Although the word dystopia has been in circulation since the eighteenth century, it is not until the twentieth that it becomes known as a description of a genre of fiction that is seen as the opposite of utopian. However, although the naming does not happen until the twentieth century, what we would now recognize as dystopian fiction begins to appear towards the end of the nineteenth. Usually seen as conservative genre, we should be careful not to misunderstand it, to mistakenly see it as simply a uni-accentual discourse of discouragement. While it is true that dystopias depict worlds we would not want to inhabit, I do not think it is too difficult to find counter-hegemonic moments of hope and resistance. Moylan, in an excellent account of dystopian fiction, describes the genre as ‘the fictive underside of the utopian imagination’ (2000: xi). The typical narrative of a dystopia is the story of an individual who comes to recognise the ‘truth’ of the dystopian society’s ‘unhappiness’ and engages in a form of resistance against it. Although the individual is usually defeated, there often remains the possibility of collective resistance. What we have is a different form of utopian fiction, one that holds out the promise that the dystopian can be transformed.