What is this?
Dispatches From Dystopia is a newsletter about surviving and transcending dystopia. We start by acknowledging the current global crisis for what it is, and from that vantage point we can commit to realigning with truth and good principles.
This publication, originally called Technate 2051, began in spring of 2021 as a way for me to publish chapters of my dystopian novel of the same name, as well as essays about real-world dystopia. Through theme and subject matter, my novel and most of my early essays sought to warn against the threat, in hopes that the looming disaster could perhaps be averted. But as our present dystopia evolved and it became clear that there was no way out of the crisis but through it, I realized the need for solutions-oriented content and community. I temporarily set aside the novel, at first out frustration with the writing process, and then because the helpful solution-oriented content felt more timely and urgent.
In February 2022, I started Extremists Being Awesome, a community of dissenters dedicated to bringing forth solutions through focused creative work, inner growth, and outer integrity. EBA meets for daily virtual focus sessions to provide accountability, fellowship, and encouragement for one another in our chosen tasks. You can join this community by becoming a paid subscriber at the $20/month tier.
In June 2022, I published a non-fiction book, How to Survive Dystopia (With Your Humanity Intact), about how we can meet the challenges of the dystopian crisis as active protagonists in the story of realignment, transcending the tyranny and horror by embarking on a hero’s journey of inner growth.
I have big plans for Dispatches From Dystopia. Future dispatches will include the same sarcastic, meme-filled essays you’ve grown to love, plus video content, interviews with others on the hero’s journey, contemplations on inner growth, and, yes, the occasional piece of fiction.
Subscribe for free (or contribute if you’d like!) to get regular essays and video content on the dystopian crisis and the hero’s journey through it.
Or, subscribe at the $20/month (or $220/year) level for membership in Extremists Being Awesome, a community of protagonists on the hero’s journey through dystopia. You’ll get all the same content as free subscribers, plus exclusive posts. But best of all, you’ll have access to our focus sessions—18+ hours per week of focused co-working with people who get you, plus all the encouragement, accountability, and fellowship your extremist heart desires. The focus sessions are scheduled for optimum accessibility for people in different time zones, and as a member, you can drop in for any session.
What about the novel?
Technate 2051 is not dead! I am still working on the novel in between my other writing projects. But I have pivoted in my writing and publication strategy. The entire novel will be released when it is finished. Until then, I may publish chapters or other snippets, but that is no longer the main goal of this newsletter. For now, the previously published chapters will remain up on Substack, and you can read them if you’re interested.
Here’s the blurb:
When a totalitarian regime strangles the entire globe, what does it take to be free?
The year is 2051. Ever since the pandemics, famines, and civil wars of the 2020s, Zappa Dobroshtan has lived as a feral human, constantly on the run, desperately trying to keep his family safe from the Technate: the repressive regime behind the glossy technocratic world order. But when he and his beloved granddaughter, Shen, are captured and separated, Zappa is forced to assimilate into Technate society.
Zappa will do anything to find Shen and return to the wilderness, where they can live out their lives in…well, if not freedom, then at least a more voluntary state of endangerment. But in a world dominated by surveillance technology and controlled down to the nanoscopic level, that will be a formidable undertaking.
Technate 2051 will enthrall and terrify readers who crave an updated perspective on the classic science fiction dystopia, but it may come too late to serve as a warning for the future. It is an elegy for freedom, with perhaps just a glimmer of hope shining through.
Who is Starr O’Hara?
Starr O'Hara is an essayist and novelist whose passion and purpose is to write freedom into the future. She lives with her husband and daughter in an Appalachian holler, and when she's not writing, she wrangles chickens, builds things out of junk, and tweets memes under the handle @Technate2051. She's not a very good farmer, but she tries.