Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
The Anthem

Dystopians

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I've read 1984, Brave New World, We, and Anthem (obviously). These seem to be the biggest but I want to continue. I'm trying to research dystopians so as to help the one I am writing. Right now, I'm reading A Canticle for Leibowitz. Does anyone have any dystopian recomendations?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have any dystopian recomendations?

Well, the most obvious and appropriate answer is Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged! ;) I also remember Farenheight 451 being a fairly interesting dystopia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, the most obvious and appropriate answer is Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged! ;) I also remember Farenheight 451 being a fairly interesting dystopia.

Don't worry, I've read it. I have Fahrenheit 451 and will be reading it after my current book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recommend The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess. It's about a society that has grown so advanced in its technology that there is much overcrowding, and as a result the big government of the time encourages homosexuality, extreme food rations, and even goes so far as to

host a pseudo-war to thin out the population

. Times get so bad crowds resort to cannibalism.

A book I'll have to reread, but I believe themes of original sin are present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have any dystopian recomendations?

I sure do:

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

Truancy - Isamu Fukui (recently published as of this past March and the author has told me (and the public) that it is part of a trilogy)

Maybe even:

The Giver - Lois Lowry (though I don't recommend it entirely)

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

Here is a list you probably would want to look at as an aid in your research.

Edited by intellectualammo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I Am Legend?

Not quiet. That one is more of a vampire/apocalypse horror story.

I haven't read it, but Starship Troopers get a lot of praise, along with other works by Robert A. Heinlein.

Oh, and A Clockwork Orange. I have yet to read the book, but the movie is good. V for Vendetta is also fun, the comics supposedly emphasize the dystopian elements more than the movie, but this is secondhand knowledge.

Edited by Nyronus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really you shouldn't comment on books you haven't read.

I wouldn't call Starship Troopers dystopian at all. Sure the society is in some regards highly socialist but it is also firmly rooted in liberal rights as described in the book. Forget the movie it's garbage and bares only a passing resemblance to the book. In the novel the state doesn't order you to become a "citizen" and the only "punishment" for not being a citizen is the lack of suffrage the reasons for which is explained quite well.

It is an alternate form of government depicted in the book but hardly totalitarian or dystopian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question: has anyone read "Logan's Run"? Is it worth it? The movie was good enough.

There's a dystopian novel by Robert Silverberg called "The World Inside." People are required to have as many children as they can, starting as young as possible. They're also encouraged to engage in social sex with their neighbors every night. They live in clusters of towers 1,000 stories high.

The books is only a portrait of a sick society. It offers no alternatives. But aside from the incessant sex (I wound up sick of it), it's a good enough read.

There's another story I read some 20 years ago I can't recall the title or author. part of the story concerns the pronoun "I," which is known to the inhabitants but they're forbidden it use. Rather they'd say things like "One would like to know what's going on between you and one's wife!" They would use the word "I" only when very upset, or as an expletive.

The prologue, I do recall, mentioned Rand's "Anthem." But aside from the first-person pronoun, the two works couldn't be farther apart. This novel concludes people are too selfish and the only thing to do is to completely wipe out individuality.

There's Philip Jose Farmer's "Lovers," about a theocracy and what one man does when his values come in conflict with the rules he must follow. I read it too long ago, though, and don't recall all that much.

There's the work Soylent Green" was based on. I think it's called "Make Room, Make Room!" by Harry HArrison, but I'm not certain. I haven't read it.

As to apocalyptic novels and stories, I recommend Niven's "Lucifer's Hammer," if you can stomach the detailed description of catastrophe, death and struggle after a comet strike, the ending is worth it; and a longish story by Lester del Rey called "For I Am A Jealous People."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too am working on a dystopian-themed novel. I recommend one of the classics of dystopians, that being Orwell's 1984.

I have not yet read Brave New World, but am considering adding it to my list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read 1984, Anthem, We, and Brave New World. I did not care for Brave New World. It depicts a world that is too ordered, to the point that it churns people out on an assembly line. Basically, it's a critique of the mass market production that Henry Ford helped to jump start...the main protagonist is also a complete luddite.

When both (I think) of the main characters died, I didn't care.

Edited by The Wrath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In We the Living you know that communism was isolated to a few countries and that there were free people and relatively free countries whereas the embargo on thought was complete in 1984, and the characters did nothing to resist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1984 doesn't say whether or not fascism exists outside of Britain. If the protagonists had won in 1984, or had a reasonable prospect of winning, it would have drastically reduced the sense of warning that you get by reading it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They said there were 3 identical nations warring over middle zones and implied that the resistance was non existent or crushed. That sounds fairly hopeless especiallyw hen told from a hopeless main character who surrendered, who at the end is thinking of his surrender in a shop where he saw other resistance members who had surrendered. Not a single person in the story had integrity to stand by their convictions or values. If I had not read a similar but more hopeful work, AS, I would have received a strong tone of hopelessness based on the area and events covered by the novel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can find a copy, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. It has some similarities with Brave New World, mainly the use of drugs to keep the population controlled, but it has a much better plot and ending. (The novel is divided into four parts, titled "Growing Up", "Coming Alive", "Getting Away" and "Fighting Back", which accurately describes the overall plot arc.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though I wouldn't call Starship Troopers dystopian, it's definitely worth a read. Also, on the list, already discussed and undiscussed, is

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein. Surprised nobody recommended that one yet.

1984 by George Orwell

We The Living/Anthem/Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand of course. The Fountainhead was good, but it didn't come across to me as totally bad enough to be a dystopian, although it definitely had a "Man vs. Society" theme. It goes up there with Starship Troopers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read 1984 when I was approximately fourteen years old. It certainly ended with a note of despair. Reading about Winston Smith basically having his mind and soul crushed by the tyranny of Big Brother and the Party, to the point

where he is willing to accept reality as defined by the Party

, made me think of reality and rights as being sacred. In fact, I remember wondering, even at that tender age, how people could allow the government to gain so much control over their lives.

I will probably read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and maybe pick up Brave New World later, if at all. Huxley was a rather notable advocate of socialism and fascism, so I suppose I am concerned that reading Brave New World might be the artistic equivalent of swimming in a sewer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have any dystopian recomendations?

V for Vendetta?

If This Goes On... (from Heinlein's Future History Series) about living under a religious dictatorship

Faith of the Fallen - Terry Goodkind (best of the series so far...I'm halfway through Naked Empire)

Twelve Monkeys?

A Boy and his Dog - Harlan Ellison

Johnny Mnemonic - William Gibson

[sorry I'm not coming up with more but my books have been in storage for almost five months]

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read 1984, Brave New World, We, and Anthem (obviously). These seem to be the biggest but I want to continue. I'm trying to research dystopians so as to help the one I am writing. Right now, I'm reading A Canticle for Leibowitz. Does anyone have any dystopian recomendations?

im not sure how distopian it is but "the man in the high castle" is a pretty good one. Its about nazi germany and japan winning world war 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...