Tuesday 10 April 2012

Introducing DEMENTION! A dark and dystopian blogging adventure

by Teri Terry, Julienne Durber and Julie Bertagna
To celebrate the launch of Demention, there is an amazing giveaway, open until May 6! Each of us will nominate a favourite book to include, plus a few of our own. Read on to find out more…
Note: this competition is now closed. Winners are posted below! But please read on....

What is Demention?

A group blog by authors who share a love of the weird and wonderful, the dark, the dystopian. Alternative fiction and all things between. We'd love this blog to be a place for readers, writers and bloggers - all ages, aspiring or established - to share their love of these kinds of stories, post news and reviews, and make Demention an exciting space where ideas and debates can spark and inspire! 
Guest bloggers are welcome; apply here.

Who is Demention?

Teri Terry

Hi! This is me: and there is more on my page. I’m the author of Slated, the first of three futuristic thrillers out in the UK on the 3rd May with Orchard Books, and in early 2013 with Nancy Paulsen Books in the US and Canada.

I got the idea for setting up a group blog like this AGES ago, but it is really when I thought of involving Julienne that it took off. As well as an amazing writer, Julienne is also a designer: he came up with our gorgeous banner and the name Demention. And then we were thrilled that Julie Bertagna wanted to join us!

Why I love both writing and reading dystopian and other Demention fiction: it's all about the What Ifs:

  • What if instead of punishing criminals they could have their memories wiped, and start all over again? What if for one law breaker, Slating didn’t quite work? (Slated)
  • What if teens can be unwound, every part of them kept alive for transplantation, so they aren’t technically ‘dead’? (Unwind)
  • What if the oceans were rising and you had to fight for your future on a changed Earth? (The Exodus Trilogy)
  • What if the planet’s fuel resources have been depleted, and the only way to make energy is by winding it? (Springpunk)
The best advice given to aspiring writers is often this: read, read, read. But I don’t read these kinds of books as homework. To me it is what I love.

For the giveaway, I’ve picked Neil Shusterman’s Unwind as 
my favourite. And I’ve got a signed, shiny, new copy of my novel, Slated: it isn’t published until May 3, so you could be one of the first to have it.

Julienne Durber

Hi. I’m the most experienced designer in Demention, but the least experienced writer. My first novel, Springpunk is … on its way! (watch this space)

My obsession with all things dark and demented, otherworldly and odd began in the pages of 2000AD with the dismally brilliant Nemesis the Warlock and Judge Dredd stories before crawling through both cinema (Bladerunner, Brazil) and the classic dystopias of Brave New World, Farenheit 451 and of course 1984.

The idea of struggle against adversity is the basis of storytelling, and the darker and more sinister the adversity, the more heroic the struggle.

Throw in the paranoid feeling that everyone really is out to get everyone else and that there is nothing anyone can do about it, and each tiny victory is that much sweeter.

As I know my co-conspirators have chosen two modern classics of the genre, my giveaway choice is something different – Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Forget the films and tv adaptations, this is the ultimate in poisoned razorblades hidden within a dark, otherworldly fairy story.

Julie Bertagna

I’m the author of 12 books, young adult and children's, published in 20-something countries around the world. Aurora, the final part of my futuristic Exodus trilogy, is now out and I’m writing my 13th novel (hopefully not unlucky!) set in a very different future, but just as dramatic. You can find more about me on my page.

I loved dystopian stories long before anyone called them that. As a teenager, I loved edgy fiction that left me rattled, set my imagination on fire. Stories with big ideas, futuristic settings where the world was altered - books so powerful they took me right out of myself, and when I finished them my heart ached and my reality felt different. I was full of new feelings, yearnings, perceptions, possibilities...

Powerful stuff, books.

So when I wrote the Exodus trilogy, I was trying to create the kind of story I loved. 

Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses is my choice for the prize giveaway. Though we didn’t know it then, she and I were groundbreakers of a sort - writing YA dystopian fiction, ahead of the trend. It’s a brilliant book that turns the world on its head. I'll also include a signed copy of Exodus, book 1 of my trilogy.

The Demention giveaway!

To enter, follow this blog and leave a comment below. What do you like about dystopian fiction, and if you had to pick one favourite to giveaway like we have done, what would it be? Tweet about the competition and mention that in your comment, and you get an extra entry. The competition closes on May 6 at noon UK time, and is open internationally.
Please note: this competition is now closed. Winners are posted below! Thanks for entering.

The Winners - chosen totally at random - are: (drum roll, please....)
Unwind: Amber
Slated: Hannah
Gulliver's Travels: KM Lockwood
Noughts and Crosses: Nina, Death Books and Tea
Exodus: Scheherazade
Please get in touch on the contact form with your details! We'll try to track you down if we don't hear back, but will pick new winners in a week if necessary. Thanks for entering.

The books: one copy each of Unwind, by Neil Shusterman; a signed copy of Slated, by Teri Terry; Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift; Noughts and Crosses, by Malorie Blackman; and a signed copy of Exodus, by Julie Bertagna.

The details: A winner will be selected for each book using a random number generator, and posted on Demention: they then have a week to contact us with their details so we can post the book before another winner will be chosen. Our favourites weren’t donated by publishers, they are our genuine picks. Good luck!


  1. I can't wait for these to be released in Australia.

    1. Here you go, Chris: you can order Slated in Australia now!

  2. Looks like this'll end up one of my fave blogs...
    Like Teri, my favourite thing about dystopia is the What Ifs- seeing what society authors think up for a strong protagonist to fight against. The more disturbing (Unwind. Battle Royale. THG.) the better for me.
    Tweeted. https://twitter.com/#!/serifinaxxx/status/189612427103571968
    Thank you!
    Nina @ Death Books and Tea

  3. Looking good, Teri, Julienne and Julia - great idea!

  4. brilliant idea, look forward to reading more.

  5. Brilliant blog guys!

    What I like about dystopian fiction is the way it examines the morals and values of its day and explores the paths down which they may lead from the safety of fiction. It gives us a chance to question ourselves.

    I liked Julienne's pick of Gulliver's Travels, one of my favourite books. So I too am going to go for something from the past. Frankenstein. OK I know it's classed Gothic Horror, but surely it is asking the 'What ifs' of its day. And for something a little more recent 'V for Vendetta', I love graphic novel, and just how that is being used to question ourselves in the last 12 months.

    Ok I'm off to tweet about it.

  6. Brilliant blog and a great idea - love the design, Julienne!

    1. Thanks, it was a bit of a purple frenzy ;)

    2. Now, Julienne: whose idea was the purple?

    3. I didn't say it was my purple frenzy ;)

  7. I love dystopian when it challenges us to think about the what if's. How close are we to those what if's and what can stop our society from going down that route. The best dystopian makes you think. It makes you think about the broader picture, and human nature.
    I think my give away would be 1984. But I couldn't really give that away because it's too good. So maybe I would give away The Handmaid's Tale. But I think it's time to re-read that. So perhaps it would have to be Brave New World because I loved the ideas but there wasn't much of a story.
    Great idea for a blog, Teri and the team.

  8. I like the seriousness in the best dark YA - the thoughtful attitude of holding up a distorting mirror to our world and opening up to big ideas.
    I'm not sure if it quite counts but I'd give away Brian Aldiss' 'Frankenstein Unbound' and Chris Priestley's 'Mister Creecher' to bookend Mary Shelley's brilliant work.Drat George for nabbing that one first!
    (Must be the time for new blogs - I've just started 'The Wedding Ghost' on Blogger)

  9. Why "dystopian"? The heroine of my book is a Black Shaman - an assassin, you should hate her and everything she stands for but most people end up loving her sassy, respect-nothing attitude. I live in that world. It's becoming more and more like the one my other half lives in. Tweeting this and following.

  10. A great new blog! Looking forward to reading more!

  11. What if, what if, what if....what a wonderful blog idea. And I love that Gulliver's Travels have been included. My favourite - because it was probably my first, is Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

  12. Love this blog!

    Love Dystopian fiction! Why? Because it makes us realise that maybe the world we live in isn't too bad after all - but we have to be careful! Dystopia could be our future!

    Since 1984 and Brave New World have already been mentioned I'll go with Farenheit 451 by Bradbury and Player Piano by Vonnegut as my favourite dystopias!

  13. Great blog and good luck with it! What I like about dystopian fiction is the battling of teens against the rules of society - only in dystopian these rules are genuinely unjust, not just unjust according to the teens of today. Give 'em something to really complain about!

  14. How exciting! Can't wait to read your ruminations of darkness!

    1. now Candy, to be sure not to miss a single rumination, you need to follow the blog! there is a little blue button conveniently located up the right side :O)

  15. Dystopian is simply awesome and I think Teri's What Ifs completely explained how I love dystopian! One of my alltime favourite dystopian is Divergent by Veronica Roth. It is a very addictive and brilliant book! And The Hunger Games series is also my alltime favourite dystopian series!

    Thank you so much for the giveaway! :)

  16. Great blog idea. I'll be watching the skies!

  17. Great blog!! Can't wait for some demented and dark reading!

  18. Love the idea of a dystopian or 'what if' blog! Will be reading and pondering...

  19. Love the idea of this blog, Teri, will definitely be popping in. Oh, here I am already, see I told you. I rarely read anything other than YA and most of that would be dystopian stuff, like Blood Red Road, which is the stand out for me this year. Although I hear great things about Slated - :)I'm trying to introduce a little more light to the shade with my own stuff, but I do enjoy being in the shadows, and no not because of my hairy nostrils or weeping eye - how dare you! It's always in our darkest hours when life suddenly seems most valued and is not taken for granted and that's what propels dystopia to another level for me.

  20. I've been waiting to read Slated since I first heard of it, it sounds amazing!!! Of course, I'm also looking forward to reading the other books! :D I love the idea behind this blog too!

    I also tweeted the blog as well! https://twitter.com/#!/thegirlinacafe/status/190764213982068737

    1. oh thanks so much Hannah! hope you like Slated - not long now until it launches.
      hint: there may be another giveaway coming up with Slated, soon :O)

  21. It amuses me that ppl think dystopian writing is new, the first one I remember reading is The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, way back when. How do we enter the giveaway?

    1. John Wyndham is a great call! As you've left a comment, you're already half-way there. Just follow the blog (sidebar on the right) and you'll be automatically entered into the giveaway. Good luck!

    2. I really loved The Chrysalids - read in school more years ago that I want to admit - had forgotten about it until you mentioned it, so thanks.

  22. This question is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child! I'm having a really difficult time to pick just *one*, because dystopia makes one of my favorite genres. I think I'd go with Divergent by Veronica Roth. It's one of the books that shows clearest what happens when you try to put people in boxes. It's the fact that it's so eerily believable that intrigues me so much about most dystopian societies: no matter how crazy the dystopian society may be, it's the fact that I can *see* it that I love the most. The 'what if' is another reason why I love it so much - people already have crazy ideas in this time and age, just imagine how crazy their ideas will be when the apacolypse has wiped out (almost) the entire population.

    Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to reading the awesome on this blog! I just got Noughts & Crosses in and am very excited to read it :)

  23. What I like about dystopian fiction is that it asks the big questions and isn't afraid to look for the truth even if this is uncomfortable. For my favourite book...so hard to pick of course butmy current favourite is The Knife of Never Letting Go.

  24. Hey,
    I'm also looking forward to reading the other books!Thanks

    Morocco family tours

  25. What I love about dystopian fiction is the idea that, even as the world has shattered about us, there will still be hope for a future. I guess for a giveaway I would pick Eager by Helen Fox, just because it's a great story. Following this blog. :)

  26. I love the infinite different worlds that can be created in dystopian novels. My favorites are the dystopians with sci-fi or paranormal elements. And my very favorite dystopian novel is Battle Royal.

    tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/Cayce_23/status/196915396270497792

  27. Hi - this competition is now closed. Winners will be sorted soon and post above! Thanks for entering.