#RRSciFiMonth: Dystopian Round-up on Guiltless Reading

I initially had the impression that sci-fi meant science-y, futuristic, starship-ish stories. I guess that's a bit limiting -- all I could think of was Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Last year, I had author Massimo Marino set me straight with his guest post Massimo Marino: Dystopian, Utopian and Cacotopia. I realized that my first encounter with dystopian literature was years ago when I read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which frankly scared the crap out of me! 

While I never really sought out dystopian literature, here are few that I have read, enjoyed and featured on my blog.

Dystopian Lit for Adults

Not being scared enough with The Handmaid's Tale, I picked up another Atwood which is a love story of sorts in a world gone awry because of genetic engineering.

The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben H. Winters
An asteroid is going to hit the earth! (Ok, ok, this is more a pre-apocalypic world than a dystopian story but it's a terrifying thought!) When The Last Policeman (Book 1) was offered up for review by Quirk Books, I thought the premise was such an interesting one that I decided to got for it. Little did I know that I would enjoy it so much because of the character of the last policeman, Hank, or that it would become such a popular series. I read Book 2, Countdown City, and liked that even more than the first book. I still have Book 3 to look forward to!

Blindness by Jose Saramago
Seeing by Jose Saramago

I'd started reading some books by Jose Saramago, a Nobel Laureate for Literature, and sought out his well known Blindness where an entire city goes inexplicably blind, with the exception of one woman. The city falls into depravity and anarchy. Many of you may remember Blindness as a movie: my advice: read the book first!  

Seeing is the sequel post-Blindness with the city under authoritarian rule; this one focuses on an authoritarian government unwittingly sowing anarchy, in its attempt to bring order to its own constituency.

Dystopian Lit for Young Adults

There are so many titles out there written for Young Adults! It's a genre that has exploded! My first encounter was Susan Collins' The Hunger Games.

Here are some Young Adult books that I've recently read and reviewed that fall into this genre: 

I was pleasantly surprised by this love story between star-crossed lover-teenagers June and Day in a post-apocalyptic world. While it reminded me of The Hunger Games, this has its own charm and it's certainly no copycat! Prodigy and Champion complete this successful trilogy.

I won this book in last year's Sci-Fi Month festivities and it's an innovative retelling of a fairy tale: think a cyborg Cinderella! This also became wildly popular collectively known as The Lunar Chronicles, each story a futuristic twist on a fairy tale.


A personal dystopia reading list

As you can see, my reading has been on the slim side in this genre. Topping my TBR list for the genre are:
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (re-read and a review is on order!)
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (Maddaddam No. 2, the next book after Oryx and Crake)
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood (Maddaddam No. 3)
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
1984 by George Orwell
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

So folks, which books have you read and enjoyed? Do you have any must-read dystopian recommendations for me?


  1. Yes! I recommend Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones, published way back in 1982. It's a brilliantly funny and terrifying story of a world where witchcraft is both common and punishable by death, and of a school where many "witch orphans" end up. I hosted a readalong here: http://emeraldcitybookreview.blogspot.com/2014/11/witch-week-day-six-readalong-of-witch.html

    1. Sounds like a fun read, Lory! I haven't read any of Diana Wynne Jones books, can you believe it!?

  2. I (unfortunately) watched a lot of movies instead of reading the books: Never Let Me Go, The Road, and the Hunger Games. I ended up reading the Hunger Games anyway and really liked it. My favorite of what I've read so far in dystopia is The Handmaid's Tale. Pretty classic.
    Excellent post!
    ~Litha Nelle

    1. The Handmaid's Tale is pretty difficult to top. I've also watched Never Let Me Go and must read the book! And who hasn't watched the Hunger Games -- although I did read the books long before they became the movie.


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