10 books like The Children of Men

By P. D. James,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Children of Men. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Handmaid's Tale

By Margaret Atwood,

Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

This novel broadened my perception of what a dystopian novel could be. It made me realize the genre is flexible enough to take on any current issue. The key is to extend one side of that debate to its most frightening extreme. Margaret Atwood accomplishes that with aplomb in her 1985 novel and its 2019 sequel, The Testaments. In case you haven’t already watched the popular Hulu TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale imagines a near-future return to a patriarchal and puritanical society in which women have lost most of their rights. With every passing year, these issues have only become more relevant.

The Handmaid's Tale

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

22 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 -…


Never Let Me Go

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Book cover of Never Let Me Go

This is a whole different take on human cloning. Never Let Me Go depicts a world in which people are cloned to create organ donors for the sick, necessarily limiting the lifespan of the clones. It is the story of the passions, relationships, and emotions of the clones and their attempts to delay their fate. As with any book by Kazuo Ishiguro, this is beautifully written, and an insightful study of human nature.

Never Let Me Go

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Never Let Me Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most acclaimed novels of the 21st Century, from the Nobel Prize-winning author

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense…


A Canticle for Leibowitz

By Walter M. Miller, Jr.,

Book cover of A Canticle for Leibowitz

This novel is a serious, sprawling epic that, over stages, takes the reader hundreds of years into a future where the United States is recovering from the effects of a massive nuclear war. Although I didn’t find the characters especially relatable, it was still a very engrossing read that gave me a lot to think about, as it explores the cycles of civilization, war, decay, and rebuilding, that are continually reoccurring in our species’ history.

A Canticle for Leibowitz

By Walter M. Miller, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked A Canticle for Leibowitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the depths of the Utah desert, long after the Flame Deluge has scoured the earth clean, a monk of the Order of Saint Leibowitz has made a miraculous discovery: holy relics from the life of the great saint himself, including the blessed blueprint, the sacred shopping list, and the hallowed shrine of the Fallout Shelter.

In a terrifying age of darkness and decay, these artifacts could be the keys to mankind's salvation. But as the mystery at the core of this groundbreaking novel unfolds, it is the search itself—for meaning, for truth, for love—that offers hope for humanity's rebirth…


Implosion

By D. F. Jones,

Book cover of Implosion

Published in the 1960s, this is the earliest book on my list, and the storytelling will keep you hooked. A biological attack on Britain renders most people infertile. Fertile women are kept in camps where they are forced to breed. When the minister of health discovers that his wife is fertile, he is faced with a dilemma. The story is about how his approach to this dilemma shows shows the character of the man, and how his wife hardens to her situation and finds her strength. The end comes with some unexpected twists.

Implosion

By D. F. Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Implosion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Breeding machines and fertility camps.

When a foreign power puts a sterility drug in Britain's reservoirs, the result is all too predictable.

The birth-rate plummets and the country's future looks bleak. There is only one way to save the nation; all women with a natural immunity to the drug must be placed in special camps where they can be bred from like prize cattle.

They must be given special hormone treatment and artificial insemination so that they can produce triplets, quads, quins time after time until they die of exhaustion.

They must become Nation Mums, the sole hope of a…


Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

By Kate Wilhelm,

Book cover of Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

In this tale, the world is in post-apocalyptic decline, and human fertility has collapsed to zero. A family set up a cloning facility, hoping to overcome the odds and produce a fertile population. The clones, once mature, have other ideas. They take over the facility and marginalise the non-clones. Only rarely is a fertile clone produced, and they are kept as ‘breeders’. As the story progresses, the desire of a naturally born individual for self-determination, and conflicting values between individual and clone, lead to a tension that cannot go unresolved. The storytelling cleverly slips between omniscient in the scenes with the clones, and third person in the scenes with the individual characters.

Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

By Kate Wilhelm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sumner family can read the signs: the droughts and floods, the blighted crops, the shortages, the rampant diseases and plagues, and, above all, the increasing sterility all point to one thing. Their isolated farm in the Appalachian Mountains gives them the ideal place to survive the coming breakdown, and their wealth and know-how gives them the means. Men and women must clone themselves for humanity to survive. But what then?


The Last of the Winnebagos

By Connie Willis,

Book cover of The Last of the Winnebagos

I really loved Willis’ multilayered presentation of the narrator’s past and present. Masterfully, Willis creates a deceptively simple, haunting setting, where the common but painful event of the loss of a pet becomes a symbol for the banality of extinction itself—whether of a species or entire culture. Made me think about how, even though inevitable, loss never gets easier.

The Last of the Winnebagos

By Connie Willis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last of the Winnebagos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Prophet of Yonwood

By Jeanne DuPrau,

Book cover of The Prophet of Yonwood

This YA story deals with the threat of apocalyptic destruction, and shows how easily a vulnerable population can be manipulated by fear and uncertainty with only a few rumors. These themes are just as valid today as ever. I like the way DePrau’s protagonist, Nickie, is a relatable character caught in a frightening situation, but trying to make the best of it by forming bonds in her community, as they all face a terrifying future. The haunting sense of dread that permeates this simple novel has stayed with me for years.

The Prophet of Yonwood

By Jeanne DuPrau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Prophet of Yonwood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A prequel to the modern-day classic The City of Ember. This highly acclaimed adventure series has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies!
 
Nickie will grow up to be one of the first citizens of the city of Ember. But for now, she’s an eleven-year-old girl whose father was sent away on some mysterious government project.
 
So when the opportunity to move presents itself, Nickie seizes it. But her new town of Yonwood, North Carolina, isn’t what she’d anticipated. It’s a place full of suspicion and mistrust, where one person’s visions…


Lord of the World

By Robert Hugh Benson,

Book cover of Lord of the World

Literally one of the most ‘apocalyptic’ stories ever penned, this unusual tale follows the main character of a priest as he navigates a hostile secular culture and investigates what might finally be the arrival of the long-predicted Antichrist. The story is prescient in its predictions about technology, as well as political and cultural trends. The un-ironic steampunk vibes (which would have been cutting edge at the time of writing), are a fun plus.

Lord of the World

By Robert Hugh Benson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lord of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Benson's dystopic vision of a near future world in which religion has, by and large, been rejected or simply fallen by the wayside. The Catholic Church has retreated to Italy and Ireland, while the majority of the rest of the world is either Humanistic or Pantheistic. There is a 'one world' government, and euthanasia is widely available. The plot follows the tale of a priest, Percy Franklin, who becomes Pope Silvester III, and a mysterious man named Julian Felsenburgh, who is identical in looks to the priest and who becomes "Lord of the World".


Edge of Apocalypse

By Tim LaHaye, Craig Parshall,

Book cover of Edge of Apocalypse

When I read this book, I felt our world was on the brink of such a scenario. The bravery and fortitude of the main character was inspiring, and I hoped I could be so brave in the moment when it really matters. Granted, if I had the money this character did, it may make some choices easier to pull off. But still, he had a lot at stake to consider when push came to shove. Hopefully, at such critical times I hope we all can have faith in what truly matters.

Edge of Apocalypse

By Tim LaHaye, Craig Parshall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Edge of Apocalypse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Tim LaHaye, co-author of the renowned Left Behind series, and Craig Parshall comes an epic story ripped from the headlines of world events and filtered through Scriptural prophecy.

Joshua Jordan, former US spy-plane hero now turned weapons designer, has come up with a devastatingly effective new missile defense system-the Return to Sender laser weapon. But global forces are mounting against America, and corrupt White House and Capitol Hill leaders are willing to do anything to stop the nation's impending economic catastrophe-including selling-out Joshua and his weapon.

With help from a group of powerfully connected Christian leaders known as the…


The Last Dog on Earth

By Adrian J. Walker,

Book cover of The Last Dog on Earth

If you are like me, and you are a vehement admirer of both dogs and tales of global destruction, The Last Dog on Earth, is the perfect canine-based/post-apocalyptic book for you! Centered around an expletive-spouting dog named Lineker, and his agoraphobic owner, Reginald, Walker’s story of survival in the dystopian ruins of a future London is at times humorous, dark, and thought-provoking. On an unexpected quest to deliver an orphaned girl to her family, Lineker and his owner are faced with dangers from all angles including riots, murderous government agents, and of course squirrels—the common and hated enemy of dogs across the world. In the end, I found the canine’s ongoing commentary to be both hilarious and spot-on, and if you’re planning to face Armageddon one step at a time, what better way to do than with a faithful and foul-mouthed dog by your side.

The Last Dog on Earth

By Adrian J. Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Dog on Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every dog has its day...

And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can be.

Reg, an agoraphobic writer with an obsession for nineties football, plans to wait out the impending doom in his second floor flat, hiding himself away from the riots outside.

But when an abandoned orphan shows up in the stairwell of their building, Reg and Lineker must brave the outside in order to save not only the child, but themselves...


5 book lists we think you will like!

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