“There is no friend as loyal as a book”
Ernest Hemingway’s quote shows just how much we need to make reading an essential part of our everyday life. There have been written millions of books covering all genres and catering to the tastes of every reader. Books on predicting the end of world and the raise of a calamitous society are gaining more prominence of late. If you are a Sci-Fi fanatic who derives great pleasure in reading plots set in a futuristic world then this collection of 20 great dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction books is for you.
1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
is a bold novel written in 1931 portraying an eternally peaceful and stable global society. It is an exceptional novel envisioning a future advanced in reproductive technology. Children are “created” in special hatcheries. Sleep-learning and psychological manipulation form the basis of the plot.
2. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel that will leave you enthralled. 16-year old Katniss Everdeen lives in a dystopian city called Panem where children from each district compete in The Hunger Games every year. It is the first in the trilogy and weaves a wonderful story around an authoritarian society. It is well suited for teens and young adults who love to experience an adrenalin rush while reading a book.
3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Delirium is a young adult, dystopian novel published in 2011 with an engaging plot. Lena, a young girl, falls in love in a society where love is seen as a disease that is commonly referred to as “Deliria”. The story is set in a time after decades of severe bombings. The totalitarian government has a surgical cure for this disease. Lena falls in love few months before her scheduled procedure. The story revolves around how Lena resolves this conflict. The novel was a New York Times bestseller.
4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner is a fast-paced, thrilling post-apocalyptic science fiction book that was published in 2009. The protagonist Thomas wakes up in an elevator which takes him to The Glade. He has no memory of his life. The Glade is a futuristic giant maze that houses creatures with mechanical arms. The Maze Runner has received many accolades and is one of the finest dystopian novels.
5. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game is set in the future predicting an imperiled society after conflicts with an insectoid alien species. Children are trained to combat a third invasion by these species. The novel explores interplanetary spaceflights and alien species. The novel has received appreciation and criticism both alike. It is a great fantasy fiction novel that will transport you to another space and time.
6. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Time Machine is considered one of the earliest works of science fiction under the subgenre “Time Travel”. H.G. Wells has brilliantly scripted a plot where an English scientist tests his time machine that takes him to A.D. 802,701. He travels to a futuristic society comprising of Eloi, a group of childlike adults. The novel is a classic in the genre of science fiction novels.
7. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
We is a fantastic dystopian novel set in the 26th century A.D. It was first translated in English in the year 1924. The author describes the life in a totalitarian regime of One State. It is a modern, futuristic society which is controlled by the Government. The plot details the pitfalls of chasing the collective dream of harnessing advanced technology.
8. Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me is a thrilling dystopian novel that unravels the life of Juliette, a 17 year old girl with a paralyzing and killing touch. Shatter Me is a gripping novella that is ideally suited for young adults. It is addictive and intense with romance that the teens will rejoice. The author’s depiction of Juliette is truly captivating. You will not be able to put this book aside until you turn to the last page.
9. The Stand by Stephen KingThe Stand revolves around the spread of a deadly plague that wipes out 99 percent of the world’s population. In this apocalyptic view of the future, Stephen King has written a riveting thriller that keeps the reader guessing. The novel was first published in 1978. Stephen King’s caliber as an ace storyteller makes this novel stand out. He has brought out the everlasting struggle between good and evil to limelight through his narration.
10. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged is a masterpiece of Ayn Rand’s work on Objectivism. It is an astonishing story of a dystopian society where the most influential and powerful industrialists abandon their fortunes leading to the collapse of industries. Rand explores several philosophical themes in this novel and details the importance of a man’s spirit.
11. The Iron Heel by Jack LondonThe Iron Heel is a fascinating tale that describes the conflict in a society where the rise of the Oligarchy is inevitable. It is one of the earliest dystopian novels published in 1908. The Socialist view of the author finds a prominence in the novel. It is one novel that both science fiction enthusiasts and history buffs will equally enjoy.
12. Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent is a popular dystopian novel set in post-apocalyptic Chicago. The survivors of the catastrophe divide themselves into five factions. The plot revolves around Beatrice Prior and her initiation into one of these factions. The romantic subplot keeps the young readers mesmerized.
13. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
In Fahrenheit 451, a bizarre science fiction tale, Ray Bradbury presents a futuristic American society in which books are outlawed. It is a brilliant novel that tells the story of the protagonist, Guy Montag, who burns illegally owned books.
14. Legend by Marie Lu
Legend is the first book in the trilogy. An exhilarating novel that follows the trail of June in search of Day, a 15 year old criminal in the Republic. June is a prodigy groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Marie Lu with her fine writing has scripted a captivating thriller.
15. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Pandemonium is the second in the Delirium trilogy. Lena, the protagonist explores the wild outside the totalitarian community she was raised in. Lena is on a quest to restore the society to its original state free from the clutches of an authoritarian regime. Lauren Oliver has managed to keep the suspense intact with her writing. You will be eager to grab the last book in the trilogy when you finish this book.
16. The Giver by Lois LoweryThe Giver follows the life of a twelve year old boy, Jonas, who has been selected to inherit the past memories of a collective before “sameness” was achieved. The author presents a utopian society that degrades to a dystopian standard gradually. The novel unfolds steadily without unveiling the suspense of the plot.
17. V For Vendetta by Alan MooreV for Vendetta is a graphic novel that depicts the future of United Kingdom from the 1980s to the 1990s. A fascist party known as Norsefire rules the country while V, an anarchist, is motivated to bring the government down and to convince the people to rule themselves. It is an incredible dystopian work that captures the minds of the reader.
18. Unwind by Neil ShustermanUnwind is a 2007 science fiction novel set in the United States. A civil war is fought over “abortion” where children between the ages of 13 and 18 years are harvested for their body parts. The story focuses on three youths who are scheduled for their unwound and what happens thereafter. It is a delightful thriller fiction for teens.
19. Uglies by Scott WesterfieldUglies deals with the emotional and psychological effects of physical changes that adolescents endure. The plot is set in a futuristic era in which adolescents celebrating their sixteenth birthday will turn pretty. In this young adult, dystopian novel the author embarks on a subject that is debatable even in current times. The plot highlights the evils of giving importance to outer beauty.
20. Ready Player One by Ernest ClineReady Player One is set in 2044, when life around is bleak but there is one hope left which is a virtual OASIS. In this virtual world, life is awesome. Wade Watts dreams of finding the keys left behind by the creator of the OASIS so that he can inherit his wealth. This novel will leave you obsessed with 1980s pop culture.
Featured photo credit: dystopia via flickr.com