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10 of the Best Dystopian Novels You Should Read Right Away

10 of the Best Dystopian Novels You Should Read Right Away

Humanity aims for constant progress, movement towards a superior standard of living. But what happens when everything goes wrong instead? Speculating about a future that has taken a distinct turn for the worse is a mainstay of science fiction writing. There’s no beautiful end point, only a joyless, dysfunctional dystopia. We take a look at 10 of the greatest novels focusing on the darker side of life.

1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a book that most people think they remember and almost always get more or less wrong. Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner took a lot from it, and threw a lot away. Wonderful in itself, the film is a flash thriller, whereas Dick’s novel is a sober meditation. As we all know, bounty hunter Rick Deckard is stalking a group of androids who have returned from space with short life spans and murder on their minds–where Scott’s Deckard was Harrison Ford, Dick’s is a financially strapped municipal employee with bills to pay and a depressed wife. In a world where most animals have died, and pet keeping is a social duty, he can only afford a robot imitation, unless he gets a big financial break. Read More.

2. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

`Intense, beautifully crafted . . . Her talent is electric. Get ready for a shock’ Guardian FIVE WOMEN. ONE QUESTION: What is a woman for? In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. Read More.

3. Borne: A Novel by Jeff VanderMeer

In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company―a biotech firm now derelict―and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech. Read More.

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