Best Dystopian Science Fiction Books

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Crowd-Ranked version of BestScienceFictionBooks.com's Best Dystopian Books list: http://bestsciencefictionbooks.com/best-dystopian-science fiction-books.php Help rank the books or submit your own suggestions!
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1

1984

by George Orwell

4.62 avg rating

View our feature on George Orwell’s 1984.

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely that ever. 1984 presents a "negative utopia," that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world—so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

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Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley

4.47 avg rating

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley's legendary vision of a world of tomorrow utterly transformed. In Huxley's darkly satiric yet chillingly prescient imagining of a "utopian" future, humans are genetically designed and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded and as a thought-provoking yet satisfying entertainment.

This deluxe edition also includes the nonfiction work "Brave New World Revisited," "a thought-jabbing, terrifying book" (Chicago Tribune), first published in 1958. It is a fascinating essay in which Huxley compares the modern-day world with his prophetic fantasy envisioned in Brave New World. He scrutinizes threats to humanity such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion, and explains why we have found it virtually impossible to avoid them.

With a Foreword by Christopher Hitchens

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Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

4.05 avg rating
Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

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16

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep

by Philip K. Dick

4.6 avg rating
"The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world."
--John Brunner

THE INSPIRATION FOR BLADERUNNER. . .

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.

By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.

Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

"[Dick] sees all the sparkling and terrifying possibilities. . . that other authors shy away from."
--Paul Williams, Rolling Stone
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21

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

4 avg rating
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Clockwork Orange

by Anthony Burgess

3 avg rating

A newly revised text for A Clockwork Orange’s 50th anniversary brings the work closest to its author’s intentions.

A Clockwork Orange is as brilliant, transgressive, and influential as when it was published fifty years ago. A nightmare vision of the future told in its own fantastically inventive lexicon, it has since become a classic of modern literature and the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s once-banned film, whose recent reissue has brought this revolutionary tale on modern civilization to an even wider audience. Andrew Biswell, PhD, director of the International Burgess Foundation, has taken a close look at the three varying published editions alongside the original typescript to recreate the novel as Anthony Burgess envisioned it. We publish this landmark edition with its original British cover and six of Burgess’s own illustrations. 6 illustrations
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13

The Time Machine

by H. G. Wells

4.25 avg rating
H.G. Wells best-selling classic THE TIME MACHINE.
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65
12

Oryx And Crake

by Margaret Atwood

3.67 avg rating
Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.
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15

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

4.44 avg rating
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER
National Book Critic's Circle Award Finalist

A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year
The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post


The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
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8

We

by Yevgeny Zamyatin

5 avg rating
Translated by Natasha Randall
Foreword by Bruce Sterling
 
Written in 1921, We is set in the One State, where all live for the collective good and individual freedom does not exist. The novel takes the form of the diary of mathematician D-503, who, to his shock, experiences the most disruptive emotion imaginable: love. At once satirical and sobering—and now available in a powerful new translation—We is both a rediscovered classic and a work of tremendous relevance to our own times.
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The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

3.18 avg rating

1 Similar Reader Recommendations

0 Recs
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6

A Canticle For Leibowitz

by Walter M. Miller Jr.

4.75 avg rating

Winner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel and widely considered one of the most accomplished, powerful, and enduring classics of modern speculative fiction, Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of twentieth-century literature -- a chilling and still-provocative look at a post-apocalyptic future.

In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes. Seriously funny, stunning, and tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece.

Hugo
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50
7

The Running Man

by Stephen King

5 avg rating
The runaway bestseller about the ultimate reality show.

The year is 2025. The Running Man is America's favorite television game show. Ben Richards is the program's latest contestant- and the Hunters' latest target in a rigged game of death.

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Divergent

by Veronica Roth

4.71 avg rating

1 Similar Reader Recommendations

0 Recs
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50
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Flowers For Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

4.3 avg rating
Nebula
Hugo
17
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16

Neuromancer

by William Gibson

4.14 avg rating

SPECIAL 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION —THE MOST IMPORTANT AND INFLUENTIAL SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL OF THE PAST TWO DECADES

Twenty years ago, it was as if someone turned on a light. The future blazed into existence with each deliberate word that William Gibson laid down. The winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer didn't just explode onto the science fiction scene—it permeated into the collective consciousness, culture, science, and technology.

Today, there is only one science fiction masterpiece to thank for the term "cyberpunk," for easing the way into the information age and Internet society. Neuromancer's virtual reality has become real. And yet, William Gibson's gritty, sophisticated vision still manages to inspire the minds that lead mankind ever further into the future.

Nebula
Philip K. Dick
Hugo
BSFA
John W. Campbell

1 Similar Reader Recommendations

0 Recs
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7

The Children Of Men

by P.D. James

5 avg rating
Told with P. D. James’s trademark suspense, insightful characterization, and riveting storytelling, The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children and no future.

The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live . . . and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race.
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I Am Legend

by Richard Matheson

4 avg rating
Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone.
 
An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.
 
By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn.... 
ITEMS 1 - 19 of 85

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