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Friday, January 30, 2009

Dystopian Novel Challange

I'm currently reading Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake and am definitely loving it. It's sort of for Carl's Sci-Fi Challenge even though it's not full Sci-Fi. Which brings me to the difference between Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and dystopian novels. Do you think dystopian novels count as Sci-Fi books? Hmmm..

Anyway, I mentioned to my husband that he should read it but he said he's never read a dystopian novel...not 1984, A Brave New World...nothing! So I got to thinking and I came up with:

The Dystopian Novel Challenge

1. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood (Finished January 30, 2009)

2. 1984 - George Orwell (Finished April 15, 2009)

3. A Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

4. The Road - Cormac McCarthy

5. Neuromancer - William Gibson

6. We - Yevgeny Zamyatin

7. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut (Finished February 06, 2009)

8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick

9. Life as We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer (Finished February 5, 2009)

10. World War Z - Max Brooks (Finished February 18, 2009)

11. The Unit - Ninni Holmqvist (Finished July 6, 2009)

12. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (Finished October 24, 2009)

Already reviewed:

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

Do you have any suggestions or must-reads for the list? I'm re-reading A Brave New World and finally reading all of 1984. I've already read Fahernheit 451 and probably won't re-read that one.


  1. I do tend to think of dystopian fiction as a branch of sci-fi, but then again I also don't pay that much attention to genre classifications. Very often they're just arbitrary.

    Another great dystopian book is The Giver, but you've probably read that already :P I can't think of any others I'd recommend, but there are a few I've been meaning to read myself: The Last Man by Mary Shelley (one of the very first!), A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (said to have influenced the road), Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield.

  2. I've read most of the books on this list. "The Road" was the most stunningly bleak of them. It made me just want to go outside and stand in the sunlight for a while.

    Sheri S. Tepper has written a number of dystopian/post-apocalyptic SF novels, of which my favorite is "A Plague of Angels".

  3. You might go check out this blog:

    A couple of years ago I hosted a Dystopian Challenge. I ended up not finishing it (got pregnant instead) but a lot of other people did finish it and there are some good reviews.

  4. That's a pretty comprehensive list! Morbid as I am, I've read a fair few of these, with 1984 definitely striking me as the most realistic, and The Road being the scariest. It definitely gave me the chills.

    Other than the above, try giving Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" a chance. I found that extremely disturbing, and figured I'd never want to live in a society (if you can call it that) described in the book.

    And then there's Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. It might be debatable, but I think it's a dystopian novel. Again, amazingly written, and you have to wonder about how far the government is ready to go to minimize crime, and keep their prisons from overflowing.


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