Thursday, August 19, 2010

When the future sucks.

You've probably either read of have heard of the Hunger Games Trilogy. You may have also read The Giver, The City of Ember, or maybe Fahrenheit 451. The one thing all of those books have in common is a view of a potential future - one that is far from the glory of jet packs and flying cars. They are all part of a subset of Science Fiction called Dystopian Literature. Typical features in dystopias are a totalitarian government, futuristic technology, and the restriction of freedom.

  • After by Francine Prose: "In the aftermath of a nearby school shooting, a grief and crisis counselor takes over Central High School and enacts increasingly harsh measures to control students, while those who do not comply disappear".

  • Battle Royal by Koushun Takami: This is the closest to The Hunger Games that you'll find - but it's shelved in the adult section for a reason. As bloody and brutal as The Hunger Games is, Battle Royal ups the ante in both novel and graphic novel format.
  • 94315776

  • Candor by Pam Bachorz: Oscar's dad has created the ideal community full of perfect people. Of course, they're only perfect because of the subliminal messages Oscar's dad plants in all of music piped in across the community. Oscar knows things he shouldn't, and if his dad finds out, well, he just can't let that happen...

  • The Declaration by Gemma Malley and its sequel, The Resistance: When people can live forever, why would anyone have children? In a futurist England, children are illegal. Those that do exist, are called "Surplus" are sent to training houses to become servants. Most are resigned to their fate, but when obediant Anna finds out her parents are trying to find her, everything changes.

  • Feed by MT Anderson: "We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck." You don't really need computers when everyone has the Feed implanted in their brains, but when Titus meets Violet, who grew up without the Feed, he starts to see that the barrage of messages planted in his head might not be the whole truth about the world.

  • The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer: "In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El PatrĂ³n, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States."

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner: Thomas wakes up in an elevator. The only thing he can remember about before is his name. Unfortunately, that's not his only problem. The elevator has delivered him to The Glade, where 60 other boys have been trying to escape for as long as they can remember and trying to escape sometimes means death - or worse.

  • Rash by Pete Hautman: "In a future society that has decided it would "rather be safe than free," sixteen-year-old Bo's anger control problems land him in a tundra jail where he survives with the help of his running skills and an artificial intelligence program named Bork."

  • Truancy by Isamu Fukui: "In the City, where an iron-fisted Mayor's goal is perfect control through education, fifteen-year-old Tack is torn between a growing sympathy for the Truancy, an underground movement determined to bring down the system at any cost, and the desire to avenge a death caused by a Truant.'

  • The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld: "In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever."

Tell us which one of the books mentioned above make you want to read it - or share your favorite dystopian book in the comments and your comment will enter you in to win a hardcover copy of The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen.*

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen: When Mason rescues a frightened girl, he finds himself on the wrong side of the people behind the greenhouse and find his life in danger because they will stop at nothing to get her back.

Want more? Check out our list of Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Fiction.

You have until midnight on Thursday, August 26th to share your comment, and we'll post the winner shortly thereafter. I can't wait to see your favorites! Good luck!

*you must be a teen between the ages 12-18 and able to pick up your prize at one of the 21 Sno-Isle Libraries.


Emily Hess said...

After reading all of these book decriptions I want to read Candor by Pam Bachorz. I now want to know waht happens with Oscar and his Dad

Macey McGovern said...

Even though all of them sound pretty good, my first choice would be "The Maze Runner". It sounds dangerous and action-packed, which makes the story intriguing to me.

Kelsey Harvill said...

My favorite is the Uglies series. They are extremely captivating and really scary to think about if our world truly was that way.