Silent Autumn is a finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards competition of the Florida Writers Association in the category of Science Fiction.
I had a lot of fun writing this futurist novel about a young couple who escape the highly controlled post-apocalyptic society to find their way in a seriously population depleted former United States. Their goal is to warn The West, where all the food is grown and processed, about plans for The North East to destroy their leadership and take over their country and it millions of slaves.
They come across several different societal structures along the way, including autocratic, democratic, socialist, and a dictatorship.
The country (called The North) they left controlled emotions and behavior with medicated food. The government monitored all education, forbade mixing of sexes to avoid inadvertent births and proscribed artificial insemination of females starting at age fifteen. Once a female produced two healthy offspring, she attended an occupational training program. Entertainment was provided for everyone.
When entering the contest, I pondered the categories. Someone called it “literary science-fiction,” another said, “dystopian,” yet another said “romance.” I asked around and narrowed the choices down to dystopian and science fiction. I accepted those two definitions for a while, but something bothered me about dystopian, so I looked it up.
"Utopian describes a society that's conceived to be perfect. Dystopian is the exact opposite — it describes an imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible.”