Many of us were required to read dystopia or post-holocaust books about the future during high school. I am extremely thankful to my teachers for assigning some of these books, and glad I chose to read the others on my own. Books about the future remain some of my favorite novels of all time, providing great and haunting stories that can shed light on our current social struggles. Enjoy these prophetic voices.
1. 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games trilogy is a series of young adult books about the nation of Panem, a country that exists in a place that used to be called America. Panem has 12 districts ruled by a totalitarian government in The Capitol district. Every year The Capitol hosts The Hunger Games, a brutal nationally televised competition where a male and female teenager from each district has to compete. 24 enter. The 1 survivor wins and The Capitol maintains control through fear until the next Games. These are books you won't want to put down that will keep you thinking even after you finish them.\
Although the year 1984 passed more than two decades ago, the novel 1984
remains as powerful as ever. 1984
is one of the scariest books I have ever read (not in a blood and guts horror sort of way; in a more thoughtfully terrifying way). References to "Big Brother" and other elements from 1984
continue to be used in popular cultural, making 1984
not only a good read, but an essential book for understanding public discourse.
shows how fear and pain can be used as methods of control, Brave New World
shows how pleasure can also be an instrument of domination. In many ways, Brave New World
reads as if it was written for 21st century society. This page turner will entertain and make you think.
Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books burn, and the novel Fahrenheit 451
is a story about a society that is determined to destroy all books. Although Google's virtual library makes this scenario less likely on a practical level, it is still a timely message for a society where school districts and libraries regularly ban books like Harry Potter
is a more recent vision than the other books on the list, but I would not be surprised if in 10 years it is considered a "modern classic." A father and son are striving to survive a wilderness that used to be a country that used to be the most prosperous nation on earth. All that is left is ash, floating and falling when the wind chooses not to breathe. This is the setting of The Road
, a journey of survival only Cormac McCarthy could envision.
6. 'One Second After' by William Forstchen
Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
One Second After
is a riveting and chilling tale of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States. It is a thrilling page turner, but is also so much more. The danger it illustrates is so great and so real that leaders in our government are now reading this book.