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All kids worry at least some of the time, and

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The 10 Best Dystopian Books You Haven’t Read Yet

The 10 Best Dystopian Books You Haven’t Read Yet

When it comes to dystopian books, there are a lot of fish in the sea. In fact, some novel are, quite literally, about fish coming out of the sea (Undertow, anyone?). But if your doomsday TBR list is just The Hunger Games, Divergent, and 1984, you’re missing out on some dystopian goldmines (especially from other George Orwell books). Fortunately, the odds are in your favor: we’ve created a list of killer recommendations so you can broaden your (bleak) horizons.

1. The Shore of Women By Pamela Sargent

In this feminist dystopian classic, Sargent unveils a post-war society, where men are exiled and used only for loveless reproduction. When a lone woman finds herself living amongst the men, she must fight for her life just as she fights to fix her flawed, female-dominated world. Check this one out for a refreshing reversal of dystopian and post-apocalyptic tropes. Read More.
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2. The Sheep Look Up By John Brunner

Brunner’s dystopia is a look at a future where environmental destruction has run amok. Disease, birth defects, and air pollution are so rampant that citizens wear gas masks, and the poor are forced to drink fetid, unsafe water. Overpopulation has led to a corrupt government, while violent eco-terrorists wreak havoc across the globe. Both groups are after Austin Train, an environmentalist on the lam whose expertise makes him a valuable ally or a terrible enemy…This one’s written with a shocking degree of prophetic accuracy considering John Brunner wrote it in 1972. Read More.
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3. Parable of the Sower By Octavia E. Butler

Lauren lives in an America lost to drugs, war, and a lack of resources—an especially dangerous situation for a girl whose “hyperempathy” makes her sensitive to the pain of others. When her family and safe neighborhood is lost to fire, Lauren leads a group of refugees north, where she dreams up an idea that might just change the world.

If you like Parable of the Sower, you’ll love the sequel, where a dangerous political candidate attempts to reunite America through racism, isolationism, and religious intolerance (sound familiar?). The pièce de résistance? The candidate’s slogan is also “Make America Great Again.” Read More.
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4. Rubicon Beach By Steve Erickson

When prisoner Cale is released into the dystopian Los Angeles, he becomes disturbed by strange visions of his own death. At the same time, a mysterious woman stumbles from job to job, until she finds work with a screenwriter obsessed with numerology. Their paths will eventually intersect—and with trippy consequences—in this dark and ethereal novel. Read More.
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5. The Continent of Lies By James Morrow

In this dark and satiric book, virtual reality is the fad of the era. Players eat a cephapple, or “dreambean,” and enter their desired reality: love stories, war stories, and even horror stories. Similar to our present-day film critics, Quinjin’s job is to write critiques of these adventures for potential consumers. But when a new, illicit “dreambean” takes people to a nightmare hallucination that drives them mad, Quinjin’s new job is to prevent the news from destroying the “dreambean” industry…Prepare for a major mindtrip! Read More.
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