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The Order and the Other - Young Adult Dystopian Literature and Science Fiction

The Order and the Other

Young Adult Dystopian Literature and Science Fiction

By Joseph W. Campbell
Series: Children's Literature Association Series
Hardcover : 9781496824721, 200 pages, October 2019
Paperback : 9781496824738, 200 pages, October 2019

A critical study of the perceptions of two similar but separate genres in young adult literature


In the mid- to late 2000s, the United States witnessed a boom in dystopian novels and films intended for young audiences. At that time, many literary critics, journalists, and educators grouped dystopian literature together with science fiction, leading to possible misunderstandings of the unique history, aspects, and functions of science fiction and dystopian genres.

Though texts within these two genres may share similar settings, plot devices, and characters, each genre’s value is different because they do distinctively different sociocritical work in relation to the culture that produces them. In The Order and the Other: Young Adult Dystopian Literature and Science Fiction, author Joseph W. Campbell distinguishes the two genres, explains the function of each, and outlines the different impact each has upon readers.

Campbell analyzes such works as Lois Lowry’s The Giver and James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, placing dystopian works into the larger context of literary history. He asserts both dystopian literature and science fiction differently empower and manipulate readers, encouraging them to look critically at the way they are taught to encounter those who are different from them and how to recognize and work within or against the power structures around them. In doing so, Campbell demonstrates the necessity of both genres.


"Through The Order and the Other, Joseph W. Campbell makes an important contribution to a sparsely explored but important area of pedagogical discovery. "

- Brittany Tomin, York University, Science Fiction Studies, Volume 47 (2020)

"The Order and the Other is a cogent addition to scholarship on dystopian and science fiction literature for young audiences and will be especially useful for those who want to differentiate between the two. "

- Jill Coste, Children's Literature

"The book is highly recommended for those interested in how science fiction and dystopian literature can be utilized in a classroom setting and why they should be; educators wondering just what lessons they might teach using such works; anyone looking for a compilation of titles in these genres; and lovers of theory, especially those seeking practical applications thereof. "

- Teresa Cutler-Broyles, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Vol. 31, No. 3

"The Order and the Other will be of interest to scholars of children’s literature and of speculative fiction. Joseph W. Campbell offers a much-needed perspective on these two genres, which continue to absorb adolescent audiences and thus continue to provide ways—both visible and invisible—for young readers to understand themselves, especially in the context of the societies they inhabit. "

- Balaka Basu, assistant professor of English, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

"Campbell has made a thoughtful contribution to the critical study of science fiction and dystopian literature.a"

- Donna R. White, The Lion and the Unicorn