Personally, I’m a great fan of dystopian novels. I like how they confirm my opinion of humanity being an absolute clusterfuck working on mostly luck. My name’s misanthropist, and the name’s the game.
Your contemporary dystopia starts in the present. Well, it doesn’t start in the presence literally (literally.), but rather in the mind of the author; he is the one who just imagines the world in its current state, starts the clock, and does his own, usually evil, interpretation of how things might run from here on out. Of course you have to add some spice or ideas which you personally want to rant about, since you don’t want a bland pseudodocumentary, but rather an interesting story. But this is where it starts. And with the ways some books take, you can’t help yourself being afraid of what the future might herald.
Just like in Vernor Vinge’s novel “Rainbows End” (sic!); I don’t want to go into the details of the book, but that is fine, since you can just read it online free of charge. A great move, and totally in term with the content of the book. (Sort of, at least.)
P.S.: Vernor Vinge, you’re a mathemagician, computer scientist and science fiction writer. In short: everything I ever want to be when I grow up. I just can’t help liking you.