Favorite dystopian literature and films – update #2


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. The City and the Stars (1956) by Sir Arthur Clarke – added on 12/22/17
  13. Harrison Bergeron (1961) – a short story by Kurt Vonnegut
  14. The Iron Heel (1908) by Jack London
  15. The New Utopia (1891) a short story by Jerome K. Jerome
  16. 1984 (1949) by George Orwell
  17. 2BR02B (1962) – a short story by Kurt Vonnegut
  18. Brave New World (1931) by Aldous Huxley
  19. Examination Day (1958) a short story by Henry Sleaser – added 10/18/17
  20. Repent Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman (1965) – a short story by Harlan Ellison
  21. Billennium (1962) a short story by J. G. Ballard
  22. The Lottery (1948) a short story by Shirley Jackson
  23. 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 Power (2017) by Naomi Alderman – added 1/11/18
  3. The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline – added 12/8/17
  4. The Perfect Match (2012) a short story by Ken Liu
  5. Just Do It (2006) a short story by Heather Lindsey
  6. Is This Your Day to Join the Revolution (2009) a short story by Genevieve Valentine
  7. Resistance (2008) a short story by Tobias S. Buckell
  8. Red Card (2013) a short story by S.L. Gilbow
  9. The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (1997) a short story by Ursula K. Le Guin
  10. Civilization (2007) a short story by Vylar Kaftan

Favorite dystopian movies seen to date

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

  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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