100 books like This Perfect Day

By Ira Levin,

Here are 100 books that This Perfect Day fans have personally recommended if you like This Perfect Day. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of American War

Mal Warwick Author Of Hell on Earth: What we can learn from dystopian fiction

From my list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was twelve years old, my picture appeared in my hometown newspaper. I was holding a huge stack of books from the library, a week’s reading. All science fiction. I’ve read voraciously for the past seventy years—though much more widely as an adult. I’ve also had a life founding several small companies and writing twenty books. But I’ve continued to read science fiction, and, increasingly, dystopian novels. Why? Because, as a history buff, I think about the big trends that shape our lives. I see clearly that climate change, breakthroughs in technology, and unstable politics threaten our children’s future. I want to understand how these trends might play out—for better or for worse.

Mal's book list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”

Mal Warwick Why did Mal love this book?

The widening partisan divide between Red and Blue in the United States today gives me nightmares.

I read a lot of history, so I know how closely today’s divisions resemble those before the Civil War. Which is why Omar El Akkad’s American War resonates so deeply with me.

In 2074, four Deep South states secede over the passage of new legislation banning fossil fuels—and a Southerner assassinates the President.

The Red and Blue states are now at war again. And that’s my nightmare brought to life. 

By Omar El Akkad,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked American War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Best Book of the Year: The Guardian, The Observer, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.

2074. America's future is Civil War. Sarat's reality is survival. They took her father, they took her home, they told her lies . . .

She didn't start this war, but she'll end it.

Omar El Akkad's powerful debut novel imagines a dystopian future: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague and one family caught deep in the middle. In American War, we're asked to consider what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and…


Book cover of 1984

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Author Of Legacy of the Third Way

From my list on books to take you to the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I've been captivated by evolution and its implications for the future. I immersed myself in classical works of philosophy and literature that explored human emotions and our relentless drive to succeed against all odds, advancing human knowledge and shaping society. This fascination with understanding the future led me to write op-ed pieces on foreign policy and geopolitics for prominent newspapers in South Asia. My desire to contribute to a better future inspired me to author three nonfiction books covering topics such as the Islamic Social Contract, Lessons from the Quran, and Reflections on God,  Science, and Human Nature. 

Abdul's book list on books to take you to the future

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Why did Abdul love this book?

Humans are always curious about what the future will look like. They are also concerned about the state impinging on their privacy and interfering with their lives. George Orwell masterfully combined these two human impulses in his classic novel. He wrote the book in 1949 to present his view of the future.

I read this book when I was in my mid-20s. I found it an interesting read, especially since many of his predictions did not come true. I was curious to know how past generations viewed our generation. 

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU . . .

1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…


Book cover of The Windup Girl

Mal Warwick Author Of Hell on Earth: What we can learn from dystopian fiction

From my list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was twelve years old, my picture appeared in my hometown newspaper. I was holding a huge stack of books from the library, a week’s reading. All science fiction. I’ve read voraciously for the past seventy years—though much more widely as an adult. I’ve also had a life founding several small companies and writing twenty books. But I’ve continued to read science fiction, and, increasingly, dystopian novels. Why? Because, as a history buff, I think about the big trends that shape our lives. I see clearly that climate change, breakthroughs in technology, and unstable politics threaten our children’s future. I want to understand how these trends might play out—for better or for worse.

Mal's book list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”

Mal Warwick Why did Mal love this book?

Climate change aside, what scares me the most about technology today is the capacity for bioengineering to run amok.

What happens when scientists monkey around with deadly viruses—and one escapes from the lab? What if some rogue researcher creates an entirely new lifeform that proves toxic to humans? Or some experimental microbe—an effort to save the world’s butterflies, for instance—proves to kill off bees instead?

This novel, which won major awards, depicts a frightening future world wrought by bioengineering. And you wouldn’t want to live there anymore than I do. 

By Paolo Bacigalupi,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Windup Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE HUGO, NEBULA, LOCUS, JOHN W. CAMPBELL AND COMPTON CROOK AWARDS

The Windup Girl is the ground-breaking and visionary modern classic that swept the board for every major science fiction award it its year of publication.

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's calorie representative in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, he combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs long thought to be extinct. There he meets the windup girl - the beautiful and enigmatic Emiko - now abandoned to the slums. She is one of the New People, bred to suit the whims of…


Book cover of Oryx and Crake

Lauren Yero Author Of Under This Forgetful Sky

From my list on seeking hope after the end of the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Can stories bring a human scale to something as all-encompassing as climate change? In 2011, I began an MA in Literature and Environment with this question weighing on my mind. I finished my degree two years later with a draft of my debut novel, Under This Forgetful Sky. I’ve come to understand the climate crisis, in many ways, as a crisis of imagination. Its enormity tests the limits of the imaginable. What if the world as we know it ends? What would life look like on the other side? The books on this list reckon with the fears these questions bring while also gesturing beautifully, unsentimentally, courageously toward hope. 

Lauren's book list on seeking hope after the end of the world

Lauren Yero Why did Lauren love this book?

This book is light on hope, but if you’re on the hunt for cli-fi dystopias, Oryx and Crake is a must-read.

The novel’s protagonist, Snowman (previously known as Jimmy), finds himself alone (sort of) after a global societal collapse. His story unfolds on either side of this collapse as he searches for answers about what has happened to the world and why.

This book brings together runaway climate change, an apocalyptic pandemic, uncontrolled genetic engineering, mass extinction, and more, dealing with nostalgia for what’s been lost and reckoning with each person’s individual culpability for that loss. And yet it somehow manages to also be a thrilling puzzle box of a story that ends on a note of cautious hope.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Oryx and Crake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By the author of THE HANDMAID'S TALE and ALIAS GRACE

*

Pigs might not fly but they are strangely altered. So, for that matter, are wolves and racoons. A man, once named Jimmy, lives in a tree, wrapped in old bedsheets, now calls himself Snowman. The voice of Oryx, the woman he loved, teasingly haunts him. And the green-eyed Children of Crake are, for some reason, his responsibility.

*

Praise for Oryx and Crake:

'In Jimmy, Atwood has created a great character: a tragic-comic artist of the future, part buffoon, part Orpheus. An adman who's a sad man; a jealous…


Book cover of Make Room! Make Room!: The Classic Novel of an Overpopulated Future

Prentis Rollins Author Of The Furnace: A Graphic Novel

From my list on dystopian sci-fi that are dear to my heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been hooked on science fiction since I saw Westworld in its first run in 1973, at age 7 (it’s the first movie I saw in a theatre). I started drawing my own sci-fi comics at age 11, when the first Star Wars came out, and kept it up through adolescence. Eventually, my love of sci-fi led me to a passion for philosophy, which I majored in in college. And the philosophy I learned has since informed my later choices in sci-fi reading, and even more my sci-fi writing and illustration. The books I talk about below are very dear to my heart—I’m sure you won’t regret checking them out.

Prentis' book list on dystopian sci-fi that are dear to my heart

Prentis Rollins Why did Prentis love this book?

Written in 1966, Make Room! Make Room! was the basis for the 1973 film Soylent Green—it’s one of those great books that (like The Exorcist) was totally overshadowed by its equally great film version. It’s set in 1999, in a grossly overpopulated and polluted world in which people are scrambling for ever-diminishing resources. It mainly follows the life of NYC detective Andy Rusch and his elderly roommate Sol—who has finagled a bicycle-powered generator to run the TV and refrigerator in their small apartment. Rusch falls in love with Shirl, the young mistress of a rich man whose murder Rusch is investigating, but Shirl dumps him when she realizes she has better options with the rich rather than the poor.

Make Room! Make Room! is a cautionary tale about unchecked population, and it’s driven not so much by plot as by what Harry Harrison had on his mind: pollution,…

By Harry Harrison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A gangster is murdered during a blistering Manhattan heat wave. City cop Andy Rusch is under pressure solve the crime and captivated by the victim's beautiful girlfriend. But it is difficult to catch a killer, let alone get the girl, in crazy streets crammed full of people. The planet's population has exploded. The 35 million inhabitants of New York City run their TVs off pedal power, riot for water, loot and trample for lentil 'steaks' and are controlled by sinister barbed wire dropped from the sky.

Written in 1966 and set in 1999, Make Room! Make Room! is a witty…


Book cover of Greybeard

Prentis Rollins Author Of The Furnace: A Graphic Novel

From my list on dystopian sci-fi that are dear to my heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been hooked on science fiction since I saw Westworld in its first run in 1973, at age 7 (it’s the first movie I saw in a theatre). I started drawing my own sci-fi comics at age 11, when the first Star Wars came out, and kept it up through adolescence. Eventually, my love of sci-fi led me to a passion for philosophy, which I majored in in college. And the philosophy I learned has since informed my later choices in sci-fi reading, and even more my sci-fi writing and illustration. The books I talk about below are very dear to my heart—I’m sure you won’t regret checking them out.

Prentis' book list on dystopian sci-fi that are dear to my heart

Prentis Rollins Why did Prentis love this book?

Late in the 20th Century, an ‘accident’ occurred whereby nuclear bombs detonated in orbit above earth—the resulting radiation has rendered mankind sterile. Algy Timberlane—aka ‘Greybeard’—is in his mid-50’s, a veritable stripling in an increasingly geriatric world. He, his wife Martha, and a few aging friends set off on an odyssey down the river Thames, to explore what’s left of their crumbling, dying world—and maybe find some spark of hope for the future.

Greybeard is a marvel to behold.  It’s one of the few books that’s not only about the hideous injustices of growing old, but also about a world that’s grown old and is facing death. What would people do if they knew that theirs was literally the last generation, that there would be no one to carry on their work? It’s an unsettling question to wrap your mind around—but Greybeard faces it without flinching, and with moving, thought-provoking…

By Brian W. Aldiss,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Human reproduction has ceased and society slowly spirals in this “adult Lord of the Flies” by a Grand Master of Science Fiction (San Francisco Chronicle).

After the “Accident,” all males on Earth become sterile. Society ages and falls apart bit by bit. First, toy companies go under. Then record companies. Then cities cease to function. Now Earth’s population lives in spread‑out, isolated villages, with its youngest members in their fifties. When the people of Sparcot begin to make claims of gnomes and man‑eating rodents lurking around their village, Greybeard and his wife set out for the coast with the hope…


Book cover of It Can't Happen Here

Larry Mellman Author Of The Man With Sapphire Eyes

From my list on historical fiction with a twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved historical fiction as a reader, but my passion to write it caught fire during the years I lived in Venice, Italy, when I discovered the curious institution of the ballot boy within the Byzantine complexities of the thousand-year Venetian Republic. Since ballot boys were randomly chosen over a period of six hundred years, choosing my particular Doge and ballot boy required a survey of the entire field before I circled in on Venice, 1368, IMHO the peak brilliance of that maritime empire. It is a peculiarity of history that the names of all 130 doges of Venice are recorded, but none of their ballot boys are mentioned. The challenge was irresistible. 

Larry's book list on historical fiction with a twist

Larry Mellman Why did Larry love this book?

Dystopian when it was written, Lewis set the book distinctly in its own period, the depth of the Great Depression. He could not have written a better account of the Trump presidency had he tried.

Buzz Windrip, the whirlwind populist demagogue president, is the very essence of Trumpism. The story that follows, of the fascist oppression of his enemies and his inevitable self-destruction, often funny, often not funny at all, packs all the punch of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, written almost a century later, which looks in hindsight at the same phenomenon as Charles Lindbergh unseats FDR running for an unprecedented third term.

Sinclair Lewis takes the palm for seeing it first and exposing how it can happen here.   

By Sinclair Lewis,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked It Can't Happen Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal.”—Salon

It Can’t Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith. A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.

Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler’s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press.

Called “a…


Book cover of Feed

Mal Warwick Author Of Hell on Earth: What we can learn from dystopian fiction

From my list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was twelve years old, my picture appeared in my hometown newspaper. I was holding a huge stack of books from the library, a week’s reading. All science fiction. I’ve read voraciously for the past seventy years—though much more widely as an adult. I’ve also had a life founding several small companies and writing twenty books. But I’ve continued to read science fiction, and, increasingly, dystopian novels. Why? Because, as a history buff, I think about the big trends that shape our lives. I see clearly that climate change, breakthroughs in technology, and unstable politics threaten our children’s future. I want to understand how these trends might play out—for better or for worse.

Mal's book list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”

Mal Warwick Why did Mal love this book?

I’m troubled by the way young people today seem to live their lives glued to smartphone and computer screens.

M. T. Anderson gives us a hint of what this might lead to in Feed. It’s one of the scariest books I've read in many years. The six teenagers partying in this novel live in a world of constant distractions. Fashions may change by the hour.

A powerful future version of Virtual Reality allows them to experience novelty and excitement at any time without special equipment—and without pausing for reflection.

And that’s how they live, closed off from life in the real world. As I said, scary.

By M.T. Anderson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Feed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains. Winner of the LA Times Book Prize.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play around with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a…


Book cover of Walkaway

Sandra Jeppesen Author Of Transformative Media: Intersectional Technopolitics from Indymedia to #Blacklivesmatter

From my list on science fiction about underdogs and rebel groups.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved science fiction since I was a nerdy high school student acing all the math and science courses my high school offered and power-reading through the library’s sci-fi section. I saw Bladerunner on a mediocre date with a hot guy a grade ahead of me, slouched down in our seats, hoping to hold hands but it never happened. The film, however, blew my mind. Fast forward through my engineering degree where I saw every cyberpunk film and punk band I could, through a punk-fueled creative writing MA and anarchist English PhD, to today where I study grassroots media and sometimes teach Comics or Science Fiction. 

Sandra's book list on science fiction about underdogs and rebel groups

Sandra Jeppesen Why did Sandra love this book?

Doctorow and I had a mutual friend in common—the incredible Possum who organized Toronto’s Anarchist Free University for many years until his early demise, Rest in Power—full disclosure, and that’s how I started reading his fiction. Walkaway is one of my favorites. This is a world where 3D printers have changed everything. People who are poor, exploited, unhappy, or maybe just feeling adventurous can—and do—walk away from the capitalist world within the city walls and live quite literally on the fringes, using 3D printers and their imaginations of a world without exploitation to construct whole new societies. Can they successfully build a utopia despite the many conflicts that arise? Who knows? But I do know I’m hoping for a sequel.

By Cory Doctorow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a world wrecked by climate change, in a society owned by the ultra-rich, in a city hollowed out by industrial flight, Hubert, Etc, Seth and Natalie have nowhere else to be and nothing better to do.

But there is another way. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life - food, clothing, shelter - from a computer, there is little reason to toil within the system. So, like thousands of others in the mid-21st century, the three of them turn their back on the world of rules, jobs, the morning commute and... walkaway.…


Book cover of Anthropocene Rag

Erica L. Satifka Author Of How to Get to Apocalypse and Other Disasters

From my list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long been fascinated with the dark side of science and human behavior, and grew up on a combination of dystopian classics and horror fiction. When I started writing for publication, apocalyptic themes quickly emerged. As the world around us grows more fraught by the day, I find a strange sort of comfort in reading and writing fiction that doesn’t shy away from depicting the negative aspects of social media, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, or any other technology that has the capacity to create manmade disasters beyond our understanding. And as a small-press author myself, I’m always on the lookout for books that didn’t get enough love.

Erica's book list on apocalyptic and dystopia you haven’t read yet

Erica L. Satifka Why did Erica love this book?

The nanotechnological apocalypse at the background of Anthropocene Rag has turned the United States into a mythological vision. A mysterious construct known as Prospector Ed (who sometimes adopts the persona of Mark Twain) delivers six magical tickets to various scattered Americans, all of whom have lost something in the “Boom.” While the post-nanoboom landscape is deadly (one of the main characters was orphaned when an intelligence-imbued stadium containing her parents simply decided to become something else), there’s also a lot of wonder, and the book is a loving homage to American mythology and lore.

By Alex Irvine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Anthropocene Rag is "a rare distillation of nanotech, apocalypse, and mythic Americana into a heady psychedelic brew."—Nebula and World Fantasy award-winning author Jeffrey Ford

In the future United States, our own history has faded into myth and traveling across the country means navigating wastelands and ever-changing landscapes.

The country teems with monsters and artificial intelligences try to unpack their own becoming by recreating myths and legends of their human creators. Prospector Ed, an emergent AI who wants to understand the people who made him, assembles a ragtag team to reach the mythical Monument City.

In this nanotech Western, Alex Irvine…


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