Monday, August 29, 2005

Top 10 Dystopian Novels

Fictional dystopias are almost always cautionary tales - warnings of where our political, cultural and social surroundings are taking us. The novels here all share common motifs: designer drugs, mass entertainment, brutality, technology, the suppression of the individual by an all-powerful state - classic preoccupations of dystopian fiction. These novels picture the worst because, as Swift demonstrated in his original cautionary tale, Gulliver's Travels, re-inventing the present is sometimes the only way to see how bad things already are.
Robert Collins nominates his top 10 dystopian novels. Among the others that he lists, are some of my favorites: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K Dick

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