17 Spine-Tingling New Books For Fans Of Dystopia – Huffington Post

Posted: April 24, 2017 at 2:41 pm

The end of 2016 brought with it a spike in classic dystopian book sales. George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four and Margaret Atwoods The Handmaids Tale which will be released as a Hulu show this month eachpiqued the interest of book buyers, who mightve drawn uncomfortable parallels between the stories and the world around them.

These books, of course, are not the only dystopian titles resonating with readers. The science fiction subgenre has enjoyed a long period of popularity thanks to YA installments like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner and The 100, each with its own onscreen offshoot.

There are those in the sci-fi genre who are tired of dystopias proliferation; there are, after all, many ways to speculate about the future, and not all of them need be pessimistic. Still, as the subgenre grows, its capacity for holding a mirror to todays problems climate change, stringent definitions of gender, and discrimination based on race or gender or nationality persists.

If you still see the worth in dystopian stories for social change or for entertainment value there are, luckily, loads to choose from. Climate-fiction, or cli-fi, has emerged as a sub-subgenre of dystopian fiction, with authors like Lidia Yuknavitch and Jeff VanderMeer both of whom have upcoming film adaptations leading the charge. Other titles explore cryonics, religion, gender and more.

Weve included a few were excited about below. Just note that our definition of dystopia is a broad one; any vision of the future that could go awry qualifies.


1. American War by Omar El Akkad

Fought amid a changing climate, Americas second Civil War lasting nearly 20 years was fought with homicide bombings and drones. An academic born during this period remembers the story of a girl who lived through it.


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In a town outside of Estiel what was once St. Louis a girl named Etta fulfills her duties as a forager, but must venture to face a tyrant called Lion when women from her community are kidnapped.


Lidia Yukanavitch is skilled at writing poetically about the human body, and about nature, so this book her first foray into science fiction makes sense. Its a retelling of the story of Joan of Arc, but in a world ravaged by radiation, and with few land-based survivors.


Rachel and Wick live in a city destroyed by drought and terrorized by a giant bear, doing what they can to prioritize their survival until Rachel finds Borne, a plant-animal shes immediately attached to.


When two coders go missing, an entire future society is at risk. Robinsons work may not be squarely dystopian, but he has a knack for drawing imagined worlds and their societal problems. In his latest,rising tides leave New York partly submerged.


If the future of the ever-growing tech industry has a physical home, its San Fransisco, where Masons novel is set. Life extension, artificial memory and rising waters converge in a sprawling future epic.


Kir has been asked to join a project working towards the possibility of humans inhabiting another planet a project designed to give Earthlings, living on a planet thats overcrowded and climate change-wrecked, a chance at survival. Will her brain wired for optimism be able to heed the warnings of the artificial intelligence she hosts?

Small Beer Press

Sofia Samatars stories are more fantasy than sci-fi, and shes more likely to chronicle an alternate or parallel reality than a possible future. Her story How to Get Back to the Forest earned a spot among the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories 2015.

Weidenfeld Nicolson

Lallas father plans to escape the increasingly dangerous world of future-Britain via ship, but the boat turns out to be eerily different than expected.

Dutton Books

What if the world were living in now was the dystopian version of some happier, more progressive alternate reality?Thats the premise of Elan Mastais debut, which is centered around protagonist Tom, who has to make a tough choice between a thrumming, messy world or a neat and perfect one.

Harper Voyager

On the surface, Elianas life is a pleasant one. She lives on an idyllic island where she works as a weaver, but she is forced to hide the fact that shes capable of dreaming, lest she be cast out. The cracks in her perfect world begin to show when a young girl washes up on the shore, bearing a tattoo of Elianas name.


Jeffs father, Ross, has always been somewhat absent from his life; hes a billionaire and hes happily remarried. But when Rosss second wife Artis gets sick, he invites his son to visit him at a mysterious cryogenics facility, where pseudo-science meets spiritual practice.

Tor Books

Patricias a witch. Laurence is a tech wunderkind. Their star-crossed relationship is a love story for the 21st century, where spirituality and intuition are at odds with scientific advancements.


Eddie and Lauras suburban life devolves amid an ecological disaster, one that forces them each to reconsider what it is that they cherish most.

Amethyst Editions

The world, it turns out, is ending. That doesnt stop Michelle from dating, from writing, from relocating to a new city to distance herself from her drug-addled past, or from proceeding more or less as normal, except that now, the apocalypse looms.

Two Dollar Radio

For Ellingsen, the personal is political. His storys hero, Brandon, retreats to the wilderness after his professor and lover makes him commit an act of violence. From there, he fosters hope for a future threatened by rising temperatures and the attendant damage done to the environment.

Tor Books

Near-future sci-fi may be all the rage; it would seem that its more capable of shedding new light on present dangers, anyway. But Palmers novel set in the 25th century, when societys perceptions of gender and religion have morphed considerably gives those stories a run for their money.

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17 Spine-Tingling New Books For Fans Of Dystopia - Huffington Post

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