Favorite dystopian literature and films


Dystopian literature is my favorite genre of fiction and dystopian films are one of my top choices in cinema. Below, I have listed my favorite classic (25 years or older) and modern (less 25 years old) dystopian stories. They are followed by my favorite dystopian films. As time goes by, I will update and refresh these lists to represent my rankings at the time and add yet unseen or unread tales to the list.

These books, short stories, and films portray the darker aspects of humanity, whether it be misogyny, racism, fascism, nationalism, theocracy, oligarchy, ethnic cleansing, despair, totalitarianism, nuclear apocalypse, mind control, technological Armageddon, environmental degradation, ravages of war, alien invasion, and a myriad of other dreadful and desperate futures. Far too often one can read and see vivid examples from today represented in these works of art. A primary reason I am fascinated by the genre is the uncanny ability of these authors to highlight our human weaknesses and show us the frightful path our actions could lead us down if left unchecked.
Any suggested additions to my list are welcome, as I always enjoy a well written or produced dystopian story whether it is depicted in print, digitally, or on the big screen.

Favorite classic dystopian books read to date

  1. The Stone Raft (1986) by Jose Saramago
  2. On the Beach (1957) by Nevil Shute
  3. Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood
  5. We (1921) by Yevgeny Zamyatin
  6. Frost and Fire (1946) a short story by Ray Bradbury
  7. Player Piano (1952) by Kurt Vonnegut – added on 11/2/17
  8. It Cant Happen Here (1935) by Sinclair Lewis
  9. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968) by Philp K. Dick – added on 10/27/17
  10. The Pedestrian (1951) a short story by Ray Bradbury
  11. The Minority Report (1956) – a short story by Philip K. Dick
  12. Harrison Bergeron (1961) – a short story by Kurt Vonnegut
  13. The Iron Heel (1908) by Jack London
  14. The New Utopia (1891) a short story by Jerome K. Jerome
  15. 1984 (1949) by George Orwell
  16. 2BR02B (1962) – a short story by Kurt Vonnegut
  17. Brave New World (1931) by Aldous Huxley
  18. Examination Day (1958) a short story by Henry Sleaser – added 10/18/17
  19. Repent Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman (1965) – a short story by Harlan Ellison
  20. Billennium (1962) a short story by J. G. Ballard
  21. The Lottery (1948) a short story by Shirley Jackson
  22. The Trial (1914) by Franz Kafka

Favorite modern dystopian literature

  1. Sea of Rust (2017) by C. Robert Cargill – added 11/5/17
  2. The Perfect Match (2012) a short story by Ken Liu
  3. Just Do It (2006) a short story by Heather Lindsey
  4. Is This Your Day to Join the Revolution (2009) a short story by Genevieve Valentine
  5. Resistance (2008) a short story by Tobias S. Buckell
  6. Red Card (2013) a short story by S.L. Gilbow
  7. The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (1997) a short story by Ursula K. Le Guin
  8. Civilization (2007) a short story by Vylar Kaftan

Favorite dystopian movies seen to date

  1. Oblivion
  2. Blade Runner 2049
  3. Wall-E
  4. Interstellar
  5. Arrival
  6. Terminator 2, Judgment Day
  7. Mad Max: Fury Road
  8. War of the World’s (1953)
  9. Pleasantville
  10. The Day The Earth Stood Still
  11. The Minority Report
  12. The Lorax
  13. 12 Monkeys
  14. The Terminal
  15. Soylent Green
  16. Upside Down
  17. Metropolis – added 10/16/17
  18. Mad Max
  19. The Matrix
  20. Her
  21. The Day After
  22. Planet of the Apes
  23. The Postman
  24. Hunger Games, Catching Fire – added 11/5/17
  25. Independence Day
  26. On the Beach (1959) – added 10/15/17
  27. V is for Vendetta 
  28. The Running Man
  29. Batman
  30. 1984
  31. Terminator
  32. Logan’s Run added 10/26/17
  33. Lord of the Flies
  34. Rise of Planet of the Apes
  35. Back to the Future II
  36. Westworld
  37. Cloud Atlas
  38. Divergent
  39. i Robot
  40. The Lego Movie
  41. Escape from NY
  42. Total Recall
  43. War of the Worlds (2005)
  44. The Day after Tomorrow
  45. World War Z
  46. Waterworld
  47. Ender’s Game
  48. Looper
  49. Americathon (the opening scene)
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2 Responses to Favorite dystopian literature and films

  1. pmenser@yahoo.com says:

    Hi Rick, while not a dystopian novel you should check out Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach if you haven’t already. Basically California, Washington, and Oregon break off from the US to form their own peaceful, environmentally conscious society. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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