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15 Compelling Dystopian Reads

Posted 6 months ago by April S

Posted in eBooks and Audiobooks, Fiction and Science Fiction and Fantasy | Tagged with adult books for young adults, Apocalyptic fiction, atmospheric, bleak, compelling, dystopian, dystopias, intricately plotted, Literary fiction, Political Fiction, Read-Alikes, reflective, satirical fiction, Stylistically complex, thought-provoking and world-building

Dystopian fiction has been popular for quite some time now, so it's no surprise more people are rediscovering George Orwell's classic novel "1984." Below, you'll find classics from well-known authors like Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury and Octavia Butler along with recent selections by Pierce Brown, Chang-rae Lee, Chuck Palahniuk and many more.

Dystopian Classics

Timeless Stories Available @ the Library

1984 by George Orwell
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1984 by George Orwell

Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

In 2025 California, an eighteen-year-old African American woman, suffering from a hereditary trait that causes her to feel others' pain as well as her own, flees northward from her small community and its desperate savages.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In a society in which books are outlawed, Montag, a regimented fireman in charge of burning the forbidden volumes, meets a revolutionary school teacher who dares to read. Suddenly he finds himself a hunted fugitive, forced to choose not only between two women, but between personal safety and intellectual freedom.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

A novel of the future explores a world that has been devastated by ecological and scientific disasters.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley's profoundly important classic of world literature, "Brave New World" is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order--all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls.

Modern Dystopian Novels

Incredible Reads Available @ the Library

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
The Forever Watch by David Ramirez
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

An ode to George Orwell's "1984" told in alternating male and female voices relates the stories of Aomame, an assassin for a secret organization who discovers that she has been transported to an alternate reality, and Tengo, a mathematics lecturer and novice writer.

The Forever Watch by David Ramirez

Traveling on a thousand-year journey aboard the space ship Noah, Hana Dempsey feels bereft after being required to have a baby she will never know and assists an investigation into a violent death that reveals the work of a race-threatening serial killer.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? What happens when this forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? This is a tale of Bangkok struggling for survival in a post-oil era of rising sea levels and out-of-control mutation.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

In the mid-21st century major world cities are controlled by a formidable security force, and clairvoyant underworld cell member, Paige, commits acts of psychic treason before being captured by an otherworldly race that would make her a part of their supernatural army.

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee

In a class-divided future America where urban neighborhoods function as labor colonies for elite charter villages, Fan, a female fish-tank diver, embarks on what becomes a legendary quest to find the man she loves in a region overcome by anarchic forces.

Wool by Hugh Howey
Taduno's Song by Odafe Atogun
Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk
Gnomon by Nick Harkaway
Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates

Wool by Hugh Howey

In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them.

Taduno's Song by Odafe Atogun

A stunning debut from a fresh Nigerian literary voice: a mesmerizing, deceptively simple, Kafkaesque narrative, resonant of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and lightly informed by the life of Nigerian musical superstar Fela Kuti--a powerful story of love, sacrifice, and courage.

Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk

People pass the word only to those they trust most: Adjustment Day is coming. They’ve been reading a mysterious book and memorizing its directives. They are ready for the reckoning. "Adjustment Day," the author’s first novel in four years, is an ingeniously comic work in which Chuck Palahniuk does what he does best: skewer the absurdities in our society.

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

A tale set in a near-future, high-tech surveillance state follows the suspicious death of a dissident in custody and finds state inspector Mielikki Neith immersing herself in the victim's world, where she encounters a panorama of characters and innovations that transform her perspectives.

Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates

The National Book Award-winning author of We Were the Mulvaneys presents the story of a recklessly idealistic girl who tests the limits of her oppressively controlled, dystopian world only to fall fatefully in love.

Looking for More Dystopian Reads?

The 30 Best Dystopian Novels of All Time

It Could Be Worse… Great Dystopian Reads

15 of the Best Dystopian Novels

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