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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Dystopias That Terrify Me Conceptually, Because Holy Shiz That Could Totes Happen

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Top Ten Dystopias That Terrify Me Conceptually, Because Holy Shiz That Could Totes Happen

With dystopian and post-apocalytpic fiction, horror is often the point. I mean, you're presenting a terrible society, either one that controls its people and does nasty things or one that has fallen apart due to cataclysmic events. Very few dystopias would I want to make a summer home in. Still, some scare me more than others: the ones that feel like reflections of our current society with just the tiniest push in the wrong direction. I find it completely horrifying when a book makes me reflect on the fact that we probably already live in a dystopia. So here you go: the dystopias that terrify me (from the ones I've read so far).

10. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (Goodreads)

Basic Plot: Young school boys trapped on an island kill one another. Also intimations of some sort of post-apocalyptic, war scenario off the island.

Why It Scared Me: Because this is what I think people are like underneath it all. Put us on an island and we'll strip down to our basest selves. BAM.

Similar Concept: Beauty Queens - Libba Bray (Goodreads|my review)

9. The Newsflesh Trilogy- Mira Grant (Feed/Deadline/Blackout) (Goodreads|my reviews)

Basic Plot: Zombies and corruption

Why It Scared Me: Okay, the zombies were scary for sure, but what really got me about this series were the things the government was doing. I hate thinking about all the ways our government is probably keeping us down. Also, again, this is pretty much what I think human nature is like. What all of the bloggers say about humanity and how it would probably have been better off destroyed...yeah.

8. The Eye of the Storm - Kate Messner (Goodreads|my review)

Basic Plot: TORNADOS.

Why It Scared Me: The book itself didn't scare me, but the idea that the weather could really be headed in this kind of direction is seriously frightening. Weather has definitely been doing crazy things in recent years and I have no desire to see it get worse.

7. The Postmortal - Drew Magary (Goodreads|my review)

Basic Plot: People can live forever without aging.

Why It Scared Me: People can live forever without aging. If this seems like a good idea, think again. So many things in society just can't function if people do not die at some point, if life is not finite. This really hadn't occurred to me until I read the book, but Magary taught me well (as did Unwind and some others).

Similar Concept: The Declaration - Gemma Malley (Goodreads|my review)

6. 1984 - George Orwell (Goodreads)

Basic Plot: Hitler/Stalin present the future.

Why It Scared Me: When I read this in high school for class, I was like meh who cares. After several more years of history classes, I reread this and was horrified, because, yeah, if a leader like Hitler or Stalin won the war for domination, like might look like this. *shudder* Also, I sometimes suspect Big Brother is watching, especially with the advent of the internet.

5. The Way We Fall - Megan Crewe (Goodreads|my review)

Basic Plot: Disease outbreak.

Why It Scared Me: I don't want to have a disease. Yuck. Also, the disease made people act crazy, sort of like zombies, but worse. Given the number of plagues in human history, having to survive a post-apocalyptic disease scenario is altogether too likely

Similar Concept: The Weepers - Susanne Winnacker (Goodreads|my review)

4. Ashfall - Mike Mullin (Goodreads|my review)

Basic Plot: The supervolcano under Yellowstone explodes.

Why It Scared Me: THAT VOLCANO IS REAL. Yeah, so that sucks. My geology teacher loved to talk about all the ways that humanity could be wiped out and that was one of his favorites.

3. Article 5 - Kristen Simmons (Goodreads|my review)

Basic Plot: Right wing fundamentalists take over the country.

Why It Scared Me: If certain leaders took over plus some sort of catastrophe, I can totally see America turning into this. Women are losing status, so many awesome things are prohibited, and people can be sentenced to death for 'crimes' that were not illegal when they were committed. Let's not do this, people.

2. Little Brother - Cory Doctorow (my review)

Basic Plot: Department of Homeland Security takes over.

Why It Scared Me: This was SO possible in the decade after 9-11. I want to believe that we're to the point where this couldn't happen, but, really, it would only take another crisis to push us overboard again. Basically, imagine that you are viewed with as much suspicion in your daily life as you are when you go to the airport. Not good.

1. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (Goodreads)

Basic Plot: Women exist solely as chattel.

Why It Scared Me: Feminism happened, but the double standards remain. It does not take any sort of suspension of disbelief for me to imagine women once again being made into property, useful only for baby-making should something disastrous happen. As a woman, this scares me more than anything else.

Similar Concepts: Eve - Anna Carey (Goodreads|my review) / Wither - Lauren DeStefano (Goodreads|my review) / Bumped - Megan McCafferty (Goodreads|my review)

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Blogger Bekka said...

The scariest one for me is the religious crazies taking over. With that comes the governmental corruption, the loss of status for women, the crazy ass homeland security, etc. Not to mention the stifling of science which would save us from TORNADOES and the like. Also, if any disease outbreak should occur, they would obviously say it was God damning the wicked, so there would be no help.

It's really truly horrifying to me. It's not like it's impossible or far-fetched.

August 7, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Great picks and for the adult genre I would add the Passage..eep!

August 7, 2012 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Good point! Article 5 probably should be number one. It encapsulates all of the things. Oh well. Sticking with what I've got. Part of it is that I read the other two before the onslaught of dystopian fiction in my repertoire. I think I'm a bit desensitized now.

August 7, 2012 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Thanks! Good to hear which horrified you!

August 7, 2012 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

Okay, The Handmaid's Tale would totally make my list, too. Nineteen Eighty-Four would be at the top of my list. It scared me so much that I think about that book at LEAST once a week. And not just because of the rat... *shudders*

I have a few of my own, but of course I can't think of any of them right now. Stupid brain...

August 7, 2012 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oooh. 1984 scared me when I was taking my Soviet Union history course. Made it much more realistic.

Well, if you think of them, let me know!

August 7, 2012 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind said...

"THAT VOLCANO IS REAL" This post was thoroughly entertaining even if it messed up. I didn't know that was what Handmaid's Tale was about and now that you wrote about it... I've never thought that woman can be seen that way again. So mean. I'm going to be worried for awhile now thanks (;

Ashfall and maybe even Postmortal will be books I need to read/ TBR list it.

August 7, 2012 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Lilian said...

OH NO! WHY ISN'T The Postmortal AT MY LOCAL LIBRARY?!?! *flips a table*

And I really wanted to read about people being immortal. I read a short story from David Eagleman's SUM which was about natural death being cured, and then people having to schedule surprise death parties...and then eventually everyone is so messed up that they have to murder people.

One of my primary ideas for my philosophy thesis was like Lord of the Flies where I wanted to write about throwing everyone we didn't like onto some deserted island.
Then I had to scrap it for something boring. And now that I think of it, I don't even remember what I wrote about. Something tells me I don't want to know.

As for most terrifying, I would actually pick Brave New World.

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

August 7, 2012 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger brandileigh2003 said...

Pretty much all dystopias scare me.
Great idea though.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

August 7, 2012 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Sorry about that. Forewarned is forearmed, though, right? I sincerely hope none of these things ever happens.

Cool! Hope you like them!

August 7, 2012 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh no! How dare your library not have it? *weeps for you* Maybe Penguin would send you a copy for review even though it came out ages ago? Lol.

Hahaha, you should have taken a chance. At least you'd remember what you did!

I wasn't a big Brave New World fan. I didn't really feel anything but bored, so it didn't scare me much.

August 7, 2012 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

That's probably a healthy reaction. I've definitely cultivated a scary love for them.

August 7, 2012 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Aline Tobing said...

I'm a new dystopian reader so I haven't read a single one of your picks LOL but reading your short description for each book, I could understand the creepiness >,<

August 8, 2012 at 4:11 AM  
Blogger Lilian said...

YES! HOW DARE THEY! It's not like it's some obscure indie book!
I feel sorry for accepting review books now *stares at TBR pile*
that pile is going to tumble on me if I add any more books.

poooey, I am going to buy myself a copy!

I submitted my proposal, and my professor was like "this is not really what we're looking for." OUCH. I rather not be reminded of the pulling an all-nighter to BS my way through a 12-page thesis.

Really? I find Brave New World compelling...the idea that everyone is drugged for pleasure.

August 8, 2012 at 4:57 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oooh, these are some good ones! Enjoy your dystopian journeys!

August 8, 2012 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Man, your library needs to step up their collection development and their cataloging. I am ashamed for them.

Hope you like it!

Oof. That's never what you want to hear.

The idea I find compelling; the book I don't. I thought Across the Universe was more interesting, and the population was drugged in that too.

August 8, 2012 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Lilian said...

It's Hawaii...where the only books that really matter are Obama biographies and vacation guides.

But no complaints on their YA collection, they usually add books about a month after its release. Even though it look over two months for a copy of The Hunt. I was waiting so long to read it...and now that I just finished This Is Not a Test, I am in no mood for a gloomy, death-filled dystopian yet.
YA needs more humorous books!!

August 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Vacation guides I understand, but the Obama obsession is still odd.

There are totes some humorous books. You could read some Carl Hiaasen?

August 8, 2012 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Steena said...

Lessons from Geology:
The supervolcano is going to kill us all.
Don't buy a house on a cliff or at the bottom of a hill.
Buy a girl a ruby not a diamond. Diamonds are easy to make.

I think the weather going wonky is perhaps my big fear because I see it happening so easily. I have some faith (though very little) that humanity would not let religious zealots take over or that a government conspiracy could hide for very long. But we're so very apathetic about the environment and cannot be bothered to give up our plush lives and I have this sinking feeling that eventually nature is going to get fed up and hand our asses to us tied up in a bow.

August 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

He was the best geology prof ever.

That's pretty true. Mother Nature likes to remind the world that she really runs the show, and that, the more we mess with her, the stronger she gets. That probably would have been higher up my list, except that the only book I've read about it was the MG one, and MG just isn't scary like YA or Adult.

August 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Zemira said...

I am probably the only person on the face of the Earth that still hasn't read 1984. Need to change that ASAP.

August 29, 2012 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

You totally should! Though I warn you that it's rather slow going.

August 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger M.A.D. said...

Christina - Once again you and I are on the same page!! Heck, I just found out that Yellowstone is not the ONLY supervolcano in the USA, there's another one not too far away - I think called the Long Valley Caldera? Like I've said, we live between the New Madrid and the Wabash Valley faults, so I'm kinds nervous per earthquakes & volcanoes lol

As for #8, I've been in tornadoes and hurricanes both (Hurricane David a category 5!!), and I can honestly say in MY area, the storms seem more violent, especially the Derechos that have been popping up with, seemingly, increasing frequency. We got tore up so badly 2 springs ago that we had the Red Cross here for a week. Tree services were volunteering from all over the place to help clean up the mess.

And lastly, for #3 - Oh, man! Some of the real current events I've been reading of late sound like something dreamed up during the Dark Ages. Certain states (Georgia being one, I believe) are *enthusiastically* evaluating women who've miscarried to *determine* if somehow the woman was at fault, as if the woman wouldn't feel bad enough as is. This crap needs to stop asap.

August 29, 2012 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

THERE'S ANOTHER ONE? AHHHHHHH. Clearly, mankind is not meant to survive. That may be for the best. Thank goodness I live on the east side of the country.

That sounds awful. I don't know where you live, and I've never even heard of a Derecho, but it sounds scary. O_O


August 30, 2012 at 9:24 AM  

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