Tor.com content by

K.W. Colyard

Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka and the Use of Language in Dystopian Science Fiction

I have a complicated relationship with Nineteen Eighty-Four. To this day, it remains the only book that has ever bored so deeply into my head that I could not bring myself to finish it. This, after multiple attempts, spread across nearly 20 years of a life lived happily in the stacks of libraries and bookstores.

I think about George Orwell’s novel more days than not. Sometimes I think that Nineteen Eighty-Four is the book that truly made me fall in love with language. Newspeak, the propagandic language created by the Party to limit expression and thought, permeates my own thoughts, which mentally—and hyperbolically—declare inconvenient situations as “doubleplusungood.”

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