Investigated – What happens to/in the rest of world in dystopians set in the USA?

Posted August 10, 2015 by Emily in Investigated / 2 Comments


I can say without a doubt that fantasy and dystopains are my two favorite genres. So, obviously I read a lot of dystopians. And living in the United States, reading books written by American authors, a lot of them are set in the US. Which is fine and everything in most books of other genres. For example, why would I care about Spain (no offense, Spain) if a book is a contemporary centered around an American high school?

But I think dystopians are a bit different. I mean if something was to happen to cause the end of the world as we know it and the story only takes place in the US, I want to know what is happening in the rest of the world. Is the dystopian/fantasy (because let’s honest, those two genres go hand in hand) isolated and purely going on in the US. Or has the disease or whatever caused it to be a dystopian world, spread to other countries too?

Most of the time, I don’t really notice the mentions (or really the lack thereof) of other countries and what’s going with them when I read. And I understand that from an author’s perspective, it usually doesn’t matter. And if it isn’t that important, why bother trying to think of someway to explain what is happening/happened around the world. However sometimes things in the story make me question the omission. If there is a huge freaking disease that’s affecting the US, what are the other countries doing? Are they affected too? Are they helping out? If not, why not? WHAT IS GOING ON WITH/IN THEM?

Usually the way the story is written, the answer is that somehow the US is the only country in the whole wide world that manged to survive whatever apocalypse is in the story. Which is absurd. Because no matter how much I love America, it really isn’t that great (read: great enough to be the only survivor). But that’s what it seems like in most dystopians. Sigh. Well, that or the other countries don’t care and are not helping. They can’t hate us that much right? Right?

What do you think happens to/in the rest of the world in dystpians that are set in America?
Does it bother you that other countries are not mentioned?



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2 responses to “Investigated – What happens to/in the rest of world in dystopians set in the USA?

  1. You know, I never even really thought about it. I bet I will when I read another dystopian, though! xD It’s so true, what is going on with the rest of the world? What happens to the rest of the world? Or to the processes that are kind of important, like waste disposal, planes, power, water. I know it simply turns off in some stories, but what happens to the waste that was already there? That may be weird, but my husband is in the water treatment field so I think about it xD