Thursday, November 13, 2008

Top 10 dystopian novels

Back in 2005 Robert Collins, author of Soul Corporation, named a top ten list of dystopian novels for the Guardian.

His preface and Number One on the list:
"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."

1. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

The dystopia to end them all. It's no coincidence that Orwell's nightmare has become such an ingrained part of our consciousness. More than any book in this list, it feels as though it's not really an allegory at all, but instead a murky, half-experienced reality. From Newspeak to Big Brother to Winston's sojourn in Room 101, Orwell's last novel is a towering, sadistic, and tender portrait of humanity floundering in the ideological clutches of totalitarianism.
Read the complete list.

--Marshal Zeringue