Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guest Post: Christine Seifert's Top Ten Dystopian Novels (The Predicteds)

Hi. I’m Christine Seifert, author of The Predicteds. When I’m not writing, you’ll probably find me at my day job as a professor at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, where I teach classes in rhetoric and professional writing.

Here are eleven other things about me:

11. I have a PhD in English.
10. I’m terrified of bees.
9. I’m represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group.
8. I’m from Fargo, North Dakota, and I used to have the tell-tale Fargo accent until people mocked me.
7. I’m on a bowling league, but I’m a terrible bowler.
6. I go nuts if I can’t read every single day for at least a few minutes.
5. I’ve published articles about both Twilight and the Jersey Shore.
4. Popcorn is my favorite food. I’d eat it every day if I could. (Let’s be honest: I do eat it almost every day).
3. I abhor large social events because I’m shy and fairly introverted. Having to go to a big party is the worst thing I can imagine.
2. I would walk everywhere if I could. I love to walk.
1. I think Saved by the Bell is an underrated show.

Christine's Favorite Dystopian Novels 

I’m glad to see the resurgence of dystopian novels lately. Who wants to read those pie-in-the-sky utopian novels, right? It’s much more fun to think of a totally messed-up future than to think about one filled with unicorns and rainbows. For whatever reason, we seem to be attracted to thinking about our potential dark sides.

One of the reasons I love dystopian narratives so much is that they remind me that things could always be a lot worse. So here’s my top ten favorite dystopians and the reasons why I wouldn’t want to live in those worlds (even though the books are terrific):

10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano—I’d make a rotten polygamist wife. As soon as I figured out how to get my sister wives to do all the cooking and cleaning, I’d willingly give up all rights to the husband in return.

9. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta—This one’s a bit of a cheat because I haven’t read it yet, but it’s high on my list. Post-rapture living could be pretty depressing, especially when you’re among the ones left on Earth.

8. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury—Any world where they burn books is not a world I want to live in.

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry— Dying before I can qualify for a senior discount is a real downer. I’m seriously waiting for the day when I can take advantage of all those sweet elderly deals.

6. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood—There’s no way I can live without my Kindle and air-conditioning. This world isn’t going to work for me.

5. Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle—Yeah, it sounds great…until the apes cage us. This is why we must be nice to animals.

4. The Uglies by Scott Westerfield—Being pretty—without a lot of work—sounds p good, but I suspect we’d all miss our bad hair days. How can we appreciate beauty without a pimple or two and a crossed-eye or something?

3. 1984 by George Orwell—There’s no way I could function in a world this controlled. I’d never be able to follow all those rules.

2. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins—Katniss has some sweet skills; I, however, would be in trouble if my name was drawn to fight in the games. Ten minutes in the ring with some of those kids, and I’d be crying for my mommy.

1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood—I can’t imagine living in a world where my sole job could be giving birth to babies for gross old theocrats. Ick. This is the book that taught me why feminism matters. Plus, I look terrible in capes.

My debut novel, The Predicteds, isn’t technically a dystopian novel; it’s more like a prequel to a dystopian world. It explores the very cusp of a technological change that will potentially have far-reaching effects, depending on how people respond. In the world of The Predicteds, scientists have invented a computer program called PROFILE that can predict a teenager’s propensity for violence. While the characters in the novel tentatively open their lives to PROFILE, we have to wonder how that little opening—the acceptance of something so dangerous—can forever change the world for years to come.

The Predicteds takes place on the very edge of what could become a dystopian world, one that may not be so far away. Now that’s scary.

For more on this author, please visit:

The Predicteds by Christine Seifert

Hitting shelves TODAY!

Your future is not your own...

"We wanted to know what makes a good kid good and a bad kid bad. Can you blame us for that? We found an astoundingly, marvelously simple answer: The brain isn't so much a complicated machine as it is a crystal ball. If you look into it, you will see everything you want to know."
-Dr. Mark Miliken, senior researcher at Utopia Laboratories

Who will it be?
Will the head cheerleader get pregnant?
Is the student council president a secret drug addict?

The whole school is freaking out about PROFILE, an experimental program that can predict students' future behavior.
The only question Daphne wants answered is whether Jesse will ask her out...but he's a Predicted, and there's something about his future he's not telling her.

Thanks so much to Christine for stopping by! I totally agree with her YA dystopian picks -- but I'm ashamed of how few of the classics I've read. I need to get on that! I'm currently reading and enjoying The Predicteds, and will be reviewing it soon -- keep an eye out!

Part of Teen Book Scene tours.


basma aal said...

I really like this blog post. very interesting. Looking forward to this book.

Lauren M said...

I completely agree! There are some I haven't read (like The Handmaid's Tale--why haven't I read that yet!?), but I agree with the ones I have. Fantastic picks! I also like how Christine is open about how The Predicteds might not be a total dystopia. :)

Jan von Harz said...

I just read a wonderful review of this book and am really excited about reading it. I loved Christine's list of dystopian novels and have read several of them and concur. Thanks for the post, I am ordering this today!

SweetestLittleBookworm said...

This post was really fun! :)


Anonymous said...

Great list... I've read a few... I absolutely love The Giver. That's definitely one of my favorites :)

I can't wait to check out The Predicteds :)

lisa [the nerd] said...

ORYX AND CRAKE! that was my first dystopian novel, and still one of my faves. so happy it made it to your list! <3

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

@Lauren M -- Yeah, after reading it I can see what she means. It's kind of scifi/contemporary/dystopia -- a really interesting combo! I also haven't read The Handmaid's Tale (fail). I know it's a classic, but I find stories about sexual oppression the most disturbing and I'm not sure I want to go there mentally. Hmmm.

@Jan -- I hope you enjoy the book!

@Ali -- The Giver is a definite classic. I can't believe I didn't read that one before I was 18!

@lisa -- I was totally unaware that Margaret Atwood had done others besides The Handmaid's Tale before this post! I'm going to have to investigate now. =)

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