Monday, June 16, 2008

Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia

I am currently reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road (review to follow as soon as I've finished), not because I enjoy Pulitzer Prize winning books, but because one of my absolute favorite genres of books is post-apocalyptic/dystopian society.

Because, throughout my reading career, I've had much difficulty finding my next post-apocalyptic fix, I've compiled a list of my favorite pieces within the genre, accompanied by a very brief synopsis.

The Road: Civilization is gone, all fluara and fauna are dead, and the majority of the remaining humans have resorted to cannibalism. A man and his young son travel through a dead world in a desperate attempt to survive. (Genre: Post-apocalyptic)

I Who Have Never Known Men: Forty women are caged in a bunker, watched over by armed guards. None of the women know one another, and the guards never speak. None of them remember how they came to be there, nor why they're being incarcerated. Then, one day, the guards disappear, and they're able to escape, only to find that they've entered a completely unfamiliar landscape. (Genre: Post-Apocalyptic) This book is in my top 5 favorites.

Oryx and Crake: A small tribe of genetically engineered humans living in a world where all the normal people have died off. (Genre: Post-apocalyptic)

The Giver: This book basically falls into the same category that Brave New World lives in. A young boy is assigned to carry the memories of a people no longer willing to experience anything unpleasant, and the burden leads him to rebel. (Genre: Utopian)

Uglies: A young-adult series set in a world where people are physically altered when they come of age and are made "pretty". This book examines what "pretty" really is, and what it actually means. (Genre: Utopian)

Alas, Babylon: We follow the survival of a group of people after America has been attacked by nuclear weapons. (Genre: Post-apocalyptic)

Anthem: In this book, there is no longer any such thing as the personal pronoun. The characters actually speak exactly like the Borg. This is the story of one person becoming an individual. (Genre: Utopian)

A Canticle for Leibowitz: This book is about post-apocalyptic society trying to reclaim civilization. Pretty cool for people into archeology and exploring abandoned buildings. (Genre: post-apocalyptic)

I Am Legend: I'm not going to bother summarizing this, since it was out in theaters so recently. I will, however, say that the book far, far outshines the movie in every possible way. (Genre: Post-apocalyptic?)

**I am aware that I did not include any dystopian titles on this list. I can give honorable mention to 1984, which is dystopian, but, honestly, I thought that book was too cumbersome a read.