A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.” – Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale.
In this issue of IMMpress Magazine we explore some of the more dystopian facets of our present times. Although dystopian-themed literature has existed as a bona fide genre for about a century, it is currently enjoying unprecedented levels of popularity. According to the New York Times, in the week following the most recent presidential inauguration in the United States, the sales of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984, rose by 9500%. Orwell’s novel was originally published in 1949. Similarly, Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, published in 1985, is now enjoying a revival as the television adaptation of this fundamentalist society with regressing human rights hits the small screen.
In the past few years, the world has had to contend with a torrent of political instability, continuously eroding personal privacy due to increased surveillance (pg. 24), a higher scale of infectious disease outbreaks as the world becomes more globalized (pg. 22), and the possibility of artificial intelligence-driven weapons that would prove more devastating to humanity than any weapon we have ever seen (pg. 20). In these tumultuous times, it is no wonder that dystopian-themed literature and television are resonating so deeply with today’s society. In this issue, we also dedicate a substantial number of pages towards spotlighting the current reality of climate change, the challenges ahead, and what the future of our planet will hold if apathy continues to dominate this discourse (pg. 8).
As with every past issue of IMMpress, we would like to extend our gratitude to the many writers, designers, and editors whose work makes this magazine possible. This is also the first issue with our new co-Editor-in-Chief, Dario Ferri, who has been a steadfast contributor to the magazine for the past two years. Since this is the last IMMpress issue for 2018, we would like to wish our readership a warm, healthy and joyous holiday season ahead as well as a wonderful start to the new year!