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Rapid Readers' Advisory: Dystopian, Futuristic, Speculative

This LibGuide helps librarians and library patrons quickly connect with popular and relevant books and eBooks by genre, theme, medium, or language.

Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings

If you'd like to browse our circulating stacks on-site, the following Call Number ranges may help you find a good read:

PAP Paperbacks (these are usually in an area separate from the Circulating Stacks)

PN Drama, poetry, movies etc.

PQ Romance Literature

PR English Literature

PS American Literature

PZ Fiction in English

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

"A deft and dark Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance, from the acclaimed author of The Housekeeper and the Professor. On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, things are disappearing. First, animals and flowers. Then objects--ribbons, bells, photographs. Then, body parts. Most of the island's inhabitants fail to notice these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the mysterious 'memory police,' who are committed to ensuring that the disappeared remain forgotten. When a young novelist realizes that more than her career is in danger, she hides her editor beneath her floorboards, and together, as fear and loss close in around them, they cling to literature as the last way of preserving the past. Part allegory, part literary thriller, The Memory Police is a stunning new work from one of the most exciting contemporary authors writing in any language." #Psychological #Dystopian #ScienceFiction #Resistance

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now. #Theocracy #Misogyny #Resistance #Corruption #eBook

Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale: Season 1 is available on DVD at HCC.

Blindness by Jose Saramago

 A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" whose victims are confined to a vacant mental hospital, while a single eyewitness to the nightmare guides seven oddly assorted strangers through the barren urban landscape. #Portuguese #SocialCritique #Allegory #Psychological #Survivalism

The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century by Olga Ravn

"Funny and doom-drenched, The Employees chronicles the fate of the Six-Thousand Ship. The human and humanoid crew members complain about their daily tasks in a series of staff reports and memos. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew becomes strangely and deeply attached to them, even as tensions boil toward mutiny, especially among the humanoids. Olga Ravn's prose is chilling, crackling, exhilarating, and foreboding. The Employees probes into what makes us human, while delivering a hilariously stinging critique of life governed by the logic of productivity." #Cyborgs #OuterSpace #Totalitarianism #InterplanetaryVoyages

1984 by George Orwell

In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be. #Dystopian #Realism #Totalitarianism #BigBrother #Surveillance #English #eBook

1984 and Animal Farm combined book volume by George Orwell

George Orwell's classic satire on totalitarianism in which farm animals overthrow their human owner and set up their own government is accompanied by "1984," his portrayal of life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities. This unique edition is a combined volume of two books: 1984 and Animal Farm. #Dystopian #Surrealist #Totalitarianism #Satire #Fable #Allegory #Realism #English

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by Charlie A. Fletcher

The world used to be crowded before all the people went away, but Griz and Griz's parents were never lonely on their remote island. They had each other and their dogs. Then the thief came. There may be no laws left, but if someone steals your dog, you can expect someone to come after you, because what's the point of love if you're not loyal... #Apocalyptic #ClimateChange #BlackProtagonist #DogCompanion #English #ReproductiveDystopia #ScienceFiction #SpeculativeFiction #Survivalism

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

"In 2025 California, an eighteen-year-old African American woman, suffering from a hereditary trait that causes her to feel others' pain as well as her own, flees northward from her small community and its desperate savages." #California #Speculative #SocietalCollapse

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future?where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment. #Satire #Collectivism #Dystopian #GeneticEngineering #ScienceFiction #Totalitarianism #eBook

The Children of Men by P.D. James

"The year is 2021, and the human race is - quite literally - coming to an end. Since 1995 no babies have been born, because in that year all males unexpectedly became infertile. Great Britain is ruled by a dictator, and the population is inexorably growing older. Theodore Faron, Oxford historian and, incidentally, cousin of the all-powerful Warden of England, watches in growing despair as society gradually crumbles around him, giving way to strange faiths and cruelties: prison camps, mass organized euthanasia, roving bands of thugs. Then, suddenly, Faron is drawn into the plans of an unlikely group of revolutionaries. His passivity is shattered, and the action begins." "The Children of Men will surprise - and enthrall - P. D. James fans. Written with the same rich blend of keen characterization, narrative drive and suspense as her great detective stories, it engages powerfully with new themes: conflicts of loyalty and duty, the corruption of power, redemption through love. Ingenious, original, irresistibly readable, it confirms once again P. D. James's standing as a major novelist." #Dystopian #ReproductiveDystopian #Apocalypse #English

The Children of Men starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is also available on DVD.

Chain-gang all-stars : a novel / Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

She felt their eyes, all those executioners…Loretta Thurwar and Hamara “Hurricane Staxxx” Stacker are the stars of the Chain-Gang All-Stars, the cornerstone of CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment, a highly popular, highly controversial profit-raising program in America's increasingly dominant private prison industry. It's the return of the gladiators, and prisoners are com­peting for the ultimate prize: their freedom. #LGBTQ #MassIncarceration #PrisonLife #eBook

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results. Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets. As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes. #Theocracy #Misogyny #Resistance #Corruption

 

How long 'til black future month? / N.K. Jemisin

Three-time Hugo Award winner N.K. Jemisin's first collection of short fiction challenges and enchants with breathtaking stories of destruction, rebirth, and redemption. #ShortStories #eBook

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In a future totalitarian state where books are banned and destroyed by the government, Guy Montag, a fireman in charge of burning books, meets a revolutionary schoolteacher who dares to read and a girl who tells him of a past when people did not live in fear. #StatesponsoredTerrorism #Censorship #Totalitarianism #BookBurning #Satire #Political

The men : a novel / Sandra Newman

"Deep in the California woods on an evening in late August, Jane Pearson is camping with her husband Leo and their five-year-old son Benjamin. As dusk sets in, she drifts softly to sleep in a hammock strung outside the tent where Leo and Benjamin are preparing for bed. At that moment, every single person with a Y chromosome vanishes around the world, disappearing from operating theaters mid-surgery, from behind the wheels of cars, from arguments and acts of love. Children, adults, even fetuses are gone in an instant. Leo and Benjamin are gone. No one knows why, how, or where. After the Disappearance, Jane forces herself to enter a world she barely recognizes, one where women must create new ways of living while coping with devastating grief." #Grief #Matriarchy #MissingPersons #eBook

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