13 Dystopian Worlds From Fiction We’d Rather Live in Than This One
A global pandemic has crippled the world. The president is on the verge of crying live on national TV. Prostitutes are accepting toilet paper in lieu of currency. WTF is happening? Now more than ever, it feels like we’re living through a work of dystopian fiction.
Zombie hordes are horrifying. Alien invasions suck eggs. Robot uprisings are major buzzkills, though not quite as bad as season two of Westworld. However, the realities of the coronavirus outbreak are so much worse than any of the make-believe kind. Wouldn’t you rather make out with Catness while dressed as a rock? Or ride a motorcycle through a desert while looking really cool and pensive? We would! Here are 13 dystopian worlds we’d rather live on than this COVID-19-infested one.
Cover photo: Andres Granollers (Getty Images)
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Author Rob Hart’s 2019 novel, The Warehouse, envisioned a world where an Amazon-like company takes over everything, including the government. Even though climate change has destroyed that version of Earth, at least they have plenty of toilet paper.
Big Brother might watch your every waking moment in George Orwell’s cryptic novel 1984, but at least that tyrannical government is highly effective. I mean, wouldn’t you rather be safe than free right now?
A shimmering alien force infects the Northeastern U.S. in Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. Obviously, it would be better to transform into a beautiful tree than slowly die from the coronavirus.
Ray Bradbury’s seminal novel Fahrenheit 451 shows a world where books are illegal, but some people read and share them in secret despite the grave risk. In our world, no one reads because of Netflix, which honestly seems even sadder.
Cormac McCarthy’s haunting mediation The Road looks at a world where food can’t grow and so human beings are the new avocado toast. It may sound bleak and awful, but at least you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to make rent.
'A Scanner Darkly'
In Philip K. Dick’s novel A Scanner Darkly, a man spies on himself for a company that produces a terrible drug that has completely addicted the masses. Basically, it’s exactly like our world but you’re still allowed to go outside.
'A Clockwork Orange'
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, explores a world where young people indiscriminately attack the elderly for no other reason than the entertainment value. Considering how badly Boomers broke our world, maybe they’re on to something.
'Oryx and Crake'
Margaret Atwood’s book Oryx and Crake is one of the most horrifying visions of the future ever put to paper. Even though a genetically engineered plague kills 99.9 percent of the population in the book, at least it kills the rich and poor equally, unlike our system.
In The Power by Naomi Alderman, women evolve an organ that allows them to electrocute people, giving them the physical power once held by men. Considering how badly dudes have done at running this rock, maybe we should let the ladies have a chance to ruin it, too.
The novel Snow Crash envisions a dystopian world of crushing inequity where a language virus is being used to manipulate and take over humanity. Honestly, it sounds almost exactly like our world, except they can still go to restaurants and hug their loved ones.
'Pills and Starships'
Lydia Mallet’s Pills and Starships offers a vision of the future as frightful as it is prescient, though it’s wicked depressing. Overpopulation has necessitated death lotteries, but before dying, you get to go on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Hawaii, which isn’t sounding like that bad of a deal at this moment.
'The Forever War'
The Forever War explores the mysteries of time dilation, the vastness of the cosmos and how stupid interstellar war would be. Humanity eventually evolves into a race of genderless identical clones connected through a collective consciousness, also known as hipsters.
'The Country of Ice Cream Star'
Imagine a world where a mysterious disease wipes out every old person. This is the premise of The Country of Ice Cream Star, a hauntingly beautiful portrait of what life will probably be like in 2021.
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