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Dystopian Literature - 17/7/2009 10:43:21 AM   
OddCinema


Posts: 2591
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I find dystopian fiction some of the most interesting and thrilling writing I can lay my hands on. From Orwell and Huxley to Atwood and Zamyatin, and more, I can't get enough of terrorised futures and alternative realities. Is it just me, or are there others out there? What's your favourite story - and have you come across any new stuff that's worth a read? Save for a couple of books, I find that good dystopian writing drops off after the mid-nineties.

< Message edited by OddCinema -- 17/7/2009 7:17:54 PM >
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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 11:06:24 AM   
tftrman


Posts: 3192
Joined: 15/11/2005
My favourite book of all time is 1984 so I'm with you there. I'm also a big fan of A Clockwork Orange. Modern stuff? If you haven't read it, give The Road a look. Very bleak but provides a great vision of a distopian future.

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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 11:20:20 AM   
OddCinema


Posts: 2591
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From: 23 Meteor St.
It's on my to-read shelf! I have to admit, I only knew of it when I saw a film adaptation was being made - is it dystopian? Or more post-apocalyptic? Of course, the two are usually closely related.

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Post #: 3
RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 11:31:25 AM   
tftrman


Posts: 3192
Joined: 15/11/2005
No, I suppose it is more post apocalyptic to be honest. Very good though.

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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 11:38:12 AM   
OddCinema


Posts: 2591
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From: 23 Meteor St.
quote:

ORIGINAL: tftrman

No, I suppose it is more post apocalyptic to be honest. Very good though.

Not that I don't appreciate post-apoc. stuff! I find the two genres share a lot of the same ground, have heard great things about it, can't wait to get stuck in.

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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 12:43:22 PM   
MOTH

 

Posts: 3479
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Earth Abides by George R Stewart is a terrific read, also probably more post-apocalyptic than truly dystopian, but a fine meditation on the breakdown of civilisation



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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 2:37:21 PM   
LastMemories


Posts: 155
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From: Neverwhere

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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 3:05:40 PM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6285
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
Can't beat a bit of Margaret Atwood for a dystopian view of the future - The Handmaid's Tale or Oryx and Crake both come highly recommended.

I don't know if I'd agree that there's been no good dystopian literature since the early/mid-90s.  Certainly, the golden age seems to be behind us (oh, the irony!), but as well as the aforementioned Oryx and Crake and The Road, there's been work by Will Self (The Book of Dave), Ken Macleod (various), Michael Marshall Smith (Only Forward or Spares) elements in The Cloud Atlas, Never Let Me Go and plenty of others, as well as it featuring very heavily in the comic medium - Transmetropolitan being one title I couldn't recommend highly enough

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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 3:32:55 PM   
OddCinema


Posts: 2591
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From: 23 Meteor St.
quote:

ORIGINAL: sharkboy

Can't beat a bit of Margaret Atwood for a dystopian view of the future - The Handmaid's Tale or Oryx and Crake both come highly recommended.

I don't know if I'd agree that there's been no good dystopian literature since the early/mid-90s.  Certainly, the golden age seems to be behind us (oh, the irony!), but as well as the aforementioned Oryx and Crake and The Road, there's been work by Will Self (The Book of Dave), Ken Macleod (various), Michael Marshall Smith (Only Forward or Spares) elements in The Cloud Atlas, Never Let Me Go and plenty of others, as well as it featuring very heavily in the comic medium - Transmetropolitan being one title I couldn't recommend highly enough

Completely agree with you there, Atwood's pair are fantastic. Haidmaid's was a book that really terrified me in parts - especially, of course, the chapter of how society was taken apart. Marvellous writing. I haven't read The Book of Dave, purely because of an affliction to Self's work, but I'll give it a try.

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Post #: 9
RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 3:44:10 PM   
Harley Quinn


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I really liked the Handmaid's tale until the final chapter and then it was just a let down.

There is a great book called Children of the dust, which is heartbreaking. Which you may like.

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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 3:48:43 PM   
BlueBalls


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From: Movie hell...
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Possibly my favourite piece of dystopian fiction.

Although it slightly leans more toward the post-apocalyptic genre, I would check out; A Canticle for Leibowitz  by Walter M. Miller. Really good book. Nearly all of Philip K. Dicks have a certain dystopian element to them, but they don't all focus on that alone as you know if you've read any of his stuff before. Check out some of the more famous ones first; The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich etc and then move on the the lesser know novels, The Penultimate Truth and Time Out of Joint for example.

I do agree, the dystopian genre has fallen off the map of late. Maybe that's due to the fact that the world we live in matches up quite nicely to those worlds written about in the novels listed above . Who needs to write about something that's already happening, right?

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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 5:59:40 PM   
richCie


Posts: 4028
Joined: 11/11/2006
From: Wells, England

quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueBalls

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Possibly my favourite piece of dystopian fiction.

Although it slightly leans more toward the post-apocalyptic genre, I would check out; A Canticle for Leibowitz  by Walter M. Miller. Really good book. Nearly all of Philip K. Dicks have a certain dystopian element to them, but they don't all focus on that alone as you know if you've read any of his stuff before. Check out some of the more famous ones first; The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich etc and then move on the the lesser know novels, The Penultimate Truth and Time Out of Joint for example.

I do agree, the dystopian genre has fallen off the map of late. Maybe that's due to the fact that the world we live in matches up quite nicely to those worlds written about in the novels listed above . Who needs to write about something that's already happening, right?


Dr Bloodmoney? awesome book
death of grass is good as well.
oh and Blood Music, very very good

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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 6:02:22 PM   
OddCinema


Posts: 2591
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: 23 Meteor St.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Harley Quinn

I really liked the Handmaid's tale until the final chapter and then it was just a let down.

There is a great book called Children of the dust, which is heartbreaking. Which you may like.

I agree Harley, the climax of Handmaid's was more of a hurried whimper for me than a bang. Mystery is all well and good, but nothing beats inescapable despair. Thanks for the tip, I'll look it up.

I loved The Man in the High Castle, Blue. Have you read how Dick used the I Ching to influence the plot?

It's true, the world as it is does mirror dystopian realities a little more than it did thirty or more years ago; then again, there are always new horrors to be dreamt up...

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Post #: 13
RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 6:43:11 PM   
BlueBalls


Posts: 1009
Joined: 7/2/2008
From: Movie hell...
quote:

ORIGINAL: richCie


quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueBalls

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Possibly my favourite piece of dystopian fiction.

Although it slightly leans more toward the post-apocalyptic genre, I would check out; A Canticle for Leibowitz  by Walter M. Miller. Really good book. Nearly all of Philip K. Dicks have a certain dystopian element to them, but they don't all focus on that alone as you know if you've read any of his stuff before. Check out some of the more famous ones first; The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich etc and then move on the the lesser know novels, The Penultimate Truth and Time Out of Joint for example.

I do agree, the dystopian genre has fallen off the map of late. Maybe that's due to the fact that the world we live in matches up quite nicely to those worlds written about in the novels listed above . Who needs to write about something that's already happening, right?


Dr Bloodmoney? awesome book
death of grass is good as well.
oh and Blood Music, very very good


Dr Bloodmoney is one of the few PKD book's I haven't read. Nor have I read the other two you've posted. But they do look very interesting, I think I'll have to pick those up .

quote:



ORIGINAL: OddCinema

I loved The Man in the High Castle, Blue. Have you read how Dick used the I Ching to influence the plot?

It's true, the world as it is does mirror dystopian realities a little more than it did thirty or more years ago; then again, there are always new horrors to be dreamt up...


I knew he used it, the several references to it in the actual book lead me to that conclusion. But the exact in's and out's of why he used it and what it did to incluence the plot, or not, I have no idea.

I'm sure there are good stories of a similar nature coming out but it's just that no one has found them yet. Give it 10 years I'm sure there will be some "classics" written in this time about this society on the book shelves.

Or not .

< Message edited by BlueBalls -- 17/7/2009 6:44:22 PM >


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RE: Dystopian Lit. - 17/7/2009 6:57:27 PM   
OddCinema


Posts: 2591
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: 23 Meteor St.
quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueBalls

I'm sure there are good stories of a similar nature coming out but it's just that no one has found them yet. Give it 10 years I'm sure there will be some "classics" written in this time about this society on the book shelves.

Or not .

Haha... this just in from Cameron's new policies:




< Message edited by OddCinema -- 17/7/2009 7:02:06 PM >

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Post #: 15
RE: Dystopian Literature - 29/10/2009 9:57:33 PM   
TOMmyn@t0r


Posts: 79
Joined: 3/11/2007
From: Central Scotland
quote:

ORIGINAL: OddCinema

I find dystopian fiction some of the most interesting and thrilling writing I can lay my hands on. From Orwell and Huxley to Atwood and Zamyatin, and more, I can't get enough of terrorised futures and alternative realities. Is it just me, or are there others out there? What's your favourite story - and have you come across any new stuff that's worth a read? Save for a couple of books, I find that good dystopian writing drops off after the mid-nineties.


Just out of interest, what did you think of Zamyatin? I found We stupendously bizzare, practically unreadable, but srangely amazing.


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RE: Dystopian Literature - 31/10/2009 6:57:16 PM   
Monkeyshaver

 

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From: La Planete Des Singe
I would recommend Swastika Night. a futuristic dystopia that must have been an influence on George Orwell it's set a few hundred years in the future in a nazi ruled world where Hitler is venerated as a God. It was written in the late 30s before war broke out so written without any inkling of Hitler's Final Solution. & it was only many years later that it was revealed that the author used a pseudonym, Murray Constantine was really Katharine Burdekin.

Also check out much of JG Ballard's stuff. Many of his more recent novels are certainly dystopia's but more contemporary ones rather than speculative sci-fi.

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