481.html

    It’s a hilarious description of inbreeding and the Hapsburg line. My favorite part’s the end:
    Clearly, this might never have happened had the Hapsburgs slipped in a commoner now and then, just to set a genetic Roto-Rooter to their chromosomes. Wouldn’t that have been an irony — a few more serfs in the gene pool, and there might yet be a Holy Roman Emperor. The Hapsburgs probably wouldn’t think that was funny. But a sense of humor was not what they bred for, anyway.

    Hint. Hint.

  12. P.S. I finally forced my Harry Potter addict/ anti-Uglies friend to read Uglies. She loves it, and thinks it’s just as good as Harry Potter. Oh yeah!

  13. I produce too many fics to count… and they’re all my babies. But I don’t want to send him all of them… :/ Ah well. He should just link to the whole Leviathan series section of fanfiction.net.

  14. B’aww, thank you! That was barking kind of you. ?

    As far as cosplay goes, could I second the suggestion of this young lady’s Deryn? http://bano–kagi.deviantart.com/art/Deryn-Sharp-199355247 (If she were someday to be cast in the film version, though, Macaulay Culkin would be an absolute necessity as Jaspert.)

    Oh, and I have yet to find a better collection of Leviathan fanfiction than Quite Peculiar. http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5780936/1/Quite_Peculiar I especially like the alternate timeline presented in On The Wire, parts 1-5…if I’m allowed to like something that broke my heart a little. (Thank you for not going that route in canon – that kind of thing belongs in fanfiction, where it doesn’t “count”.)

  15. Well, darn it. That isolated ? was meant to be a heart, but apparently this blog doesn’t recognize nonstandard characters.

    <3, instead, then.

  16. Volger looks like a waiter…. hehe, i can totally imagine Volger as a snooty waiter, at one of those ritzy resteraunts. Y’know?

  17. Hey, does Alek and Deryn burned into my piece of toast by the divine power of God count as fan art? It happened with Elvis…

    Also, if they made a Leviathan film I’d totally suggest Christoph Waltz as Volger. I don’t know about the main two, but Helen Bonham Carter definitely fits the bill for Barlow.

  18. Since we’re talking about a Leviathan movie, I think Tim Burton should be the director, Helena Bonham Carter as Nora Barlow, and Johnny Depp should be Volger. If Matthew Gray Gubler could be worked in there somehow, it would be wonderful. Matthew Gray Gubler is one of my new favorites.

  19. Ooh! I love talking about a possible Leviathan movie.

    Scott said that Allan Cumming wanted to play Volger in the movie. He definitely has the voice down. πŸ™‚

    For Dr. Barlow, I sort of like the idea of Cate Blanchett or Gwyneth Paltrow. I am thinking unknowns for the rest.

  20. Right as I was reading your article I was watching the movie for Battle Royale, it was weird…

  21. just wanna point out Scottsters that us teens youve been talking about never get anuff of THIS certain couples canoodling…. or Clary and Jace….
    and BTW Volger has the sickest mustache in the last picture!!

  22. I swear, I might just painstakingly spend hours attempting to draw Deryn and Alec simply so I can have my work spotted by a deviantART-troll/trawling Scott and put on his blog. Going to do that right now.

  23. I agree with Tobu’s recommendation of “Quite Peculiar.” It’s an absolutely wonderful series, and not half as shippy as the rest of the stuff in the fandom.

  24. I love Volger’s O_O expression in the last picture.

    Off to write some Leviathan fanfiction! Huzzah! (Can I just email it as an attatchment, or does it have to first be published on Fanfiction.net? Or does it not matter at all?)

    And as far as a Leviathan movie…anyone considered anime, instead of live-action? It would be interesting, you have to admit.

  25. HAH! You didn’t get me! Cause I went trolling way before you, so I recognized that one πŸ˜› neenaw. teehee

  26. Oh, I do not believe we could EVER have enough of a certain couple’s canoodling…

    I do not believe in too much of a good thing.

  27. I lent my friend Leviathan.

    She started it today and literally is devouring it. SHE LOVES IT!!! It’s her new ALL TIME FAVORITE!!! πŸ˜€

  28. I knew you were, Scott, but it was all in good fun. Eh, at least (I hope) this series won’t end with a certain pairing of characters (Hint, Hint) getting together. Last book series that ended for me did so, after a 6 month delay…
    I’ll see what I can do for the art. Hm… wonder f I could build the Leviathan in Minecraft. Let’s get crackin’.

  29. I third, or fourth, or whatever the number is now, on Quite Peculiar. Definitely the best series on fanfiction.net for your fandom. πŸ˜‰ Seriously: march. Right now. And go read it.

    As for a movie, I like either live-action or anime. Anime especially if you could get Miyazaki, those he’s probably really busy with his own stuff. Pssh, why should he bother with an American author? xP

    (By the way, yay! This is my first time posting on here! Sad that it took me this long, isn’t it? xP)

  30. I’d love to write a fan fic but I currently have writers block. TYPE YOU CURSED FINGERS! I was looking forward to some more fan art, thet was abit more comical, like the “boobs” one,from last week. HAHA, still makes me laugh. And to have a story related to persons above me, I gave my older sister leviathan……… I didn’t see her for hours, locked in her room she was!

    Also I is desperately studying time traveling, WHY CAN’T SEPTEMBER GET HERE FASTER??!!!!!

  31. Also, I already have most of the soundtrack in my head, stuff like “No Quarter” by Led Zeppelin and “String Quartet from Whiskey Boot Hill” By Neil Young, maybe get a little Richard Thompson in there, like “Uninhabited Man” or something. And if Tom Waits were somehow incorperated, that would add that touch of weirdness, now wouldn’t it? Plus, there’s a great piece from the score to the movie “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” called “A Song for Charley” that never made it in the film but was in the credits. Go YouTube these songs; their amazing!

  32. Also, may I suggest a wonderful little diddy( no, not THAT kind of diddie) by Stevie Ray Vaughan called Lenny that could work real well somewhere…

  33. Ay, Stuggsy here! An ya can’t get rid o’ me, mate, I’m gonna be here for a long fooking time, ya Jerry-Wanker!

    Fook it. Fook you all.

  34. @ Stuggs Do you even have a reason you’re on here, or do you just like being a jerk on innocent people’s blogs?

  35. My excitement for Goliath (and Guildwars 2…) are the only things that are going to pull me through my organic chem final. These little teaser things are torture but I love them!! And thanks for the word cloud tip I may be using that in my future writings πŸ˜€
    And, Stuggs, I’m going to have to second The Joker’s question…

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