I love a good dystopian novel. I enjoy a good story where I can’t afterward pick the story to pieces, highlighting the glaring errors and the “no way would they react like that” events.
I’m actually surprised, reading other WordPress blogs, at the number of female fans of this genre. I had assumed, obviously incorrectly, that this was the domain of males…..Survivalists and Preppers.
If I may just mention a couple of novels in this genre I enjoyed reading…
James Herbert’s “48” –
set in London in 1948 after Hitler won the war by bombing the UK with a biological weapon designed to kill people of certain blood groups – keeping the Arian race pure. Naturally, things don’t go quite as expected…..I won’t spoil it for you. London is eerily empty and abandoned as we follow the struggle to survive of “our hero”. It certainly makes one think about how different things would have turned out, had Hitler had this weapon at his disposal and had the chance to deploy it. I really enjoyed this book.
John Marsden wrote a series of 7 books for young adults which are still worth a read for adults too. The first book in the series is “Tomorrow when the War began”.
Set in Australia, follows a group of teenage friends who go camping, at the end of the school year, in the outback. One night while camping they hear a large number of military aircraft flying overhead. They return to their small town a few days later to discover the entire town’s residents have been coralled into a makeshift prison camp by Chinese troops. They don’t know at this stage if it is a localized or national invasion. It’s not just a book about surviving and trying to fight back against a foreign foe, but also about the relationships that develop with in the group and who among them step up to lead.
As I mentioned earlier it is the first of 7 books in this series AND there is also a spin off trilogy called “The Ellie Chronicles” – which continues to follow the life of one of the lead characters from the “Tomorrow” book.
There are several events in the series of books that are of the “no way would they do that” or “no way would that happen” – but they don’t detract from the story which barrels along from start to finish. I can see why teens would enjoy reading this series of books.
A movie was made of the “Tomorrow” book with an option to do one of the second book. Unfortunately the first movie failed to meet the financial targets so the second was never made.
I must admit that when I read dystopian type novels or watch apocalyptic movies I do tend to analyse the characters and events – and whether or not what they do, or the way they react to a situation, is within the realms of realism.
I live in New Zealand – known as the “shaky isles” as we are sitting on the edge of two techtonic plates and numerous fault lines and just to add interest, have active volcanoes. All of which combine to also make us a Tsunami risk. Many of us here wouldn’t label ourselves as “Preppers” as in the American National Geo Series “Doomsday Preppers” – we’re not prepping for the Zombie outbreak, but we do take steps to prepare for natural disasters. We have emergency supplies (food, water, medical supplies, emergency shelter etc.) just in case something major happens. I believe that the direction that the world is currently heading – with extreme weather phenomina, the predictions of a major pandemic (similar to the Spanish Flu of 1918 – which infected 500 million people around the world – without the assistance of passenger jets, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic, and resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million), the possibility of natural disasters and the danger of political leaders with “balls bigger than their brains” being in charge of nuclear, chemical and biological arsenals – it pays to take precautions. As one who does – I feel qualified – to a point – to pull apart bad dystopian novels.
New Zealand’s earth quake and tsunami risk doesn’t put off rich – mainly American – businessmen and celebrities from buying up land here (and building underground bunkers) for their emergency bolt holes when things go belly up in the northern hemisphere. NZ has been named as one of THE best places to be should a major world wide disaster occur.
Fellow blogger wishvintage has a post on her favourite list of dystopian novels. It’s a really good list. See link below.
If anyone has other recommendations, please let me know.