Monday, February 16, 2015


A Helpful List of Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Books You May Not Have Read Yet

1. The Wind Singer (Book 1 of the Wind on Fire Trilogy) by William Nicholson, currently available in the children's section of the Used Book Cellar. An other-world fantasy which starts with a dystopian plot in book one and moves on to bigger and better (and equally fascinating) things in books two and three.

2. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, available in our Young Adult section. Also a trilogy. The language is unique and gripping, the story is ferocious, and it's unforgettably atmospheric.

3. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, a story about a boy raised in a country called Opium who discovers the horrific reality of what he is: a clone of the country's drug lord, created as potential spare parts for the original. It'll be in Young Adult.

4. Starglass by Phoebe North, a subtle, beautiful book that takes place on a city-sized spaceship seeking a new future for humanity on a far-away planet. Carefully intertwines personal and political loyalties and turns dystopia and romantic tropes on their heads. And then there's the ending, which gut-punches the entire story so far and makes all those big problems look suddenly small. Also worth noting--this ship is culturally Jewish. Find it in Young Adult.

5. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin lives over in adult fiction, and it's the precursor to every single dystopian novel you've ever heard of--before Brave New World, before 1984, before Fahrenheit 451, before The Hunger Games, before Divergent, there was this little Russian novel. It's also fantastic.

6. The City of Ember by Jeanne du Prau may not be my very favorite kids' dystopia, but there's a good graphic novel adaptation of this story of a long-underground human civilization in our kids graphica section.

7. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is over in adult Science Fiction (good for teen readers), and it's a classic mind trip about a pizza delivery guy named Hiro Protagonist, virtual reality, and post-disaster America.

8. The Prince Who Fell from the Sky by John Claude Bemis is a convincing and satisfying futuristic animal fantasy, about the animals living on post-apocalypse Earth when a single human child--survivor of a spaceship crash--lands among them. You can order this one through our website. Intermediate.

9. The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick is about a kid who's charged with, essentially, protecting the last records of human knowledge in a world that's fallen apart. Also available online. Intermediate.

10. Feed by M.T. Anderson (to be found in Young Adult) is where I started reading dystopian fiction. So, it's America's future, and the weather is all screwy and people are getting weird diseases, but your extremely portable technology always knows just what you want to shop for! That's good, right? Hint: it's not good. It's totally not good. It's totally, extremely not good. (But it is a good book.)

With these books and others in hand, may you have a snug continued snowpocalypse. Happy chilly reading!

1 comment:

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