The best mind-bending dystopian science fiction

A.R. Silverberry Author Of Shadow House: A Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction
By A.R. Silverberry

Who am I?

Realms of the imagination have always called to me. My father had shelves of Astounding Science Fiction and Galaxy magazines. The covers alone were enough to streak me to far-off worlds, aliens, and spaceships. Here, I discovered Robert E. Howard, creator of sword and sorcery. A walk in the woods was a quest to find pixies in a magic kingdom. And a much-loved babysitter read every Oz book to me, easing me to sleep. With all this to get lost in, it’s a wonder I earned a PhD in psychology. Or not. The mind is a limitless universe. Who knows what we might discover in our dreams?

I wrote...

Shadow House: A Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction

By A.R. Silverberry,

Book cover of Shadow House: A Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction

What is my book about?

Elimination. The sentence of New Earth's Supreme Council rings in Johari's ears. Innocence won't spare him, but the House might. With no options left, Johari enters, only to find the guy who set him up cozy with the girl he loves. As if that isn't enough, something is stalking them. 

Shrouded in mystery, the House is a rite few return from. Running for his life, and questioning his heart, Johari is about to learn why.

The books I picked & why

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The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Why this book?

This is the book that inspired me to write a dystopian novel. It’s highly original, gripping, and filled with heart. What could be more dystopian than young people fighting each other to the death on live TV? Author Suzanne Collins provides the right balance between the action and the love story. Both culminate powerfully in the final book. Katniss Everdeen’s spirit and compassion are unforgettable.


By Dean Koontz,

Book cover of Elsewhere

Why this book?

Dean Koontz has influenced my writing more than any other author. For decades, his books have been at the top of my reading list. Year after year, he consistently writes top-tier, inventive page-turners. His villains are evil. His heroes and heroines are likable and easy to relate to. He gets that one can’t traverse a frightening world without humor, and by analogy, neither can we. Elsewhere is one of his best in a long time. Equal parts bone-chilling, creepy, nerve-racking, and sinister, balanced by love, compassion, loyalty, and second chances, it doesn’t get better than this. 

The Maze Runner

By James Dashner,

Book cover of The Maze Runner

Why this book?

I love books that combine mystery, science fiction, high stakes, adventure, and sizzling plots. The Maze Runner does it all. From the opening pages, I wanted to know how Thomas got there, and why? Why was his memory wiped? What’s the purpose of the maze? Who’s behind it all? And most important, is there a way out? Well worth the read.


By Stephen King,

Book cover of 11/22/63

Why this book?

King’s work has had a tremendous impact on me—showing me how to be fearless as a writer. 11/22/63 is my favorite of his books and a masterpiece of speculative fiction. Take the premise: stopping JFK’s assassination. Talk about a hook! It doesn’t stop there. He whips you hither and yon as you journey through the past, reliving the America of a bygone era, as you race to the date. A time portal, a love story, Lee Harvey Oswald, and a cast of unforgettable characters collide in this mind-bender.


By Jorge Luis Borges, Anthony Bonner (translator),

Book cover of Ficciones

Why this book?

I read these short stories when I was twelve, reread them countless times as an adult, and was forever changed. Entering these pages is like journeying through the looking glass, only to enter a labyrinth of mystery, secrets, and chance. It may seem like an outlier from the books above. Yet Borges was a pioneer in speculative fiction and one of a kind. One of the stories has been called the greatest ever written. Just saying.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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