Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #48

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Sir Thomas More, once Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, coined the word “utopia” to describe a perfect world he wrote about in his book of the same name. While there are few other authors who have written about ideal societies, the library is not at all short on the opposite books. Called “dystopian,” meaning the opposite of a perfect world, here are a few, new and old:

Feed – M.T. Anderson

In a future where you can vacation on the moon, over 70% of Americans, young and old, have a constant, instant feed of the Internet (including banner ads!) implanted into their brains. What happens when a teenage girl decides to fight the feed?

YA Fic Anderson WCV WDB

The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

A classic from the prolific author, in which the unnamed Time Traveller builds a time machine and visits the end of the world while only being gone for three hours. He discovers the Eloi and Morlocks, and their distinct dystopian, and frightening, society.


Sci Wells WAM

Playaway YA Fic Wells WCV

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

Considered both classic and anachronistic, Rand’s novel is about a dystopian future when the people don’t ask questions because they know there are no answers to be had. The government controls all commerce, and Rand’s theory of Objectivism is explained.

Fic Rand WMB WDB

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

One of the most popular and well-known of all dystopian novels is this classic from scifi author Bradbury. In a world where books are banned – and even burned – what happens when a “firefighter,” one of the men employed to burn books and houses containing them, tries to rebel and question why?

Sci Bradbury WCV WMB

BKD Sci Bradbury WAM

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

From the author of “The Remains of the Day,” this novel views a future, different Britain, where clones are raised only for their organs, then must be convinced to give up their lives and die.

Fic Ishiguro WMB WAM

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