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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. Add anything that's missing, but please do not remove books from the list.

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: 53 participating members (show all)

All members' list: [1] 2 3Sort: Score | Title | Author | Date
1
39,136 members, 764 reviews
4.03 stars (4.03 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (49): Futuristic philosophical dystopia. Loss of freedom of speech, mass consumerism, totalitarianism and extreme censorship. Required reading.

2
29,754 members, 838 reviews
4.11 stars (4.11 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (50): Classic feminist dystopia. Totalitarianism, infertility, theocracy. Required reading.

3
41,275 members, 562 reviews
3.96 stars (3.96 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (40): Classic dystopia and counterpoint to 1984. Genetic engineering, mass consumerism, mind control, totalitarianism. Required reading.

4
61,775 members, 988 reviews
4.24 stars (4.24 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (37): Classic political dystopia. Mass surveillance, propaganda, historical deletion, mind control, and extreme totalitarianism. Required reading.

5
43,847 members, 656 reviews
3.99 stars (3.99 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (39): Political/satirical allegory with animal characters. Propaganda and totalitarianism. Required reading.

6
37,371 members, 582 reviews
3.73 stars (3.73 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (22): Allegorical dystopia. Castaway boys on an uninhabited island regress to savagery.

7
27,152 members, 1,264 reviews
4.07 stars (4.07 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (60): 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
28,898 members, 1,367 reviews
4.18 stars (4.18 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (116): Classic example of a children's dystopia, one of the few on this list.

9
13,610 members, 428 reviews
3.96 stars (3.96 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (57): Futuristic biopunk dystopia leading to an apocalypse. First of a trilogy.

10
8,927 members, 245 reviews
3.95 stars (3.95 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 (41): 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)

11
20,258 members, 308 reviews
4.02 stars (4.02 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (45): Classic futuristic dystopia written in fictional dialect. Mind control, extreme violence. Required reading.

12
14,285 members, 372 reviews
3.95 stars (3.95 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (47): Philosophical futuristic dystopia. Environmental degradation, androids, existentialism.

13
5,734 members, 482 reviews
4.1 stars (4.1 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (62): Flu pandemic wipes out most of the population.

14
5,648 members, 162 reviews
4 stars (4 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (11): Apocalyptic "cozy catastrophe". Blindness epidemic and man-eating plants.

15
3,111 members, 61 reviews
4.28 stars (4.28 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (61): Biblical apocalypse, epidemic of human-engineered virus, showdown between good and evil.

16
32,697 members, 904 reviews
4.33 stars (4.33 stars)

Explanations:

Her_Royal_Orangeness (0): Homophobic and misogynistic.

sturlington (117): Futuristic military SF with dystopian themes. Child soldiers versus aliens. First in a series.

17
13,260 members, 267 reviews
3.72 stars (3.72 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (33): Classic time travel novel. Far future dystopia in which humanity has de-evolved; also dying Earth. Required reading.

18
34,913 members, 1,617 reviews
4.2 stars (4.2 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (119): Sequel to The Hunger Games.

19
7,356 members, 164 reviews
4.13 stars (4.13 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (46): False utopia/anarchism.

20
3,864 members, 138 reviews
3.87 stars (3.87 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (102): Classic "pre-apocalyptic" novel. Nuclear devastation.

21
18,093 members, 292 reviews
3.93 stars (3.93 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (25): Classic cyberpunk. Required reading.

22
12,548 members, 234 reviews
4.05 stars (4.05 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (24): Human colonization of Mars, during which there is a nuclear war on Earth.

23
3,867 members, 114 reviews
4.03 stars (4.03 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (55): 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)

24
2,310 members, 132 reviews
3.95 stars (3.95 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (59): Sequel to The Year of the Flood.

25
46,776 members, 3,157 reviews
4.35 stars (4.35 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 (118): Televised survival contests. Post-apocalyptic future America. Probably the best of the recent YA dystopias.

26
31,237 members, 1,566 reviews
3.94 stars (3.94 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (120): Sequel to Catching Fire.

27
17,746 members, 220 reviews
4.11 stars (4.11 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (42): Satirical apocalyptic novel.

28
5,651 members, 317 reviews
3.93 stars (3.93 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (58): Sequel to Oryx and Crake.

29
4,341 members, 283 reviews
4.11 stars (4.11 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (121): Future subterranean totalitarian society. Post-apocalyptic--environmental destruction.

30
3,569 members, 95 reviews
3.92 stars (3.92 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (44): Post-apocalyptic dystopia. Evolution of humanity, development of telepathic powers, theological themes. YA audience.

31
16,050 members, 297 reviews
4.13 stars (4.13 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (31): Cyberpunk (or post-cyberpunk).

32
11,009 members, 594 reviews
3.94 stars (3.94 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (122): YA dystopia. Conformity, personal appearance. First of a series.

33
9,839 members, 261 reviews
3.71 stars (3.71 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (23): WWII alternate history dystopia. Fascist US.

34
7,629 members, 167 reviews
3.92 stars (3.92 stars)

Explanations:

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

sturlington (123): False utopia. Alien invasion, transhumanism.

35
5,968 members, 157 reviews
3.87 stars (3.87 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (63): Classic precursor to 1984. Required reading for serious fans of dystopian lit.

36
4,528 members, 173 reviews
3.56 stars (3.56 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (43): Futuristic dystopia/apocalyptic novel. Male infertility, human extinction, dictatorship. Christian allegory.

37
17,407 members, 792 reviews
3.82 stars (3.82 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (26): Alternate history dystopia. Cloning and organ harvesting.

38
15,174 members, 417 reviews
4.32 stars (4.32 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (125): Alternate history with superheroes. Dystopian and apocalyptic themes.

39
4,654 members, 231 reviews
3.75 stars (3.75 stars)

Explanations:

Her_Royal_Orangeness (0): RapeX1000. *shudder*

sturlington (113): Futuristic biopunk dystopia. Climate change and genetic engineering.

40
2,288 members, 68 reviews
3.58 stars (3.58 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (124): Feminist dystopia in which suburban housewives are replaced with robot versions of themselves by their husbands.

41
2,053 members, 56 reviews
4.03 stars (4.03 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (8): Far future following an apocalypse; first contact with advanced alien species. First in a trilogy.

42
1,791 members, 45 reviews
4.08 stars (4.08 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (95): Feminist false utopia. Post-apocalyptic matriarchal society.

43
15,987 members, 1,244 reviews
4.04 stars (4.04 stars)

Explanations:

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

44
8,527 members, 391 reviews
3.84 stars (3.84 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (34): A mysterious dome encloses a small town and civilization regresses quickly. Strong apocalyptic themes.

45
7,112 members, 526 reviews
3.9 stars (3.9 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (27): Vampire apocalypse. First in a trilogy.

46
7,110 members, 185 reviews
4.03 stars (4.03 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (18): Futuristic dystopia; perpetual war.

47
4,988 members, 82 reviews
3.95 stars (3.95 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (126): Alien civilization that experiences cyclical apocalypses.

48
3,362 members, 74 reviews
3.73 stars (3.73 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (127): 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)

49
2,473 members, 123 reviews
3.85 stars (3.85 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (28): Sequel to The Passage.

50
2,033 members, 61 reviews
3.42 stars (3.42 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (99): A utopian all-female society.

51
1,948 members, 45 reviews
4.05 stars (4.05 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (56): Sequel to Parable of the Sower.

52
1,769 members, 113 reviews
3.82 stars (3.82 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (103): Feminist dystopia in which women gain the power to kill with electrical shocks. Reverse gender roles.

53
1,381 members, 56 reviews
3.85 stars (3.85 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (128): Post-apocalyptic novel. Cloning, loss of individuality.

54
25,602 members, 589 reviews
4.27 stars (4.27 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (19): Comic apocalyptic novel that takes the biblical rapture as its premise.

55
17,089 members, 376 reviews
3.83 stars (3.83 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (14): Post-apocalyptic alternate universe. Mix of western, horror and science fiction. First in a series.

56
13,759 members, 572 reviews
4.12 stars (4.12 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (7): 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)

57
12,829 members, 238 reviews
3.75 stars (3.75 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (35): Martian invasion with a strong apocalyptic tone.

58
11,540 members, 594 reviews
4 stars (4 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (115): Zombie apocalypse.

59
8,678 members, 602 reviews
4.21 stars (4.21 stars)

Explanations:

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

60
6,631 members, 107 reviews
3.98 stars (3.98 stars)

Lists: NateK, PDE, sturlington, JoyKP, ShellyS

Thumbs down: ShelfMonkey

Explanations:

sturlington (21): Short stories, several of which have apocalyptic and dystopian themes.

61
3,835 members, 117 reviews
4 stars (4 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (38): 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)

62
3,770 members, 149 reviews
3.97 stars (3.97 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (20): Vampire/zombie apocalypse.

63
3,745 members, 100 reviews
3.99 stars (3.99 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (129): Futuristic dystopia. Survival contests. One of The Bachman Books.

64
3,487 members, 52 reviews
3.93 stars (3.93 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (130): 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
2,972 members, 208 reviews
3.68 stars (3.68 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (3): First in a trilogy. Mysteriously transformed Area X threatens to spread beyond its border.

66
1,550 members, 112 reviews
3.41 stars (3.41 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (98): Satirical dystopia in which people volunteer to live in a closed community where they must spend every other month in prison.

67
1,066 members, 29 reviews
4.11 stars (4.11 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (9): Sequel to Dawn.

68
344 members, 16 reviews
3.93 stars (3.93 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (96): 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)

69
12,178 members, 182 reviews
4.08 stars (4.08 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (15): Sequel to The Gunslinger.

70
10,857 members, 144 reviews
4.08 stars (4.08 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (16): Sequel to The Drawing of the Three.

71
10,262 members, 887 reviews
4.14 stars (4.14 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (132): Futuristic dystopia: overcrowding and escape to virtual reality. Video game-like narrative.

72
10,046 members, 322 reviews
4.09 stars (4.09 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (131): Apocalyptic allegory. Blindness epidemic, extreme regression of civilization.

73
7,474 members, 259 reviews
3.84 stars (3.84 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (0): Sequel to Uglies.

74
6,098 members, 70 reviews
3.79 stars (3.79 stars)
75
5,950 members, 37 reviews
3.77 stars (3.77 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (0): Sequel to Count Zero.

76
4,493 members, 124 reviews
3.99 stars (3.99 stars)

Explanations:

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

sturlington (54): Alternate realities include dystopian and apocalyptic possibilities.

77
3,568 members, 76 reviews
3.96 stars (3.96 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (12): Futuristic dystopia. Overcrowding, scarcity of natural resources.

78
3,281 members, 220 reviews
3.82 stars (3.82 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (82): The last section takes place in a dystopian post-climate change world.

79
3,259 members, 239 reviews
4.1 stars (4.1 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (0): First of a series.

80
2,930 members, 214 reviews
3.89 stars (3.89 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (133): One by one, use of different letters of the alphabet is outlawed in a fictional island country.

81
2,831 members, 93 reviews
3.95 stars (3.95 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (48): Classic post-apocalyptic novel. One of the few survivors of a plague attempts to rebuild society but instead must watch it erode to a primitive state.… (more)

82
2,428 members, 91 reviews
4.19 stars (4.19 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (107): Nuclear war post-apocalypse. Supernatural showdown between good and evil.

83
2,022 members, 54 reviews
3.74 stars (3.74 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (134): Satirical dystopia. Evolved apes, de-evolved people.

84
1,737 members, 39 reviews
3.44 stars (3.44 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (32): Set in three different times; the last is a futuristic dystopia.

85
1,587 members, 40 reviews
3.55 stars (3.55 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (17): Feminist spec fiction set in 4 alternate universes, two of which could be considered dystopias.

86
1,438 members, 151 reviews
3.86 stars (3.86 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (51): Pre-apocalyptic. Imminent meteor impact causes social collapse. First in a trilogy.

87
1,301 members, 99 reviews
3.87 stars (3.87 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (135): WWII alternate history in which England goes fascist. First in a trilogy.

88
1,225 members, 42 reviews
3.9 stars (3.9 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (100): Feminist post-apocalyptic fiction. Regression of civilization, return to the wilderness.

89
1,181 members, 39 reviews
3.45 stars (3.45 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (137): First in a trilogy. Climate change apocalypse.

90
1,081 members, 64 reviews
3.82 stars (3.82 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (110): Climate change leads to drought, collapse, and violent clashes over water in the Southwest.

91
999 members, 17 reviews
4.03 stars (4.03 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (36): Collection of three novels. Two are set on alien planets. One is far-future post-apocalyptic Earth following an alien invasion.

92
987 members, 21 reviews
4.13 stars (4.13 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (10): Sequel to Adulthood Rites.

93
835 members, 100 reviews
3.77 stars (3.77 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (138): Futuristic dystopia. Organ harvesting, euthanasia of the aged and non-productive members of society.

94
636 members, 41 reviews
3.85 stars (3.85 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (136): Sequel to Farthing.

95
625 members, 83 reviews
3.9 stars (3.9 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (52): Sequel to The Last Policeman.

96
420 members, 29 reviews
3.4 stars (3.4 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (97): Due to climate change, a gigantic sand dune has covered the Southwestern US.

97
316 members, 31 reviews
3.25 stars (3.25 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (139): All women who get pregnant die. On the YA border.

98
9,385 members, 155 reviews
4.11 stars (4.11 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (91): Nanopunk/post-cyberpunk

99
8,194 members, 164 reviews
4.18 stars (4.18 stars)

Explanations:

sturlington (0): Probably not going to read this since I saw the movie.

100
8,017 members, 130 reviews
3.85 stars (3.85 stars)
All members' list: [1] 2 3Sort: Score | Title | Author | Date

About this list

Started by: sturlington (March 2014)

Type: Unnumbered

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