Tuesday 21 May 2013


Here at Demention we're packing our bags and our books (but hopefully not our wellies) for the Hay Book Festival (Friday May 31st 5.30pm) and the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Wed 21st August am & pm) for DARK, DANGEROUS & DYSTOPIAN debates. Come and meet us - we’d love you to join in. Here’s a taster of what we’re all about...


A boy and girl, oceans apart, fates entwined, fight for a future in a flooded world. 

Julie says, ‘An SOS from islanders at the mercy of rising seas on the other side of the world sparked Exodus, Zenith and Aurora. I kept thinking, what if that happens to us? How would we cope in a climate-changed world? So I began an apocalyptic tale of young survivors on a storm-ravaged Earth.

I set my story 100 years in the future - then climate change kicked in for real, affecting millions. The floods, tornadoes and storms are unnervingly close to my imagined world. Published in over 20 countries, I love that they’ve made lots of shortlists and won awards (even Green awards in the UK & US) but the most brilliant thing for me is that young readers across the world write and tell me how the books have made them think about the future - though some teachers and librarians in the USA have blasted them as too dangerous...’  
Why do we enjoy dystopian and apocalyptic stories when the real world is scary enough? Are they a thrilling escape? Dangerous? Can they inspire hope and change? 



Imagine you’ve been SLATED - your memory wiped clean and you don’t know why. 

Teri says, ‘Slated grew from a dream in the dark murk of my unconscious, so it wasn't a plan to write a dystopian novel at all. But I think I end up writing about my obsessions, things that worry me. Whether I want to, or not. I didn't set out to consider big questions, but the story took me places, and the questions were there.’

If a young person commits a terrible, violent crime, why did they do it? Are people born bad, or made that way? If someone commits a crime as a reaction to horrible things that have happened to them, is it their fault? Should they even be punished? But if they are dangerous to everyone else, you can't just let them go...


In a society divided into Pures and Crazies, a DNA test can destroy your life forever.  

Claire says, ‘I don’t write to be controversial, but I do hope to make readers think. My debut novel The Glimpse addresses mental health issues from a rather different dynamic than is more common in fiction. Some readers have completely embraced and understood the book in the way I intended, but interpretations have been wide and in some cases very surprising. 

I didn’t set out to be provocative. I just wanted to write about a subject that concerns me deeply – the direction western society is headed in terms of the perception, diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems. I’m not a particularly confrontational person, but I could easily end up having a heated debate about a pint of milk...' 
Are dystopias so popular because they take risks, exploring all kinds of possible futures in challenging ways? Should there be boundaries in YA fiction? How far dare authors go?

From the Hay Festival Programme...book here:

‘Claire Merle’s The Glimpse was welcomed as a grippingly readable and deeply unsettling British dystopian thriller. Her new book The Fall will be out in June. Claire’s website
Teri Terry’s Slated, a dark psychological thriller, was published to great acclaim last year and has now been followed by the engrossing, fast paced Fractured. Teri’s website

Julie Bertagna’s award-winning Exodus is a brilliantly imagined story of love and survival in a climate-changed world. Zenith and Aurora complete this highly-acclaimed, classic dystopian trilogy.’ Julie’s website

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