What are your favourite Dystopian Fiction reads? One of my favourite sub-genres, though I’m woefully picky enough to enjoy so few of them.
Some dystopian classics I enjoyed quite a bit:
- The Dispossessed
- Brave New World
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Earthseed (Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents)
Also a fan of Kurt Vonnegut, a lot of his novels seem to be kind of a mix of genres but may some would fit the “dystopian fiction” label.
Just scanning Wikipedia’s list of dystopian literature…I see Infinite Jest on the list, which I wouldn’t have immediately thought of for this genre, but definitely would recommend!
The Incal is also really cool — a graphic novel co-created by Mœbius and Alejandro Jodorowsky…super weird and fun!
What favorites of yours come to mind?
This is one of my favorite genres!
A few that come to mind:
Station 11- Offers some beautiful perspectives for what role artists might play in these futures
Oryx & Crake- (the trilogy is great, but you could honestly just read the first one). Attwood is usually known for her Handmaid’s Tale for dystopian fiction, but I honestly prefer this one in some ways. She balances speculations in environment, social, tech, and feminist perspectives to make a compelling story.
Void Star- More sci-fi than the other two, but writes the most intelligently & imaginatively on AI (best I’ve read since Gibson’s Neuromancer)
Station 11 is great!
In a similar vein “The Dog Stars” was good.
I had some books to suggest but none of them felt properly “dystopian”. This list that Goodreads suggested is…not selective. Harry Potter is on there.
This is a tangent, but sometimes it seems to me that aggregated book reviews are super misleading.
Thanks you all so much for the recommendations!
I would like to say that Dystopian is one of my favourite genres, but I’m one of those people that’s terrified of picking up a disappointing book, so I tend to cling to an author until I’ve exhausted what I want from them.
And I agree, @spike, when looking at online reading lists and reviews, a lot of the content you find could only fall under the desired categories very loosely.
Another one I’ve really loved, if you’re into a few laughs, is Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong. I’d call it sort of a sci-fi dystopia, I guess, but not the spacey kind.
Oh! Then I won’t feel bad recommending The Passage.
The Stand and The Road are a couple of obvious ones you’ve probably read. A Canticle for Lebowitz is good. Have you read NK Jemisen’s Broken Earth series? A bit more into the fantasy realm, but really good.
Broken Earth trilogy is definitely on my list! Picked up Book 1 probably like a year ago, I think I’ll try to get to it soon.
Speaking of trilogies I really enjoyed The Remembrance of Earth’s Past (Three-Body Problem etc.) Not exactly dystopian fiction (though sort of in a cosmic sense?) but if you like sci-fi with weird ideas you’d probably dig it. A little hard to get into and the characters are flat but conceptually super cool and an ambitious work that pays off; I actually liked the third book best.
Yeah I loved the Remembrance trilogy. I agree that they get better as they go along. I found the first one hard to get through, but the second two moved much more quickly.