Times are good for writers of dystopian fiction, which happens to coincide with bad times for the climate, for politics, for general global sanity BUT YOU KNOW LET’S GLOSS OVER THAT RIGHT NOW at least we have our books, eh? Too bloody right. Here are three of the finest shit-just-got-real dystopias to grace our book shelves:
1) Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
A dude writing about the end of the world meets the offspring of the man who built the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima, who happen to own an isotope that will take out every molecule of water on Earth. Gloriously ridiculous, horrifyingly hilarious, science v religion and all the rest. The world is built on lies, and happiness only comes from embracing them. Too blinkin’ true. MORE: Writing Tips From Kurt Vonnegut
2) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
You know how it goes: darkly secretive sect take over America, force the few remaining fertile women to conceive and carry babies for the monied elite.
A glorious object of readerlust, but also remarkably prescient. Islamic terror attacks causing political turmoil, the vulnerabilities of digital finance, oppressive control over women’s bodies. Sounds familiar, eh?
3) The Power by Naomi Alderman
A new contender on the block, and a world in which women develop a superpower that makes them stronger than men may, for many of the fairer sex, sound like a utopia. But Alderman is on the toppest of top form, and after a year or two being coached by Atwood, she is not particularly sympathetic to man nor lady. The world with women on top is not the caring, sharing, gently-gently paradise you would imagine!
BIO: Sarah Lewis is one half of Writers’ HQ, an organisation for badass writers with no time or money. WHQ has just launched a range of online creative writing courses designed specifically to fit around your embarrassing Netflix habit and your crippling debt. Find out more, HERE.
Thanks for keeping it fun! With the current political climate in the US right now, it feels like we’re traipsing the edge of a dystopia ala Handmaid’s Tale! Of the three, I haven’t read Alderman – I’ll have to add The Power to my reading list. Great, lighthearted article!
Thanks for commenting Nina – I love The Handmaid’s Tale! I haven’t heard of THE POWER either, which is why I love this feature … given me so many reading recommendations as well. If you’d like to do your own ‘Best of 3’ sometime, all the details are here: http://www.lucyvhayauthor.com/Bestof3.
These all sound like great books. But somehow I can’t stomach dystopian books at the moment. They seem a little too real to me. Though I have read The Handmaid’s Tale and thought it was a fantastically told story.
Don’t blame you! Yes, love The Handmaid’s Tale 🙂