PDA

View Full Version : Best Dystopian Novel


bendk
01-14-2011, 04:59 PM
What would be your pick for the best dystopian novel?

I think I will go with Orwell's 1984. (I also think the movie with John Hurt and Richard Burton is outstanding).


Here are a couple of lists to jar your memory.

http://listverse.com/2008/03/12/top-12-dystopian-novels/

http://www.popcrunch.com/the-16-best-dystopian-books-of-all-time/ (http://www.popcrunch.com/the-16-best-dystopian-books-of-all-time/)



And here are a few others that didn't make the lists, but that I have and want to read.


http://people.uncw.edu/smithms/Ace%20singles/sA-series/sA-003.jpg




http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n8/n40315.jpg




http://farm1.static.flickr.com/161/386222845_86d3193eed.jpg




http://pictures.abebooks.com/BOOKIT2/3679417594.jpg

DoktorH
01-14-2011, 09:06 PM
What would be your pick for the best dystopian novel?

Best in what way? I have a few answers.
Best dystopian novel I want to live in: Brave New World. Guaranteed employment, short work week, free recreational mind-altering substances, spooky rituals... yeah, I could live there.

Best dystopian novel for realism and making me laugh: American Psycho (I think it's fair to call Wall Street a dystopia)

Best dystopian novel to foist upon children: Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk. plenty of scams that little kids can get away with are depicted therein, and plenty of dangerous behavior for them to foolishly emulate.

Runner-up dystopian novel for all three: Clockwork Orange.

bendk
01-14-2011, 09:57 PM
What would be your pick for the best dystopian novel?

Best in what way? I have a few answers.
Best dystopian novel I want to live in: Brave New World. Guaranteed employment, short work week, free recreational mind-altering substances, spooky rituals... yeah, I could live there.

Best dystopian novel for realism and making me laugh: American Psycho (I think it's fair to call Wall Street a dystopia)

Best dystopian novel to foist upon children: Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk. plenty of scams that little kids can get away with are depicted therein, and plenty of dangerous behavior for them to foolishly emulate.

Runner-up dystopian novel for all three: Clockwork Orange.


Yeah, this thread was tricky to name. I usually go with "Favorite" but for some reason it sounded odd to me. What is your favorite future hell? I guess I meant "Best" in terms of enjoyable and significant. The most fun for me to read was A Clockwork Orange (you should hear Burgess read it!) and it is important on an individual level, especially the long deleted last chapter, which, while it isn't as much fun as the way the Kubrick film ends, it is probably a "truer" account of adolescence. So use whatever criteria you like. Choose multiple titles, make a list, name a few that you have read and liked or disliked . I am just interested in hearing what people have to say.

DoktorH
01-14-2011, 11:01 PM
So use whatever criteria you like. Choose multiple titles, make a list, name a few that you have read and liked or disliked . I am just interested in hearing what people have to say.

The thing I like about dystopias is that they're usually someone's idea of utopia plus a bit of time and some unexpected consequences. Brave New World would be great, if only there was a little more personal liberty. the Patrick Bateman life in American Psycho would be grand if no one were accountable for their own actions. Clockwork Orange would be Neverland for juvenile delinquents if only they didn't have to grow up and get jobs.

Sand
01-15-2011, 05:35 AM
A little-known but morbidly readable dystopian novel is The Twenty-Fifth Hour by Herbert Best (1940), a post-apocalypse story. It is unflinching in its depiction of ragged tribes of humanity reduced to savagery and survivalism. In similar vein, and equally hard-eyed and pessimistic, is Skrine by Kathleen Scully (1960), which depicts how petty tyranny and religious bigotry would take grip in a ruined world. Neither offers even so much as the least glimmer of hope: they are among the most thoroughgoing of dystopias and so, in a certain sense, might be counted as among "the best".

Piranesi
01-16-2011, 09:40 AM
Along with Nineteen Eighty-Four, Zamyatin’s We is one of the best dystopian novels I have read. Though We ends with a glimmer of hope (unlike Orwell’s vision), and though it features moments of great beauty and ”funny” satire, the overall tone is bleak. The story of D-503 and E-330 is so tragic that it always leaves me nearly devastated with despair and melancholy. But We also provokes anger, and all manner of thoughtcrimes, as does Nineteen Eighty-Four; both novels are effective antidotes to a political climate ruled by capitalism and Machiavellian principles.

Kevin
01-16-2011, 05:57 PM
'1984.'Never to be surpassed.

Gray House
01-17-2011, 05:42 PM
Nabocov, who wrote two excellent dystopian novels (Bend Sinister and Invitation to a Beheading), or one excellent one and one that I expect is excellent but have yet to read, has effectively steered me away from 1984, but maybe I will try it and decide for myself.

A short story, not a novel, but I also recommend E M Forster's "The Machine Stops".

Gray House
01-17-2011, 07:27 PM
Read "The Machine Stops" online: THE MACHINE STOPS ... E.M. Forster (http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html)

bendk
02-19-2011, 12:21 PM
This book of short stories might be worth a look.


http://www.johnjosephadams.com/brave-new-worlds/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Brave_New_Worlds-TP_Cover_r4-200x300.jpg (http://www.johnjosephadams.com/brave-new-worlds/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Brave_New_Worlds-TP_Cover_r4.jpg)




YOU ARE BEING WATCHED.

Your every movement is being tracked, your every word recorded. Your spouse may be an informer, your children may be listening at your door, your best friend may be a member of the secret police. You are alone among thousands, among great crowds of the brainwashed, the well-behaved, the loyal. Productivity has never been higher, the media blares, and the army is ever triumphant. One wrong move, one slip-up, and you may find yourself disappeared -- swallowed up by a monstrous bureaucracy, vanished into a shadowy labyrinth of interrogation chambers, show trials, and secret prisons from which no one ever escapes. Welcome to the world of the dystopia, a world of government and society gone horribly, nightmarishly wrong.

In his smash-hit anthologies Wastelands and The Living Dead, acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams showed you what happens when society is utterly wiped away. Now he brings you a glimpse into an equally terrifying future -- what happens when civilization invades and dictates every aspect of your life? From 1984 to The Handmaid's Tale, from Children of Men to Bioshock, the dystopian imagination has been a vital and gripping cautionary force. Brave New Worlds collects 33 of the best tales of totalitarian menace by some of today's most visionary writers, including Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

When the government wields its power against its own people, every citizen becomes an enemy of the state. Will you fight the system, or be ground to dust beneath the boot of tyranny?

Includes stories by:

Shirley Jackson
S. L. Gilbow
Joseph Paul Haines
Ursula K. Le Guin
M. Rickert
Kate Wilhelm
O Geoff Ryman
Charles Coleman Finlay
Neil Gaiman & Bryan Talbot
J. G. Ballard
Carrie Vaughn
Paolo Bacigalupi
James Morrow
Alex Irvine
Ray Bradbury
Cory Doctorow
Caitlin R. Kiernan
Geoff Ryman
Harlan Ellison (R)
Genevieve Valentine
Sarah Langan
Kim Stanley Robinson
Matt Williamson
Philip K. Dick
Heather Lindsley
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Robert Silverberg
Orson Scott Card
Jeremiah Tolbert
Joe Mastroianni
Adam-Troy Castro
Tobias S. Buckell
Vylar Kaftan

DoktorH
02-22-2011, 01:21 AM
Dystopia I'd Least Like To live In: World War Z, by Max Brooks. On the surface, living during the reconstruction following a worldwide zombie outbreak doesn't sound as bad as living during the worldwide zombie outbreak, but it's got some major downsides, like...
...if your pre-zombiepocalypse job was customer service, retail, anything in a cubicle, your new job is unskilled labor. those stalls won't muck themselves!
...most of the population has seen their friends and loved ones eaten. PTSD is the new common cold.
...outside the little enclaves of relative peace and safety, it's still zombiepocalypse, so you can basically see Hell from your house.
...cure? Containment? nope! the best anti-zombie weapon to ever be invented is a sharpened pizza-oven spatula. a knitting needle affixed to knuckledusters is a close second. aim for the neck (or eye, if you got the short straw), run fast, and good luck!

damo
02-22-2011, 09:14 AM
cant believe that list put brave new world before 1984. the latter is above subjectivity in taking the crown. better written, better plot, better ideas, more exciting, scarier and lets face it, it aint sci-fi, its about the here and now and the human condition.
my second fave would be the road by cormac mccarthy (or would blood meridian by the same writer be allowed seeing as its set in the past?). both stunningly well-written and moving books that leave their 'stain' on you for months after reading them.
enjoyed the chrysalids by the too-often-overlooked john wyndham too.

DoktorH
02-22-2011, 10:24 AM
cant believe that list put brave new world before 1984.

1984 doesn't rank on my list of top dystopias because Big Brother doesn't really bother with anyone other than Party members. the proles are free to do and think as they please