The answer to that question is: a hell of a lot.
I mentioned in a reply to L.'s post that the first book I can remember really lighting up my neurons was The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Not to dis Pat the Cat, The Poky Little Puppy, or Mr. Grumpy, but The Giver spoke to me in an entirely different language.
It said, Adults are tall, imperfect children. It said, The whole world can be wrong.
It said, Self-deception is more powerful and alluring than you know, yet. It said, Question everything.
Succinctly, it said, "Think for your own damn self, mini-Becca," and it did so in a way that was both beautiful and empowering.
Dystopian fiction is often described as a warning, a stark illustration of what awaits at the end of the road we're already barreling down way too fast to hit the brakes anyway. For me, though, dystopian fiction introduced me to my first real role model.
I wanted to keep the stories, wanted to share them. I wanted to see in color and show others what I saw. I wanted to be strong enough to bear the truth and the memories, all of them. And I've never lost that guiding star.
What has dystopian fiction done for you?