Friday, July 3, 2009

Some dystopian fiction

List below was seeded from written fiction mentions in Graham J Murphy's non-fiction article "Dystopia" in the book "The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction" (2009); then decorated with download links where available & my commentary. It's presumably genre defining fiction.

List is in order of publication rather than order in which the works are mentioned in Murphy's article.

Link on story title goes to my post on the story, if there is one. Link on author name or year yields more matching fiction.

  1. Thomas More's "Utopia"; download; 1516: Yes - that's dystopia to some!
  2. Jules Verne's "The Begum's Millions"; 1879.
  3. H C Marriott-Watson's "Erchomenon, Or The Republic of Materialism"; download from scribd (I couldn't see anything - asks me to upgrade Flash Player - kept claiming I don't have latest version even after I upgraded); 1879.
  4. Walter Besant's "The Revolt of Man"; download Harvard University version or University of Toranto version; 1882.
  5. Walter Besant's "The Inner House"; download; 1888.
  6. H G Wells' "A Story of Days to Come"; download as part of a larger package; 1897.
  7. H G Wells' "When the Sleeper Wakes"; download; 1899.
  8. Edward Bellamy's "Looking Backward: 2000-1887"; download; 1888: Another disputed case - utopia or dystopia, depending on reader!
  9. E M Forster's "The Machine Stops"; download text/audio; Oxford and Cambridge Review, November 1909: When the machine meant to serve humanity became its overlord.

    "has the strongest claim to being dystopia's original text."
  10. Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We"; download MP3; written 1920, translated into English 1924.
  11. Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World"; download from anonymous source 1 or source 2; 1932: I'd read it long back. Don't recall much.
  12. George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four"; download from Project Gutenberg of Australia or from The Complete Works of George-Orwell; 1949: I'd read it long back. Don't recall much.
  13. Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano"; 1952.
  14. Bernard Wolfe's "Limbo"; 1952.
  15. Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451"; 1953: A cocktail of a story about an extreme censorship regime, description of a hedonistic society, & the familiar grandmother's rant against the "bad" effects of TV.
  16. Anthony Burgess's "A Clockwork Orange"; 1962.
  17. Samuel Delany's "Dhalgren"; 1975.
  18. Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale"; 1985.
  19. Pat Cadigan's "Mindplayers"; 1987.
  20. Kim Stanley Robinson's "The Gold Coast"; 1988.
  21. Marge Piercy's "He, She, & It"; 1991.
  22. Pat Cadigan's "Synners"; 1991.
  23. Octavia E Butler's "Parable of the Sower"; 1993.
  24. Octavia E Butler's "Parable of the Talents"; 1998.
  25. Ursula K Le Guin's "The Telling"; 2000.
Related: "best of" lists.