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Fable Dystopian

Dystopian fiction tells the story of a society in a dark or disastrous future. They can be set in the near or distant future, but always trace the reasons for the downfall of that society—a lesson and warning for readers.

Anything that threatens our existence, be it mild or rare, always captures our imaginations. There’ll be some comfort drawn from the fact that hopefully that’s not where we are heading.
- Bijal Shah

Skip to Dystopian book selections
What is Dystopian Fiction?
Dystopian fiction tells the story of a society in a dark or disastrous future. They can be set in the near or distant future, but always trace the reasons for the downfall of that society—a lesson and warning for readers.
Dystopian books usually feature a dictatorship or totalitarian government that suppresses free speech, censors the media, or manipulates its citizens. They are generally pessimistic, depicting societies where people are oppressed and controlled by dark forces.
Why is dystopian literature popular?
It’s hard to deny the fact that the world is a scary place for many people. 
The divide between the haves and have-nots is huge and many people are struggling to make ends meet. Dystopian fiction offers us a glimpse of the future and increases our empathy and understanding of the people around us.
“Anything that threatens our existence, be it mild or rare, always captures our imaginations,” explained bibliotherapist Bijal Shah with dystopian book recommendations that might bring a measure of hope for readers during trying times. 
“There’ll be some comfort drawn from the fact that hopefully that’s not where we are heading. Or at least not just yet.”   
The best dystopian novels on Fable
Considering the potential fate of our civilization can bring both awareness to problems that plague our world in the present day and help us prevent a dim future. Here are some classic dystopian novels in our bookstore.
Dhalgren  by Samuel R. Delany digital book - Fable

Dhalgren

By Samuel R. Delany

A young half-Native American known as the Kid has hitchhiked from Mexico to the midwestern city Bellona—only something is wrong there . . . In Bellona, the shattered city, a nameless cataclysm has left reality unhinged.

Never Let Me Go  by Kazuo Ishiguro  digital book - Fable

Never Let Me Go

By Kazuo Ishiguro

A devastating novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at an exclusive boarding school. Kathy begins to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special.

The Road  by Cormac McCarthy  digital book - Fable

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy

The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive. The Road boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son are sustained by love.

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam digital book - Fable

Leave the World Behind

By Rumaan Alam

Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their kids and a taste of the good life. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell.

The Country of Ice Cream Star  by Sandra Newman  digital book - Fable

The Country of Ice Cream Star

By Sandra Newman

Fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star and her nomadic tribe live off of the detritus of a crumbled civilization. Theirs is a world of children; before reaching the age of twenty, they all die of a mysterious disease they call Posies.

Severance  by Ling Ma  digital book - Fable

Severance

By Ling Ma

Maybe it’s the end of the world, but not for Candace Chen, a millennial, first-generation American, and office drone meandering her way into adulthood in Ling Ma’s offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire.

Riot Baby  by Toni Onyebuchi  digital book - Fable

Riot Baby

By Toni Onyebuchi

Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

1984  by George Orwell  digital book - Fable

1984

By George Orwell Fable Club Pick

Winston Smith is a man caught in the webs of a dystopian future, and his clandestine love affair with Julia, a young woman he meets during the course of his work for the government.

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin digital book - Fable

The Fifth Season

By N. K. Jemisin

At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this twisted Hugo Award winning fantasy novel of power, oppression, and revolution.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood digital book - Fable

Oryx and Crake

By Margaret Atwood

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.

Read dystopian novels together on Fable
Fable makes it easy for dystopian fiction fans to share their thoughts and connect with others through book clubs. With our social reading platform, you can host every aspect of an online discussion at a single destination, to reach readers and build safe online communities regardless of location or time zone. 
Explore more post-apocalyptic worlds by starting Fable book clubs with these dystopian classics!
Read a desperate, yet hopeful, and remarkable vision of climate change over the coming decades. 
Read a hopeful story about coming together to fight oppressive forces in this fantasy fiction about New York City.
Read this cli-fi about race and class with iconic champion of storytelling LeVar Burton.
Before you read Parable of the Sower, check out these videos, guides, reviews, and other Octavia Butler books to help accompany your reading.
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