I very much enjoyed reading the various thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post, and following the links to learn more. There seems to be a consensus that utopia itself cannot sustain a dramatic narrative. It can sustain a polemic (as in Bacon’s New Atlantis), but only because a polemic does not require drama.
So if you’re going to create something with dramatic weight, you either need to threaten the utopia (as, for example, Pandora is threatened), or you need to create a society which believes itself to be utopian, but which the reader sees as dystopian, because its core values are alien to our own. A good example of this might be Star Trek’s The Borg.
Alas, dystopian societies are so much easier for dramatists. They practically write themselves! I find myself reminded of something my friend Luke DuBois told me on the morning of this last November 9: “This is going to be great for art.”