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Best Dystopian Science Fiction Books

Dystopian art by Alex Andreev

Dystopian art by Alex Andreev

(Updated for 2021)

Dystopian fiction is making us scared. Stop writing it!

Or, we’re writing it because we’re already scared, so we should probably write more.

The future, like the present, can be both wonderful and terrifying.

If you find yourself drawn to dystopian stories, ask yourself, “Why?” Is it because the future looks bleak? Or does a truly fresh start sound pretty good?

It’s okay if the answer is both. Feeling strongly about two or more completely contradictory things is deeply human (annoying, but human).

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26 Best Grimdark Books

Art by Kai Lim

Grimdark is a fantasy subgenre that is particularly dystopian, amoral, or violent. Its protagonists tend toward the conflicted antihero, and its worlds are often brutal and nihilistic. The writing also tends to be much grittier and realistic. A whimsical quest to get the magic doohickey this is not.

The slightly overwrought term is inspired by the tagline of the tabletop strategy game Warhammer 40,000: “In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.”

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