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BookGround >> Recommend good Dystopian Novel


2/5/07 10:24 AM
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Family Jules
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Edited: 05-Feb-07
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Anyone for a first-time reader. I was really impressed with the movie "V for Vendetta" and I have an interest in cyberpunk theme. Can anyone recommend a novel along tthose lines? I've been seeing that the novel "1984" is a classic for this genre.
2/5/07 2:44 PM
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Subadie
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Edited: 05-Feb-07
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The standard for a dystopia may be "1984", but the standard Cyberpunk dystopia is "Neuromancer", which I believe was (by chance)published in 1984. Time Magazine also called it one of the top 100 novels written since 1923
2/5/07 5:01 PM
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Family Jules
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Edited: 05-Feb-07
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Cool, I also read about Neuromancer, I think Im going to go with that one! Thanks
2/5/07 5:09 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 05-Feb-07
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Read "Burning Chrome" (Short stories by William Gibson), too -- I'd recommend reading it first. Not every story, but I think 3 or so, are related to "Neuromancer" -- the same world. It's totally not necessary, but I think more fun to read those first.
2/5/07 5:39 PM
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Family Jules
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I'll check that one out too!
2/6/07 2:27 PM
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artvanderlei
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Edited: 06-Feb-07
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"I was really impressed with the movie "V for Vendetta" and I have an interest in cyberpunk theme." Most view "Brave New World" (Huxley), "1984" (Orwell), and "Fahrenheit 451" (Bradbury) as the holy trinity of dystopia, and "Neuromancer" (Gibson) as the standard for Cyberpunk. And a lot of fans view Stephenson's "Snow Crash" as Cyberpunk's vital "post modern" novel. Dystopia is such a rich genre (Is genre even a big enough word here?) with such a long history (Storytellers have been using fucked up alternate realities as metaphors for our fucked up every day reality since the invention of storytelling) with so many artists contributing in so many mediums that you will find no shortage of quality reading, viewing, or whatever etc. material. "Gulliver's Travels" (Swift) is a readable classic that's practically a catalogue of brilliant (and hilarious) dystopias. "The Time Machine" (Wells) is a book that seems like everyone must have read, but almost no one has. "We" (Zamyatin) put a darker, more personal bent on the genre, and served as a profound influence to Orwell, and thus, indirectly, to a century's worth of books that followed. Even Ayn Rand got in on the fun with her sparse little novel (!) "Anthem". Then, of course, you've got the deep Sci-Fi pulp tradition to plunder, with Alfred Bester's two great novels, "The Demolished Man" and "The Stars My Destination", and nearly the entirety of Philip K. Dick's output waiting as required reading. And if pulp's not your thing, then you've got Kurt Vonnegut and George Saunders bridging the gap between literary toast and slush pile. And Christ, I can't even begin to give a good overview of the films ("Children of Men" -- still out in theaters -- "V for Vendetta", The "Matrix" Trilogy, The "Terminator" films, "Blade Runner", "Brazil", "THX 1138", "Logan's Run", "Soylent Green", "Planet Of The Apes", "The Omega Man", countless B-films, Fritz Lang's "Metropolis", and on and on . . .) or pitifully ignored (by me, too) graphic novels ("V for Vendetta" was one, and it's great).
2/6/07 3:36 PM
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FlashGordon2002
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Edited: 06-Feb-07
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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is semi-dystopian...it present a weird future where Reagan is still president (and nuts), Superman is an agent of the US government (and flies around killing Russians) and street violence is at a horridly high level.
2/6/07 6:44 PM
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Family Jules
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Thanks artvanderlei What interests me the most about the dystopian theme, are the political environments. For example in Vendetta, they describe this evil facist system, but ironically has many many similarities with todays world.
2/7/07 2:37 AM
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Liyon
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Edited: 07-Feb-07
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"Read "Burning Chrome" (Short stories by William Gibson), too -- I'd recommend reading it first. Not every story, but I think 3 or so, are related to "Neuromancer" -- the same world. It's totally not necessary, but I think more fun to read those first." Not trying to turn this into a William Gibson thread, but Neuromancer was unique in its vision. The other novels in the sprawl trilogy and the other sprawl stories from Burning Chrome don't quite have the same impact, imo. When I'm reading them I have a hard time imagining Neuromancer's world. They seem to be closer to Gibson's bridge trilogy.
2/7/07 8:39 AM
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shibbytastic
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Edited: 07-Feb-07
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1984 and Brave New World are both very good and have aspects that apply to today's society.
2/7/07 12:10 PM
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artvanderlei
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Edited: 07-Feb-07
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"Thanks artvanderlei What interests me the most about the dystopian theme, are the political environments. For example in Vendetta, they describe this evil facist system, but ironically has many many similarities with todays world." Yup. You'll find that most dystopian settings merely hyper-exaggerate whatever aspects of modern (or "then modern" in the case of older works) society that the author has a problem with. And since you've got so many artists with so many bones to pick working in so many different mediums, you've got a lot of variety in a genre that would initially seem self-limiting.
2/7/07 11:51 PM
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Revolver of Reason
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Edited: 07-Feb-07
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"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is semi-dystopian...it present a weird future where Reagan is still president (and nuts), Superman is an agent of the US government (and flies around killing Russians) and street violence is at a horridly high level." it was written during and set in the 80's, IIRC, so Reagan as President makes sense. I think it was supposed to represent Reagan in his second term, not a Reagan who had taken over. They have GWB and crew in Dark Knight Strikes Back, although they aren't the ones who are pulling the strings in the background. if you're along those lines, you might like Watchmen, which is alternative reality/dystopian. "Snow Crash" is kind of a take on what an anarcho-capitalist world might actually look like, instead of the theory. Basically, what would really happen if the governments of the world failed for all practical purposes, but corporations survived and a hypercapitalist system arose by default? I think it's probably the most neutral and realistic take on what would happen. "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Heinlein is based on a similar idea in some ways, but is very much pro- anarcho-capitalism. "Jennifer Government" is a favorite with the dirty hippies, but I haven't read it myself. It covers an anarcho-capitalist world from a leftist perspective.
2/9/07 7:37 PM
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Ison Dart
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Edited: 09-Feb-07
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Jennifer Government is a good ass book.  Does that make me a hippy?

Also check out Walter Mosely's book, Futureland.  It is a bunch of interconnected short stories.  Lots of black people in it, though.
2/9/07 10:58 PM
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Revolver of Reason
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"Jennifer Government is a good ass book. Does that make me a hippy?" I'm using hyperbole. hippie. ;)
2/13/07 9:12 AM
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Faxon
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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Devil on my Back by Monica Hughes Read it as a kid and I still remember it. Unfortunately I have yet to find another copy.
2/15/07 5:45 PM
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rkjmd
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Edited: 15-Feb-07
Member Since: 01/03/2007
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Just reread Animal Farm with my kid. Felt sorry for the hard working horse. Damn those pigs!
2/22/07 12:08 AM
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orcus
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Edited: 22-Feb-07
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Try "Terminal Cafe" by, I think, Ian Macdonald. Lots of interesting ideas. If you can find it, read his story The Days of Solomon Gursky (again, I think). Incredibly imaginative (same setting as Terminal Cafe) and ridiculous scope for a "short" story.
2/22/07 12:37 AM
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Ison Dart
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Edited: 22-Feb-07
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The Traveler by John Twelve Hawkes.

Cool book.
3/1/07 12:27 PM
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BrainofPJ
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Edited: 01-Mar-07
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I loved 1984, but I wasnt so crazy about BNW. Utopia by Moore has interesting things to say about the general topic, even if it isnt soley about dystopias

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