Great Dystopian Novels

Literature has been a defining part of culture since the beginning of language. The dangers of modern times have led to the writing of dystopian novels, novels which warn of an unhappy future. Many people think of Dystopian novels as purely science fiction-while science fiction is a natural fit for a dystopian story, not all dystopian books are considered science fiction. Without further delay, here are the 12 best dystopian novels.

#12 Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

This novel isn’t the 12th best on the list (it would be rated much higher in my opinion) but it’s at number twelve because of the on going argument whether this is truly a dystopian อ่านนิยาย novel or not. The definition of dystopia isn’t necessarily clear, though the general definition is that it is a society in which misery and negative conditions prevail (or a seeming utopia gained at horrifying costs.)

As far as a dysfunctional society, the island with its stranded little boys is it, and once the conch shell is no longer seen as authority, everything breaks apart. If anyone wants to argue that an anarchy could work, this book would be an immediate argument against it. This is an incredible psychological work, and I’d say their society is definitely dysfunctional enough to count as a dystopia.

#11 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)

This story comes from the first person Offred. Offred is a maid in a time when fertile women are forced to be breeding machines to keep the human population going. This takes place because the world is a post-nuclear world where many women can’t have children. This is a very theocratic society, and this book tends to be very pro-feminist and anti-religious, which causes it to often be protested. This is a great dystopian tale that is frightening because the logic of how the society became the way it is happens to be very believable.

#10 Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984)

Most of William Gibson’s novels revolve around a dystopian future society, but Neuromancer may be the best of them all. This novel won the sci-fi “triple crown” for writers by winning the Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick awards. In the seedy underground of a Japanese city, a computer hacker is hired to work on the ultimate hack. In a world flushed with AI, virtual reality, genetic engineering, and corporations overpowering nations, the adventure follows. Gibson beat many modern sci-fi writers to the punch, and this dystopian novel is one of the most influential in modern times.

#9 Iron Heel by Jack London (1908)

Iron Heel is an excellent dystopian novel about the rise of a tyrannical corporate oligarchy in the United States. This book doesn’t pay attention to technology the way most future dystopian science fiction novels do now. This work stressed changes in society and politics, with the oligarchy formed by robber barons whom bankrupt all the middle class and seize power before enforcing a “caste system” of workers. This was a fantastic dystopian novel that was far ahead of its time.

#8 The Running Man by Richard Bachman (1982)

Written by Stephen King under the penname of Richard Bachman, “The Running Man” is a fantastic dystopian novel about a frightening future where ratings and entertainment takes form in a man hunt, and where even the “winners” are losers. This novel is far superior to the movie, and in my opinion is one of the best novels written by Stephen King. “The Long Walk” is also an honorable mention.

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