The best dystopian books to feed your rebellious spirit

Who am I?

All my life, I have been drawn to the dark, twisty, unconventional, rebellious stories; I was always a little disappointed with the Disney-fied fairytales, always enthralled by the dark imaginings of the originals. As I grew older, I recognised that these dark fables were not just confined to stories of fantasy, but present as seeds of discontent and destruction in our own reality—in the injustices of the present, and disasters of our potential future. As an author, I use these modern parables and prophecies—in dystopian, weird, and gothic science fiction—as a way to explore and critically reflect on our humanity and its future.  


I wrote...

Resistance

By Mikhaeyla Kopievsky,

Book cover of Resistance

What is my book about?

In a dystopian future, Paris is now the walled city-state of Otpor and revelling in its latest Golden Age: an intoxicating mix of abandon and apathy made possible by the Orthodoxy. The population is engineered into four neuro-social classes, ensuring citizens exist in complete equality, fraternity, and liberty. But, not everyone is satisfied with the status quo. When forbidden murals start appearing in the city, the Government moves quickly: realigning the neural conditioning of one of their Peacekeepers, Anaiya 234, and sending her deep undercover to infiltrate the resistance. As her realigned identity fractures and the city descends into chaos around her, Anaiya is forced to confront a different truth to the one she's been conditioned to obey.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Fahrenheit 451

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky Why did I love this book?

One of the most well-known dystopian classics, Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 builds its dystopic society around the banning of knowledge and over-consumption of mindless entertainment. The book is subversive from the very first line—“It was a pleasure to burn”—introducing us to a world where firemen start fires rather than put them out. And our main character, fireman Guy Montag, is the perfect dystopian protagonist—deeply conflicted throughout, and seduced by the very thing he has been employed to destroy. The perfect dystopian book to feed your rebellion against censorship. 

By Ray Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Fahrenheit 451 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.

Over 1 million copies sold in the UK.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic…


Book cover of Snow Crash

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky Why did I love this book?

A futuristic cyberpunk indictment of capitalism and privatisation, Snow Crash is a wild ride from start to finish. Less dense and more accessible than some of other Stephenson’s novels, Snow Crash still pays homage to Stephenson’s love of linguistics, with the story centering on a digital language-based virus (disguised as a drug) that allows brain function to be programmed and controlled. But the real draw of this novel are the characters, the punk vibes, and the fun (almost satirical) story development: with mafia-employed, pizza deliverer, Hiro Protagonist navigating the metaverse, 21st Century Los Angeles, and Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong with his skateboard-riding courier accomplice, Y.T. The perfect dystopian book to feed your rebellion against corporatisation. 

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Snow Crash as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The “brilliantly realized” (The New York Times Book Review) breakthrough novel from visionary author Neal Stephenson, a modern classic that predicted the metaverse and inspired generations of Silicon Valley innovators

Hiro lives in a Los Angeles where franchises line the freeway as far as the eye can see. The only relief from the sea of logos is within the autonomous city-states, where law-abiding citizens don’t dare leave their mansions.

Hiro delivers pizza to the mansions for a living, defending his pies from marauders when necessary with a matched set of samurai swords. His home is a shared 20 X 30…


Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky Why did I love this book?

Like all great dystopian books, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is a powerful condemnation of our present reality, and is finding particular resonance in today’s debates on female agency and equality. The story takes place in a United States transformed into a religious-military dictatorship known as the Republic of Gilead, where women are only valued for what they can contribute to men. Beyond denying women property and literacy, Gilead denies them their names and autonomy over their bodies. The story is made more poignant and powerful through the eyes of Offred, a handmaid who still remembers and yearns for the life stolen from her—one where she had a job, a husband, and a child. The perfect dystopian book to feed your rebellion against female oppression.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Handmaid's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
**A BBC BETWEEN COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ**

Go back to where it all began with the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series.

'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford -…


Book cover of Animal Farm

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky Why did I love this book?

It’s impossible to talk about dystopian fiction without mentioning George Orwell. But rather than recommend his seminal 1984, I prefer his more subversive Animal Farm. While the novella is a satirical allegory of the Russian Revolution and Stalinist Soviet, its appeal and lessons are much broader. After the animals of Manor Farm stage a revolt and drive their drunken master off the property, they establish a doctrine of ‘all animals are equal’ and the maxim "Four legs good, two legs bad." But as the pigs begin to assert their governance, and then their dominance, the lofty ideals of the revolution are overturned and history rewritten: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." The perfect dystopian book to feed your rebellion against political corruption.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Animal Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The perfect edition for any Orwell enthusiasts' collection, discover Orwell's classic dystopian masterpiece beautifully reimagined by renowned street artist Shepard Fairey

'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.'

Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the…


Book cover of The Trial

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky Why did I love this book?

A surreal, tense, almost absurd story that was never supposed to see the light of day. Published after Kafka’s death, The Trial is the story of Joseph K, who is unexpectedly arrested for an unspecified crime and subjected to the mercy of a court system that is as irrational as it is inexplicable. Despite its absurdity, the story holds a real menace and ever-present claustrophobia related to the desperate and futile attempts of Joseph K. to find answers and clear his name. The perfect dystopian book to feed your rebellion against inaccessible and unjust institutions and their systems. 

By Franz Kafka,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Trial as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested." From its gripping first sentence onward, this novel exemplifies the term ""Kafkaesque." Its darkly humorous narrative recounts a bank clerk's entrapment — based on an undisclosed charge — in a maze of nonsensical rules and bureaucratic roadblocks.
Written in 1914 and published posthumously in 1925, Kafka's engrossing parable about the human condition plunges an isolated individual into an impersonal, illogical system. Josef K.'s ordeals raise provocative, ever-relevant issues related to the role of government and the nature of…


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Through Any Window

By Deb Richardson-Moore,

Book cover of Through Any Window

Deb Richardson-Moore Author Of Murder, Forgotten

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Mystery aficionado Beach lover Mother Gardener Housing advocate

Deb's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Riley Masterson has moved to Greenbrier, SC, anxious to escape the chaos that has overwhelmed her life.

Questioned in a murder in Alabama, she has spent eighteen months under suspicion by a sheriff’s office, unable to make an arrest. But things in gentrifying Greenbrier are not as they seem. As Riley struggles to forge a new life, forces are gathering in the tension-plagued neighborhood where glitzy new homes rise alongside crumbling mill houses, and everyone, it seems, can peer into a neighbor’s window.

When murder explodes, someone unexpected is caught in the crossfire. Detectives are left to ponder: Are the deaths personal or the result of rich and poor living in such close proximity? And will Riley take the blame as someone so meticulously planned?

Through Any Window

By Deb Richardson-Moore,

What is this book about?

After being questioned in a murder investigation, Riley Masterson has spent eighteen months under suspicion by the sheriff’s office. Anxious to escape accusing eyes, she finally decides to leave Alabama and move to South Carolina.

But Greenbrier isn’t the stabilizing influence she hopes for, as her neighborhood is slowly being gentrified, with homeless people living in the shadows of mansions. As Riley struggles to forge a new life, forces are gathering in the tension-plagued neighborhood as glitzy new homes rise beside crumbling mill houses, and everyone is able and willing to peer into a neighbor’s window.

When a ghastly crime…


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