Certain writers excel at imagining the post-apocalyptic, dystopian world.  Life is miserable – basic human rights have been torn away from those existing in the bleak landscape. Conditions are harsh. Life is definitely not fun.

But deep within these communities, there are those who want to change the conditions in which they live, and they’re plotting rebellion.

We science fiction fans love dystopias, but you’ve probably read some yourself; some of the best-known novels fall into this genre, such as:

The library has a selection of books about dystopias (and utopias) in literature. Thumb through some of them and maybe even think about writing some of your own.

Do you crave a book so incredible that you must stay up all night reading because you can’t bear to stop? This Perfect Day is waiting for you at the library. It was written by Ira Levin, who also wrote Rosemary’s Baby.

What’s your favorite dystopia/anti-utopia/post-apocalyptic fiction? Share them with us in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Not Even a Nice Place to Visit

  1. I am really into young adult fiction and my three favorites in this genre are: The Hunger Games, the Maze Runner and The Knife of Never Letting Go. I am getting chills thinking of them now!

  2. I’m adding The Passage to my list. The Handmaid’s Tale actually gave me nightmares when I first read it; so I don’t recommend it to others.

  3. Sorry for this late addition, but how could I forget the co-winner of the Hugo Award this year and my favorite book of 2010, Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl? An instant classic. Bacigalupi writes with a delicious cynicism for one so young (it’s his first novel).

  4. Okay, here’s one with only people 🙂 The Postman by David Brin – good book (not so great movie).

    And…drawing from a previous post which mentioned Octavia Butler – Parable of the Sower (in which I learned to love the writing of Ms. Butler).

  5. Isabelle, I *loved* Stepford Wives, and the first movie, and loathed the remake. And Rich, I’m dying to read The Passage!

    The others you recommend sound great, too. But note that all of my suggestions, in the main post and in my other comment, don’t have creatures (even though I like those, too) — in my opinion, the scariest element of a dystopia is that one person or one group of human beings is acting coldly and completely inhumane.

  6. Thanks for posting, Sue! I have not read Kazuro Ishiguro yet but will try it. I like the other authors you mentioned very much–Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a favorite. And Ira Levin also wrote The Stepford Wives, a very good read. The first movie adapted from the book (in the 70s) is worth comparing to the recent remake, by the way: the remake conveys a totally opposite message to that of the book.

  7. This years best seller, The Passage, by Justin Cronin, was a real page-turner. In which the our current civilization is wiped out by scientists (not Hopkins scientists, LOL) who, oops, create a band of vampire-like monsters. A very scary book.

    Also like the books by China Mieville set in “Bas-Lag”, esp. Perdido Street Station, populated by weird, weird creatures. Setting is fantasy, but one can picture a world like this as a result of a mass scale disaster or war.

  8. Two of the most outstanding books in this genre are “A Gift Upon the Shore” by M.K. Wren, and “Gate to Women’s Country” by Sheri Tepper.

    I didn’t mention them in the main post because we don’t own them, but please treat yourself and read them – you’ll never, ever forget them.

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