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
DhalgrenBy 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 GoBy 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 RoadBy 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 BehindBy 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 StarBy 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.
SeveranceBy 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 BabyBy 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.
1984By George Orwell
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 SeasonBy 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 CrakeBy 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.