Scott Westerfeld is on tour for his new book Extras. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a great article about him.
I was particularly struck by the following:
Westerfeld, chatting over coffee at his Seattle hotel, said teens relate easily to tales of closed societies governed by arcane rules.
"When you're in high school," he said, "you're in kind of a dystopian movie, so the idea of a controlled society makes perfect sense to them."
High school as a closed society definitely works for me. Speaking as someone who has been through high school twice, once as a parent, what kept coming home to me the second time was that everyone gets so riled up about high school, but it just doesn't matter in the greater scheme of things. So much of our popular culture deals with high school, so many people carry baggage related to their high school experience, but in terms of the great big world--life, death, war, work, research, discovery, nature, nurture, you name it--high school is disconnected from almost everything. It's like a little island in the world of life. A closed society.
I don't know if I'd necessarily say it's controlled or, if so, I don't know who controls it.
Yet, at least here in the U.S., we all fixate so on that nearly universal experience.
The link came from Justine Larbalestier's blog.