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Big Reading List of Dystopian and Apocalyptic Literature

Description: This is an all-inclusive list of dystopian literature, which includes apocalyptic literature, for the purposes of this list. Feel free to vote up your recommendations and thumbs down books that are not worth reading.

Note: I have mostly kept children's/YA dystopia OFF this list. Check here for a separate list: http://www.librarything.com/list/9602/all/Childrens-and-YA-Dystopias#

Members: 43 participating members (show all)

All members' list: [1] 2 3Sort: Score | Title | Author | Date
1
35,148 members, 679 reviews
4.04 stars (4.04 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (37): Futuristic philosophical dystopia. Loss of freedom of speech, mass consumerism, totalitarianism and extreme censorship. Required reading. Completed.

2
25,343 members, 647 reviews
4.11 stars (4.11 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (54): Classic feminist dystopia. Totalitarianism, infertility, theocracy. Required reading.

3
56,298 members, 888 reviews
4.24 stars (4.24 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (2): Classic political dystopia. Mass surveillance, propaganda, historical deletion, mind control, and extreme totalitarianism. Required reading.

4
40,346 members, 591 reviews
3.99 stars (3.99 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (8): Political/satirical allegory with animal characters. Propaganda and totalitarianism. Required reading.

5
37,769 members, 499 reviews
3.96 stars (3.96 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (13): Classic dystopia and counterpoint to 1984. Genetic engineering, mass consumerism, mind control, totalitarianism. Required reading.

6
34,080 members, 533 reviews
3.73 stars (3.73 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (65): Allegorical dystopia. Castaway boys on an uninhabited island regress to savagery.

7
25,178 members, 1,203 reviews
4.08 stars (4.08 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (85): Post-apocalyptic. A man and his son wander through a desolated landscape of ashes, eking out their survival from the little that's left remaining, while trying to get... well, nowhere in particular, really.… (more)

8
30,118 members, 843 reviews
4.34 stars (4.34 stars)

Explanations:

Her_Royal_Orangeness (0): Homophobic and misogynistic.

sturlington (36): Futuristic military SF with dystopian themes. Child soldiers versus aliens. First in a series.

9
25,624 members, 1,257 reviews
4.19 stars (4.19 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (48): Classic example of a children's dystopia, one of the few on this list.

10
12,492 members, 394 reviews
3.96 stars (3.96 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (79): Futuristic biopunk dystopia leading to an apocalypse. First of a trilogy.

11
12,375 members, 323 reviews
3.96 stars (3.96 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (31): Philosophical futuristic dystopia. Environmental degradation, androids, existentialism.

12
8,156 members, 225 reviews
3.94 stars (3.94 stars)

Explanations:

Her_Royal_Orangeness (0): I've tried to read this several times and just can't get past the monk wandering around in the desert digging holes. *yawn*

sturlington (14): Post-apocalyptic theological novel. Six hundred years after the Simplification -- total nuclear annihilation -- a cloister of monks in Utah preserve the little that remains of the world's knowledge, and wonder whether mankind is perpetually doomed to destroy itself.… (more)

13
4,378 members, 83 reviews
4.31 stars (4.31 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (91): Biblical apocalypse, epidemic of human-engineered virus, showdown between good and evil.

14
5,136 members, 153 reviews
4.01 stars (4.01 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (29): Apocalyptic "cozy catastrophe". Blindness epidemic and man-eating plants.

15
18,661 members, 271 reviews
4.02 stars (4.02 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (26): Classic futuristic dystopia written in fictional dialect. Mind control, extreme violence. Required reading.

16
16,848 members, 264 reviews
3.94 stars (3.94 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (75): Classic cyberpunk. Required reading.

17
11,719 members, 238 reviews
3.71 stars (3.71 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (97): Classic time travel novel. Far future dystopia in which humanity has de-evolved; also dying Earth. Required reading.

18
3,532 members, 125 reviews
3.86 stars (3.86 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (78): Classic "pre-apocalyptic" novel. Nuclear devastation.

19
30,919 members, 1,555 reviews
4.21 stars (4.21 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (16): Sequel to The Hunger Games.

20
11,341 members, 213 reviews
4.04 stars (4.04 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (71): Human colonization of Mars, during which there is a nuclear war on Earth.

21
6,481 members, 139 reviews
4.14 stars (4.14 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (30): False utopia/anarchism.

22
3,590 members, 254 reviews
4.12 stars (4.12 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (108): Future subterranean totalitarian society. Post-apocalyptic--environmental destruction.

23
3,248 members, 91 reviews
3.93 stars (3.93 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (22): Post-apocalyptic dystopia. Evolution of humanity, development of telepathic powers, theological themes. YA audience.

24
5,038 members, 294 reviews
3.93 stars (3.93 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (113): Sequel to Oryx and Crake.

25
4,207 members, 167 reviews
3.56 stars (3.56 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (19): Futuristic dystopia/apocalyptic novel. Male infertility, human extinction, dictatorship. Christian allegory.

26
4,055 members, 378 reviews
4.1 stars (4.1 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (118): Flu pandemic wipes out most of the population.

27
41,618 members, 3,013 reviews
4.36 stars (4.36 stars)

Explanations:

Her_Royal_Orangeness (0): "We're in a battle for our lives so why don't we go in this cave and make out for awhile?" *eyeroll*

sturlington (56): Televised survival contests. Post-apocalyptic future America. Probably the best of the recent YA dystopias.

28
27,375 members, 1,478 reviews
3.95 stars (3.95 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (73): Sequel to Catching Fire.

29
16,644 members, 203 reviews
4.12 stars (4.12 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (15): Satirical apocalyptic novel.

30
15,082 members, 264 reviews
4.14 stars (4.14 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (144): Cyberpunk dystopia (or post-cyberpunk).

31
8,532 members, 223 reviews
3.74 stars (3.74 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (70): WWII alternate history dystopia. Fascist US.

32
6,920 members, 149 reviews
3.93 stars (3.93 stars)

Explanations:

aulsmith (0): Clarke didn't mean this to be dystopian, just a sad evolutionary farewell.

sturlington (18): False utopia. Alien invasion, transhumanism.

33
5,360 members, 139 reviews
3.88 stars (3.88 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (104): Classic precursor to 1984. Required reading for serious fans of dystopian lit.

34
3,153 members, 66 reviews
3.73 stars (3.73 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (83): Post-apocalyptic. When the end of America comes, what is the one thing that can bring us back from the brink of complete anarchy? That's right: the U.S. Postal Service.… (more)

35
3,130 members, 87 reviews
4.03 stars (4.03 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (80): Feminist dystopia. Society has completely collapsed, and a young woman is driven from her home after her neighborhood is burned and her family murdered. Despite the violence and hopelessness that surrounds her, she is determined to spread her spiritual message.… (more)

36
2,036 members, 60 reviews
3.58 stars (3.58 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (145): Feminist dystopia in which suburban housewives are replaced with robot versions of themselves by their husbands.

37
1,810 members, 109 reviews
3.96 stars (3.96 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (68): Sequel to The Year of the Flood.

38
1,739 members, 50 reviews
4.05 stars (4.05 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (137): Far future following an apocalypse; first contact with advanced alien species. First in a trilogy.

39
14,135 members, 382 reviews
4.32 stars (4.32 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (103): Alternate history with superheroes. Dystopian and apocalyptic themes.

40
7,645 members, 371 reviews
3.84 stars (3.84 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (99): A mysterious dome encloses a small town and civilization regresses quickly. Strong apocalyptic themes.

41
7,175 members, 516 reviews
4.2 stars (4.2 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (1): Time travel and alternate history. Dystopia is only at the very end, as a result of changes to the timestream.

42
5,985 members, 100 reviews
3.98 stars (3.98 stars)

Lists: NateK, PDE, JoyKP, ShellyS, sturlington

Thumbs down: ShelfMonkey

Explanations:

sturlington (58): Short stories, several of which have apocalyptic and dystopian themes.

43
5,626 members, 31 reviews
3.77 stars (3.77 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (146): Sequel to Count Zero.

44
5,519 members, 64 reviews
3.79 stars (3.79 stars)
45
4,692 members, 71 reviews
3.96 stars (3.96 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (74): Alien civilization that experiences cyclical apocalypses.

46
3,382 members, 135 reviews
3.98 stars (3.98 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (57): Vampire/zombie apocalypse.

47
3,358 members, 91 reviews
3.98 stars (3.98 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (64): Futuristic dystopia. Survival contests. One of The Bachman Books.

48
2,068 members, 106 reviews
3.86 stars (3.86 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (98): Sequel to The Passage.

49
1,651 members, 38 reviews
4.09 stars (4.09 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (44): Feminist false utopia. Post-apocalyptic matriarchal society.

50
1,616 members, 38 reviews
4.05 stars (4.05 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (81): Sequel to Parable of the Sower.

51
1,244 members, 49 reviews
3.87 stars (3.87 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (106): Post-apocalyptic novel. Cloning, loss of individuality.

52
934 members, 24 reviews
4.12 stars (4.12 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (3): Sequel to Dawn.

53
15,669 members, 720 reviews
3.83 stars (3.83 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (76): Alternate history dystopia. Cloning and organ harvesting.

54
10,381 members, 561 reviews
4.01 stars (4.01 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (111): Zombie apocalypse.

55
10,062 members, 574 reviews
3.95 stars (3.95 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (0): YA dystopia. Conformity, personal appearance. First of a series.

56
9,231 members, 296 reviews
4.1 stars (4.1 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (140): Apocalyptic allegory. Blindness epidemic, extreme regression of civilization.

57
7,516 members, 147 reviews
4.19 stars (4.19 stars)
58
6,932 members, 673 reviews
4.19 stars (4.19 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (84): Futuristic dystopia: overcrowding and escape to virtual reality. Video game-like narrative.

59
6,443 members, 164 reviews
4.05 stars (4.05 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (41): Futuristic dystopia; perpetual war.

60
6,298 members, 491 reviews
3.91 stars (3.91 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (82): Vampire apocalypse. First in a trilogy.

61
4,172 members, 221 reviews
3.75 stars (3.75 stars)

Explanations:

Her_Royal_Orangeness (0): RapeX1000. *shudder*

sturlington (107): Futuristic biopunk dystopia. Climate change and genetic engineering.

62
3,936 members, 97 reviews
3.99 stars (3.99 stars)

Explanations:

Lucy_Skywalker (0): a great book, indeed, but it's not really a dystopia

sturlington (63): Alternate realities include dystopian and apocalyptic possibilities.

63
3,502 members, 114 reviews
4.01 stars (4.01 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (4): Classic post-nuclear war apocalyptic fiction. The residents of a small Florida town, having been alerted just prior to an all-out nuclear war, must struggle with the vagaries of small-town politics after the apocalypse.… (more)

64
3,311 members, 46 reviews
3.94 stars (3.94 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (66): A comet has slammed into the Earth, destroying all governing structures, and within weeks all of the survivors have reverted to feudalism, cannibalism and worse. Fun times.… (more)

65
2,940 members, 228 reviews
4.09 stars (4.09 stars)
66
2,681 members, 199 reviews
3.9 stars (3.9 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (139): One by one, use of different letters of the alphabet is outlawed in a fictional island country.

67
2,580 members, 187 reviews
3.84 stars (3.84 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (11): The last section takes place in a dystopian post-climate change world.

68
2,207 members, 79 reviews
4.2 stars (4.2 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (94): Nuclear war post-apocalypse. Supernatural showdown between good and evil.

69
1,804 members, 46 reviews
3.44 stars (3.44 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (121): A utopian all-female society.

70
1,765 members, 49 reviews
3.75 stars (3.75 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (147): Satirical dystopia. Evolved apes, de-evolved people.

71
1,666 members, 39 reviews
3.43 stars (3.43 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (90): Set in three different times; the last is a futuristic dystopia.

72
880 members, 15 reviews
4.12 stars (4.12 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (59): Sequel to Adulthood Rites.

73
707 members, 20 reviews
3.85 stars (3.85 stars)
74
517 members, 16 reviews
4.24 stars (4.24 stars)
75
318 members, 13 reviews
3.92 stars (3.92 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (46): Post-nuclear war. Once the apocalypse is over with, two women survive on a farm on the Oregon coast while trying to preserve the remainder of mankind's knowledge and sparring with the ultra-Christian religious cult down the beach.… (more)

76
23,377 members, 525 reviews
4.27 stars (4.27 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (49): Comic apocalyptic novel that takes the biblical rapture as its premise.

77
15,077 members, 331 reviews
3.86 stars (3.86 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (51): Post-apocalyptic alternate universe. Mix of western, horror and science fiction. First in a series.

78
13,119 members, 1,132 reviews
4.05 stars (4.05 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (0): YA dystopia. Conformity, totalitarianism. First of a trilogy.

79
12,504 members, 535 reviews
4.13 stars (4.13 stars)

Lists: PDE, kara.shamy, sturlington

Thumbs down: jcirulli

Explanations:

sturlington (27): This novel takes place in many different time periods, one of which is a mega-corporation dystopia with cloning, and another is a post-apocalyptic scenario featuring a fictional dialect.… (more)

80
11,305 members, 214 reviews
3.74 stars (3.74 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (101): Martian invasion with a strong apocalyptic tone.

81
11,007 members, 164 reviews
4.09 stars (4.09 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (32): Sequel to The Gunslinger.

82
9,813 members, 128 reviews
4.08 stars (4.08 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (102): Sequel to The Drawing of the Three.

83
8,889 members, 145 reviews
4.11 stars (4.11 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (148): Nanopunk/post-cyberpunk

84
7,180 members, 118 reviews
3.85 stars (3.85 stars)

Lists: cej1027, merrystar, rretzler

Thumbs down: aulsmith

85
6,879 members, 254 reviews
3.84 stars (3.84 stars)

Lists: cej1027, Dilara86, ahef1963

Thumbs down: sturlington

Explanations:

sturlington (0): Sequel to Uglies.

86
5,979 members, 67 reviews
3.83 stars (3.83 stars)

Lists: merrystar, cej1027, rretzler

Thumbs down: aulsmith

87
5,923 members, 219 reviews
4.21 stars (4.21 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (7): Alternate universe with apocalyptic themes.

88
5,826 members, 188 reviews
3.79 stars (3.79 stars)

Lists: Dilara86, cej1027, ahef1963

Thumbs down: sturlington

Explanations:

sturlington (0): Sequel to Pretties.

89
5,498 members, 40 reviews
3.84 stars (3.84 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (149): Sequel to Neuromancer.

90
5,081 members, 54 reviews
3.73 stars (3.73 stars)
91
4,543 members, 38 reviews
3.62 stars (3.62 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (150): Cyberpunk dystopia. First in a trilogy.

92
3,710 members, 27 reviews
3.68 stars (3.68 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (138): Sequel to Virtual Light.

93
3,284 members, 68 reviews
3.97 stars (3.97 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (45): Futuristic dystopia. Overcrowding, scarcity of natural resources.

94
3,097 members, 45 reviews
3.89 stars (3.89 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (96): Futuristic dystopia. Environmental degradation of Earth. Miserable Martian colonies.

95
2,465 members, 41 reviews
3.62 stars (3.62 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (143): Televised survival contests in futuristic dystopia. One of The Bachman books.

96
2,402 members, 282 reviews
3.67 stars (3.67 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (160): Environmental collapse from slowing of Earth's rotation.

97
1,972 members, 35 reviews
3.94 stars (3.94 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (24): Far future false utopia. Dying Earth.

98
1,920 members, 38 reviews
3.86 stars (3.86 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (34): Dystopian near-future. Climate change, misuse of technology.

99
1,859 members, 48 reviews
3.77 stars (3.77 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (50): Futuristic dystopia with a noir theme.

100
1,803 members, 40 reviews
3.95 stars (3.95 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (120): A future anarchist utopia presented in contrast with present-day and (briefly) an alternate future dystopia.

All members' list: [1] 2 3Sort: Score | Title | Author | Date

About this list

Started by: sturlington (March 2014)

Type: Unnumbered

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