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Dystopian SF suggestions

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Showing 1-25 of 232 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Mar 2012 15:25:20 GMT
I was always a trashy romantic novel type of girl, but have recently discovered SF and really want to read more! I don't really know how Sci-Fi they're considered but here is what I have read and loved recently:

- Hunger Games Trilogy
- The Stand, The Running Man, The Long Walk (Stephen King)

Any suggestions for similar stories? I've been scouring Amazon but get a bit put off when I read things about aliens in book descriptions, not sure if I am ready for that.

Posted on 3 Mar 2012 16:23:54 GMT
Anita says:
Orwell's 1984 - too obvious?
Bradbury's Fahrengheit 451 - ditto?

Sorry, not exactly my favourite genre, with a possible exception of Philip K. Dick, but if you are not ready for aliens, Dick sometimes can be even worse... :)

P.S. Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Lathe of Heaven", it's listed as a dystopia, I'm not so sure, but check it out. Anyway, it's not a BIG book

Posted on 3 Mar 2012 16:28:17 GMT
walrus says:
i always struggle with putting books into niches but :

Altered Carbon (Gollancz S.F.)

Posted on 4 Mar 2012 09:29:30 GMT
Garscadden says:
We is another good one.

Another Richard Morgan is Market Forces - near term corporate dystopia. I may be one of the few people who like it though :)

The Long Walk is one of my favourite books (or sub-books I guess, my copy is part if the massive Bachman Books edition).

The Road, The Death of Grass and On The Beach for apocalyptic dystopia. And depression :)

Posted on 4 Mar 2012 22:13:59 GMT
Anita says:
For depression try "Fiasco" by Stanislaw Lem. But it's not a dystopia. Just a very good book. Despite all the physics, Lem's books are always about people in the end.

On the other hand, if you are new to science fiction, it can scare you away from SF for life :)

Posted on 4 Mar 2012 22:22:39 GMT
j m c says:
For classic sci fi without the aliens you could try John Wyndham. If you like end of the world stuff like the Stand I suggest The Day of the Triffids.

Posted on 5 Mar 2012 13:57:55 GMT
Ken O'Neill says:
Classic post-apocalyptic dystopia - "A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter M Miller Junior. Wikipedia link:-

Posted on 5 Mar 2012 14:41:03 GMT
The Dispossed - Ursula Le Guin
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

Posted on 5 Mar 2012 15:50:46 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Mar 2012 22:31:05 GMT
For (gender) dystopian fiction - nothing finer than Margaret Atwood's "Handmaid's Tale" !

Posted on 6 Mar 2012 10:54:58 GMT
The above suggestions are all good but there are a lot of classic dystopian tales (excluding the phenomenal 1984 which you should read if you haven't) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is an intersting one with shallow characters as its ideas rather than plot laid out in the early chapters. Huxley's Utopia breeds people to order, artificially fertilizing a mother's eggs to create babies that grow in jars to be decanted. They create five classes, from the Alphas, the most intelligent, to the Epsilons, morons bred to do the dirty jobs that nobody else wants to do. The lower classes are multiplied by a budding process that can create up to 96 identical clones and produce over 15,000 brothers and sisters from a single ovary. Add a few 'savages' to view the utopia from the outside and you have the vehicle for the ride.

Posted on 6 Mar 2012 12:48:04 GMT
Sophia says:
I second The Handmaids Tale.

But also anything by China Mieville.

Posted on 10 Mar 2012 09:26:20 GMT
Thanks for all the suggestions, they all look really interesting.
I've read 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale but I am going to get through this list. Starting with Brave New World I think!
Thank you all.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 10:09:50 GMT
D. P. Evans says:
The Death of Grass by John Christopher is a classic, also The Postman by David Brin (about a billion times better than the film), more recently, Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd Century America, is definitely worth a look.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2012 12:17:40 GMT
Thank you, The Postman sounds good and I haven't seen the film so no preconceptions here!

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 14:37:47 GMT
Ken O'Neill says:
That's gives me an idea; if you can find a copy, Roger Zelazny's "Damnnation Alley".

Posted on 14 Mar 2012 17:38:12 GMT
ajk77 says:
Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake
Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
PD James: the Children of Men
HG Wells: the Time Machine
Yevgeny Zamyatin: We (a precursor/influence on 1984)

Posted on 18 Mar 2012 20:40:59 GMT
Charlieost says:
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Borrow it from a young person near you. Film out soon. Taking teens to it. Great and readable books.

Posted on 18 Mar 2012 23:12:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Mar 2012 23:13:42 GMT
SS says:
What about This Perfect Day by Ira Levin?

Posted on 20 Mar 2012 18:29:37 GMT
C. Bessant says:
These are quite good:

Inside Out
Outside In (Inside)

Posted on 20 Mar 2012 19:27:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Mar 2012 19:36:29 GMT
The Emperor says:

I was quite disappointed with it.
The right wing view point made a change but it ended up as
obsessive hatred of Obama. None of it made any sense.

The amount of exposition was just laughable.
I have liked a few of his books but I get the sense that he really needs editing.

Posted on 20 Mar 2012 19:49:37 GMT
If you like young adult books like the Hunger Games and don't mind a bit of zombie thrown in with your end of the world then the Forest of Hands and Teeth series is pretty good (despite the awful name!).

City and the City by china Meiville is good also

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2012 20:31:25 GMT
Thank you, they do look quite good. I've downloaded a sample of the first one, will see what I think!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2012 20:32:39 GMT
LOVED Hunger Games. After I read it, Divergence and Delirium were suggested to me - didn't enjoy them even a quarter as much as Hunger Games. But I shall have a look at your wonderfully named (!) suggestion now, thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2012 20:35:11 GMT
Great, thanks for all the suggestions. I love Margaret Attwood so will definitely be reading that. I also enjoyed the film Children of Men - is the book very similar?

Posted on 24 Mar 2012 00:46:39 GMT
I've read an advance reader copy of this one: Liminal States - and I can highly recommend it. Amazing history-spanning story about human duplication, altered history and alien invasion, and beautifully written
Liminal States

But my favourite dystopian sci-fi novels are:
Sea of Glass - Barry B Longyear (absolutely amazing!)
Futuretrack 5 - Robert Westall (ignore the fact it's labelled as teen sci-fi - this is gripping, thoughtful stuff)
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
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Initial post:  3 Mar 2012
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