The best books about women in dystopian worlds

Who am I?

I write women in dystopia. I live in the North West of the UK and I also write psychological thrillers and women’s fiction – I am currently writing my 9th book. I love books set in the near future and in alternate dystopian worlds – I recently discussed this with my brother and we settled on ‘mind-bending’ as our go-to for this genre. I have a PhD in narrative and storytelling and my mission as a writer was to write fiction about issues that affect women, and what better way than to place them in hypothetical but possible situations to explore that reality? 


I wrote...

SmartYellow™

By J.A. Christy,

Book cover of SmartYellow™

What is my book about?

Teenager Katrina Williams finds herself pregnant and on the wrong side of social services. She soon realises that something sinister is going on in the depths of the sink estates. Then she finds out about SmartYellow™.

Exploring themes of social inequity and scientific responsibility, J.A. Christy's first speculative fiction novel leads Katrina to understand how probability, hope, and empathy play a huge part in the flow of life and are absent in the stagnation of mere survival. SmartYellow™ offers a worryingly plausible and chilling glimpse into an alternate Nineties Britain. SmartYellow™ was nominated for the Arthur C Clark in 2016.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

J.A. Christy Why did I love this book?

When I first read The Handmaid’s Tale years ago, it made a huge impression on me. As well as being a writer I am a Health Psychologist specializing in women’s reproductive health, and this book to me on so many levels. Offred’s life is all our worst fears as women and this novel truly brought another dimension of the world and what people are capable of into view. I was lucky enough to meet Margaret Atwood and chat about how she wrote the book and imagined the world, which I hope informs my own work. Everyone should read this book.

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 The End of Men

J.A. Christy Why did I love this book?

I read The End of Men recently during the pandemic. Without giving the plot away, this book is about a pandemic written before the actual pandemic. The thing I love about this book is the deep feelings it invoked. It is written from many viewpoints and I really cared about the characters – if a book can resonate so deeply that it makes you wonder how your life would be in the same circumstances, the author has succeeded. The women in the book face an almost unimaginable struggle and I rooted for them all the way.

By Christina Sweeney-Baird,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The End of Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A FIERCELY INTELLIGENT PAGE-TURNER' PAULA HAWKINS

'WRITTEN PRE-COVID - GRIPPING, SCARY AND PERSUASIVE' IAN RANKIN

'THE STUFF THAT CLASSICS ARE MADE OF' A.J. FINN

'GRIPPING AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN. WHAT A DEBUT!' SARAH PEARSE, author of The Sanatorium

'BRILLIANT, PRESCIENT, UNPUTDOWNABLE' JENNY COLGAN

'AN ENGROSSING DEBUT' STYLIST

'HUGE IN SCOPE...AS TENSE AS THE TAUTEST THRILLER' RED

'THE MOST BUZZED-ABOUT FICTION FOR 2021' SUNDAY TIMES STYLE

'AN UNFLINCHINGLY PACY MUST-READ' GRAZIA

'AN UNFORGETTABLE DEBUT'PRIMA
________________________________________________________

GLASGOW, 2025. Dr Amanda Maclean is called to treat a young man with a mild fever. Within three hours he dies. The mysterious illness sweeps through the…


Book cover of The Power

J.A. Christy Why did I love this book?

I picked this book up when it won the Orange Prize for Women’s fiction. The premise is that teenage girls suddenly realize they have an electrical power that they use to tame men. We soon start to see how they use it and pass it on to other women, and I loved how it grew into a ‘good vs evil’ exploration. I found the novel a thought experiment on what would happen if power dynamics were reversed. I loved it and read it over a weekend. 

By Naomi Alderman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2017

'Electrifying' Margaret Atwood

'A big, page-turning, thought-provoking thriller' Guardian

----------------------------------

All over the world women are discovering they have the power.
With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain - even death.
Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they've lost control.

The Day of the Girls has arrived - but where will it end?

----------------------------------

'The Hunger Games crossed with The Handmaid's Tale' Cosmopolitan

'I loved it; it was visceral, provocative and curiously pertinent . . . The story has stayed…


Book cover of Station Eleven

J.A. Christy Why did I love this book?

Station Eleven was a strange one for me. I hadn’t been reading for a while due to my day job and childcare issues and this was the first book I picked up when I finally had time to myself. The post-apocalyptic setting was perfect to draw me into a world where scattered humanity must find community. I loved Kirsten as a character and how details she was written, I felt like I knew her. This was one of those books that I was sad to finish and missed the characters. 

By Emily St. John Mandel,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Station Eleven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Best novel. The big one . . . stands above all the others' - George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones

Now an HBO Max original TV series

The New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
National Book Awards Finalist
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in…


Book cover of The End of Mr. Y

J.A. Christy Why did I love this book?

I love Scarlett Thomas’ writing and The End of Mr. Y was my first read of hers. I fell in love with this book because it was about a book, and a cursed book at that. The exquisite writing took me on a journey of uncertainty and time travel with Ariel and I have yet to find another book like it – it is a unique book that has many layers and as well as focusing on the speculative aspect, it is suspenseful and beautifully descriptive. Five stars from me and it made me want to read more from this author. 

By Scarlett Thomas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The End of Mr. Y as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Ingenious and original' Philip Pullman

If you knew a book was cursed, would you still read it?

When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of The End of Mr. Y in a second-hand bookshop, she can't believe her eyes. She knows enough about its author, the outlandish Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas, to know that copies are exceedingly rare. And, some say, cursed.

With Mr. Y under her arm, Ariel finds herself thrust into a thrilling adventure of love, sex, death and time-travel.


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The Romanov Heiress

By Jennifer Laam,

Book cover of The Romanov Heiress

Jennifer Laam Author Of The Romanov Heiress

New book alert!

Who am I?

A proud native of Stockton, CA, Jennifer Laam resides in California with a temperamental tabby cat named Jonesy. Her other works of historical fiction are The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, The Tsarina’s Legacy, and The Lost Season of Love and Snow. When not reading or writing, she enjoys planning cosplay for the next San Diego Comic-Con, experimenting with vegetarian recipes (to mixed results), cooing at Baby Yoda, or obsessing over House Targaryen. 

Jennifer's book list on the last Romanovs

What is my book about?

Four sisters in hiding. A grand duchess in disguise. Dark family secrets revealed. An alternate future for the Romanovs from Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter Of The Tsar.

With her parents and brother missing and presumed dead, former Grand Duchess Olga Romanova must keep her younger sisters safe. The Bolsheviks are determined to eliminate any remaining holdovers from the tsarist regime, hunting down the last Romanovs and putting them to death. Now living in England, the Romanov sisters remain hidden to protect their identities, even as isolation strains their relationships. But they can’t distance themselves from the world forever.

The Romanov Heiress

By Jennifer Laam,

What is this book about?

Four sisters in hiding. A grand duchess in disguise. Dark family secrets revealed...an alternate future for the Romanovs from Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar and The Lost Season of Love and Snow.

With her parents and brother missing and presumed dead, Grand Duchess Olga Romanova must keep her younger sisters safe. The Bolsheviks are determined to eliminate any remaining holdovers from the tsarist regime, hunting down the last Romanovs and putting them to death. Now living in England, the Romanov sisters remain hidden to protect their identities, even as isolation strains their relationships.

But they…


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