Twenty Core Dystopias Every True SF Fan Should Have On Their Shelves
As with the previous core lists, here are twenty Dystopian works, chosen entirely on the basis of merit and significance1. No implication is intended that these are the only twenty books you should conside2.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Swastika Night by Katharine Burdekin
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
- Bulldozer Rising by Anna Livia
- The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner
- The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
- Walk to the End of the World by Suzy McKee Charnas
- This Time of Darkness by H. M. Hoover
- Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs
- “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
- The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Drinking Sapphire Wine by Tanith Lee
- The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe
- Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
- The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo
- House of Stairs by William Sleator
- Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
- We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Persons unfamiliar with one or two of the works, congratulations! You’re one of today’s Ten Thousand!
1: There are two filtering rules:
- Only one work per author per list
- Any given work by a particular author can appear on only one list. A given author may, however, have works on various lists but each instance of their work will be unique.
2: NO IMPLICATION IS INTENDED THAT THESE ARE THE ONLY TWENTY BOOKS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER3.
3: See footnote 2.