How to Choose Your Next Dystopian Read?

In the new anthology AFTER, authors from Garth Nix to Sarah Rees Brennan explore life in the wake of a post-apocalyptic disaster. These writers have some great stories to tell—19 of them, in fact. And that’s just in one book!

There are so many awesome sci-fi books out there that it can be overwhelming to pick one to read next. We’ve totally been there. Did you finish The Hunger Games and still want more? Figment is here to help! From up-and-comers to tried-and-true classics, here are some dystopians you can’t miss!

Did we forget something on the list? Share your favorite must-read in the comments!


Read it for Free:

Cory Doctorow, Little Brother

After a major terrorist attack, Marcus and his friends must take down the Department of Homeland Security, a group that’s not as helpful as you might think. Need a bigger incentive to read? All of Doctorow’s e-books are free!




The Time Machine, Reinvented:

Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Time travel has been done over and over again, but this futuristic novel puts a new spin on it. Charles Yu, a time-travel technician, goes back in time to stop people from altering their pasts.



Read it Before You See the Movie:

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas follows characters through different periods in time and space—from 1850s California to post-apocalyptic Hawaii and back again. The movie’s out now, so read it quick!



Read the Whole Trilogy:

Patrick Ness, Chaos Walking Series

Hate waiting for the latest book in a series? This entire series, which tells the story of a boy and a girl navigating post-apocalyptic world where people can read thoughts, is already out!



Instant Classic:

Earnest Cline, Ready Player One

In 2044, everyone’s obsessed with the OASIS, a virtual reality network that’s hiding a huge prize—if you can solve the puzzle. When Wade starts to crack this puzzle, he realizes he may have to turn to the real world to win big in the virtual one.



For the Reluctant Sci-Fi Fan:

Octavia Butler, Dawn

After an alien invasion leaves the humans in suspended animation, Lilith is chosen to revive them and prepare them for life on a new planet. Not sure you’re into this whole sci-fi thing? This book might change your mind!



1984 Redux:

Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale, which is kind of like 1984 from a female perspective, is set in the Republic of Gilead, where women are only valued for their ability to bear children. They’re not even allowed to read! Scary stuff.



Old-School Classic:

Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Valentine Michael Smith, a human, returns to Earth after being raised by aliens on Mars. This book’s been around for half a century, but it’s as good as any contemporary science fiction!

15 thoughts on “How to Choose Your Next Dystopian Read?

  1. Stranger in a strange land is a dystopia? WUT? I read it, it’s got some elements, but it’s not dystopian -_-
    /heinlein fan

  2. I was assigned The Handmaid’s Tale for my AP English summer reading assignment and let me tell you it is an incredible read! I don’t really consider myself a feminist but this book really displayed the extreme end of the “man’s world” gone completely insane. One of the best books assigned to me by a teacher, very thought provoking.

  3. Being a HUGE dystopian fan I also love Matched by Allie Condie, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Rash by Pete Hautman and the City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. All are worth checking out 🙂

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