Dystopian Fiction

Commonly extrapolating elements of current society, dystopian fiction explores the darker side of possible worlds. Discover more than a Brave New World here.

November 2021 Featured Books

Femlandia

Femlandia

Author: Christina Dalcher Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2021

In this her third dystopian thriller, Dalcher gives another chilling look into an alternative future where a woman and her daughter seek refuge in a women-only colony after the country sinks into total economic collapse. Darker than her other reads, but still female-centric and speculative, this tells the tale of widowed Miranda Reynolds and her sixteen-year-old Emma whose only hope for survival is Femlandia, a male-free colony set up decades earlier by Miranda's estranged mother.  It's another twisty turny rollercoaster ride of emotion and thought-provoking themes. It's raw, it's disturbing in places, the characters are incredibly flawed and I flew through it at pace. Pulled in from the very first few pages and hooked until the end, for me Dalcher is firmly becoming the queen of speculative fiction.

Books of the Month

October 2021 Featured Books

Iceapelago 2091

Iceapelago 2091

Author: Peter Brennan Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2021

30 years after the dramatic climate events of ‘Iceapelago’ Peter Brennan’s sequel ‘Iceapelago 2091’ shows us how those who survived have managed to cope with the devastation and loss caused by the collapse of the gulf stream and the arrival of tsunamis, referenced as the Eriador event. Having read and enjoyed the first book in this series, I was curious to see where the story went next. There’s lots of explanation throughout, so those who haven’t read the first book won’t be too lost although to fully understand how Ireland became Iceapelago I would recommend starting with Brennan’s previous book. As bad weather is on the horizon yet again, the struggle to survive for all across Iceapelago is about to get tougher. I really enjoyed this follow-up by Peter Brennan. A survival thriller with plenty of drama, the storyline didn’t once go where I expected it to. I also liked the way that the book shows the perspective of the animals, Rory’s Dog Alfie and the Arctic Foxes, I found this an entertaining twist. This environmental thriller is fast paced, easy to read and - as our weather systems continue to change with the impact of climate change - worryingly plausible.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Iliba Unravels

Iliba Unravels

Author: Ed Crutchley Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/07/2021

‘Iliba Uravels’ by Ed Crutchley has a futuristic storyline, where constant surveillance via wristwatches monitor everyone’s interactions, crime is at its lowest levels, and yet we have Detective Inspector Hubert Plon on hand to handle any murders that do arise. As he begins a budding yet secretive relationship, he is called to investigate the murder of a man that had been developing artificial intelligences connected to the country-wide surveillance, Iliba, of his own.  This is an interesting dystopian mystery, futuristic in plot but still containing plenty of mystery, action and twists to suit crime fiction fans. The plotline is well written and I found the characters to be well-developed, with each new piece of information taking me down a path I wouldn’t have guessed. With the technology held within the smart watches a lot of us wear today, it’s not difficult to believe that the creation of something like Iliba could be possible and I feel the author did a brilliant job of setting the scene in a way that is uncanny yet highly believable. An interesting mystery with a dystopian twist that I feel would appeal to fans of either genre.

Indie Books We Love

September 2021 Featured Books

Circles a Clover

Circles a Clover

Author: Michael Egan Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/08/2021

Egan’s finely tuned skill as a storyteller seduces you. Right from the opening chapter he sets up a delicious, nerve-tingling sense of foreboding, with references that range from Game of Thrones and mushroom clouds to Afghanistan, Iraq and the impending end of the world. He doesn’t so much hook you into his imagined world, as gently caress a net around you, coaxing you onto each page after the next. And what a story he tells.  Plucky, thoughtful Kyle Halfpenny, year 11,  lives with her Dad who is either a mad drunk or prescient seer. She sees bigger pictures and small details and has views, thoughts and fears that all speak of a profound understanding and compassion for the lot of those in her world.  She communes with foxes, mourns for a lasagne that had ”shrunk in on itself, like it was trying to hide from it’s own failings” and through the absence of her mother and missing her brother, she cares for her Dad, a lasagne made mortal, who seeks sanctuary with Kyle on a island imbued with history, overrun by rabbits and the home of hope. This is a one hell of a read, for YA readers as much as for the intended adult audience. It is a cautionary tale of the corrosive effect on life of unfettered fear, the acid that eats joy. It is a sad and lyrical hymn to our responsibilities to ourselves and to each other. And, with its exquisite, magical, story-within-a story, it is an enchanting fable about the gritty beauty of life and of all lives. Unless you’re a rabbit.

Dystopia - The opposite of Utopia.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from dys-‘bad’ + Utopia. An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

H.G. Wells was the first popular dystopian writer with the Time Machine (1895) in which the future doesn’t bring continuous improvements in human kind, rather its demise to the baser darker side of our nature. Through Metamorphosis (1915) by Franz Kafka, Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell and on to The Handmaid's Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood dystopian fiction continues to probe the darker areas of the human condition.

Perhaps all the end of world prophecies have fueled the demand, never the less the contemporary dystopian offerings are proving popular reading – especially among a younger audience. We hope you enjoy the selection.