Dystopian fiction takes place in worlds often even more miserable than those ravaged by apocalypse. There might not have necessarily been a disaster to bring about this change in society, but the result is a desolate and oppressive world, all the same. There is some cross-over between this genre and the far post-apocalypse, so be sure to check out both lists.

best dystopian apocalyptic booksTitle: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Year: 1949
What it’s all about: An all time great work of literature, 1984 remains responsible for many cultural references still popular today. A devastatingly bleak portrayal of a world in a state of perpetual dystopia, it speaks volumes about governance, war and the dangers of fascist rule.
book listTitle: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
Year: 1932
What it’s all about: The classic Brave New World is striking in that the world it depicts is not immediately miserable or particularly negative. Quite the opposite, it is the protagonist who seems to be combative and ill at ease. In following his discontent, though, we see quite how horrible a seemingly perfect society can be.
novelsTitle: In the Country of Last Things
Author: Paul Auster
Year: 1989
What it’s all about: This desperately bleak novel charts the journey of a young lady through an inexplicably decayed city. Civilisation has crumbled, and everyone lives in a half-dead state of almost vagrant survival.
the hunger gamesTitle: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Year: 2008
What it’s all about: The first in a series where past riots are now punished by vicious fights to the death.
Now a major blockbuster film.
Title: Battle Royale
Author: Koushun Takami
Year: 1999
What it’s all about: Popularly known thanks to the massive Japanese film hit, Battle Royale is the story of a class of students pitched in a battle to the death on a deserted island.
dystopian booksTitle: We
Author: Eugene Zanyatin
Year: 1924
What it’s all about: A classic based on the real life dystopia the author, Eugene Zanyatin, was experience in early 20th Century Russia, We chronicles D-503’s experiences in an urban society constructed from glass, reminiscent of Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon prison.