Dystopia…it’s what I love!

Our whole family loves to read.  We read all of the time and are pretty diverse in what we read.  Emily and the kids, in particular, like sci-fi and fantasy.  They all read the same books and truly love to get away into the lands and places their imaginations take them.  I like sci-fi and fantasy too, but my real love is reading about the end of the world.  Of course, there are all sorts of zombie shows on right now and with global tensions and economic craziness, I think many more people have a particular view of what that vision of the future might be, even without zombies.

The first book I read about a bleak future and the poop hitting the fan (SHTF), was the Grapes of Wrath.  If you search of apocalypse or dystopia on amazon, you will not see Grapes of Wrath, but life as depicted in that book was about as tough as it gets.  It has no discussions on zombies or mercenaries gone wild or killer plagues, but it demonstrates the strength of humanity and the willingness to endure and survive anything life can dish out. Lots of people also get their first exposure to the genre (sort of) in school.  Lord of the Flies introduces 8th graders all over the country to the end of the world (at least for the characters) and the struggle to survive each year.

After The Grapes of Wrath and Lord of the Flies, I was hooked.  I read 1984 and Animal Farm, Years of the City and Neuromancer, The Stand and Thomas More’s Utopia.  I read Walden and Walden II and Huxley’s Brave New World.  I love these books.  They are a few of the classic books about other futures, some good, most bad.  The Hunger Games series is, of course, an international dystopic hit that everyone knows.


I also like to read about more contemporary scenarios tied to specific modern subjects. One can ponder the future after global economic meltdown, killer asteroids, nuclear war,  pandemics and volcanic destruction by reading among Lucifer’s Hammer, Alas Babylon, The Postman,  Thomas Sherry’s Deep Winter series, One Second After, Rawles’ Patriot  and American Apocalypse.  I think the real possibility of most of the scenarios are slim, but I enjoy reading about the strength of human character and the will to fix what is broken and preserve what we hold dear.  I looked over my kindle and I have over 100 similar dystopian future books and that future looks bright!

Does anyone else share my love of books about the end of the world as we know it (EOTWAWKI)?  Do you know of any other books similar in subject?


5 thoughts on “Dystopia…it’s what I love!

  1. Have you read any Neal Stephenson (Reamde, Snow Crash, Zodiac, Cryptonomicon)? I also like Christopher Moore’s twisted versions of things we think we know. (‘Lamb’ is his take on Jesus’ life in the years not covered by the Bible; ‘Fool’ is his version of ‘King Lear’) I’m a reader of just about anything, but these are two of my current favorites.

  2. No! I will have to check those out! I think I have heard of Snow Crash but I have not read it. Someone else suggested The Road by Cormac McCarthy. My wife is going to be upset I have so many more books to try!

  3. I think I read most of those in my younger days when I couldn’t get enough of the scify/end of the world genres and I didn’t have a television in the house to distract me. Eventually I felt that I read as many books in those genres that I needed to move on and I turned solely to non-fiction where I have been for the last decade and a half or so. Eventually when I tire of that, I plan to go back and visit the scify genre and those ‘classics’ that I’ve missed in the last fifteen years.

  4. I love a good book. I read all kinds. I’ve also begun reading what my kids are required to read over summer break. Gives me something to talk to them about.
    As for dystopian novels—the most perfect version of that genre is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It was so dark and bleak and frightening and sad and downright gripping. I could not put it down. I read as fast as I could. Because you are a father, it will rip at your heart in a way that none of your other dystopian novels will ever touch. If Emily won’t let you buy it, I’ll send you my copy.

  5. Abby read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. She said it was good and we talked about it some.

    I really liked The Stand by Stephen King. I thought about that book for a loooong time after. I had the thought to read it again. Maybe someday when I have more time, right now it would eat into my Words With Friends schedule!!

    I have nothing new to offer except I am pretty sure you have seen the new tv show coming out from the guy who did Lost about something catastrophic happening. We may try it.

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