Dystopian books are not on top of mind when it comes to reading suggestions at the time of COVID-19. But stories about grim futures, where society exists under unjust systems, have also provided ideas to ponder on. Readers are eithered offered hope amidst despair, or situations that could be worse than what we have right now. We’re hoping more the former, but we’ll let you find out on your own with this quick list.
Society is under the watchful eye of Big Brother, leader of the Party. Everything is censored. Everything is monitored. This George Orwell classic is a staple of dystopian story lists, with themes that ring more true as we give up more of our privacy for the sake of digital transformation.
Animals stage a rebellion against their farm owner and try to build an ideal society where Animalism and the idea that “all animals are equal” prevails. But do they achieve their goal? This novel, which is another George Orwell work, is often argued as a dystopian story with good reason.
A 12-year-old boy lives in perfect world, or at least it seemed that way, until he is given the special task of being the Receiver of Memory. He inherits the truth about the past and the present, and struggles how to move towards the future with this burden. This dystopian book by Lois Lowry appeals to young adults. Loss of innocence is a relatable part of growing up.
Banned books are burned by firemen in this world, and one of them gets curious about the written texts and why they are outlawed. During one routine burning session, a fireman saves abook out of curiosity. In this novel, Ray Bradbury explores the dangers of censorship and the possibilities that preserved ideas can make.
A military program by the Republic of Greater East Asia annually abducts a junior high school class. The entire group is brought to an island and each student is fitted with explosive collars and given random survival items. Their goal: be the last student standing. Everyone else has to die. If the plot of this Koushun Takami story is familiar, it has similarities with another dystopian novel Hunger Games and video game PUBG. The novel also had a movie and comic adaptation of the same name.