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Thread: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

  1. #1
    Member LeDoux's Avatar
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    What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    For other fans of dystopian media, what do you consider a dystopian classic? "Dystopian" meaning roughly a depiction of a dark and dehumanizing future society. And "classic" meaning is it worthy to be enjoyed across multiple generations. Any media- Books, film, TV, video games.

    I think the following books are shoe-ins:

    1984
    A Brave New World
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


    What else belongs on the list?


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    Strategery RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    The Art of the Deal
    "Thinking is difficult. That's why most people judge" ~ C.G. Jung

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    I could see an argument for The Hunger Games trilogy as YA. "Harrison Bergeron" as a short story. "Cat's Cradle" too.

    Animal Farm maybe?

    Children of Men is a movie that deserves praise.
    Escape From New York, Mad Max, The Matrix trilogy-- those are pretty dystopian.

    Comic books The Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and Days of Future Past are good.

    The Handmaid's Tale is a decent book and a better TV series. (First two seasons only.)

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    The Road
    The Stand
    "I never argue with people who say baseball is boring, because baseball is boring. And then, suddenly, it isn't. And that's what makes it great." - Joe Posnanski

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    Uncle Wiggily goes to town

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    Farenheit 451

    There's also a lot of dystopian dreck, fwiw, particularly YA, but I thought Scott Westerberg's Uglies made some interesting points, particularly regarding how people are kept in check by causing them to focus on their faults.
    And no birds sing - Keats

    The ditch is nearer - Lowell

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    Films:

    Alphaville
    Brazil
    They Live!

    Books:

    The Time Machine
    A Canticle for Leibowitz
    The Road

    TV:

    Adventure Time
    Friends don't let friends fWAR.

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    In addition to “do androids dream of electric sheep”, practically everything Philip K Dick wrote falls into this category: Ubik, Martian Time Slip, The man in the high castle, Flow my tears, the policeman said (my favorite), A scanner darkly, The transmigration of Timothy Archer.

    George Saunders has written many stories in that style, with two standouts from 10th of December: Semplica girl diaries, and Escape from Spiderhead.

    Sigismund Krzhizhanovsky is an amazing Soviet writer (1920s-30s) that NYRB classics is translating and publishing and one of his best stories is Memories of the Future” which is Kafka-seque Soviet dystopia. There is a lot of incredible Soviet and Czech sci-fi in translation.
    Last edited by Betterread; 08-14-2020 at 02:14 PM.

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    I rewatched V for Vendetta recently. It really holds up well and takes on a new meaning with the virus implications. I have not read the original graphic novel however.


    Brazil should get consideration if for no other reason than the plastic wrap cosmetic surgery,


    One not mentioned but was very creative is Wall-E.
    Last edited by klw; 08-14-2020 at 04:05 PM.

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    Two that I'm surprised haven't been mentioned:

    Looking Backward: Probably the first dystopia, by Pledge of the Allegiance author Ralph Bellamy's brother Edward Bellamy.

    The Iron Heal: This isn't Jack London's best (and I'm a huge London fan), but I think this is another case of Orwell appropriating London.

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    One not mentioned but was very creative is Wall-E.
    I've hyped Wall-E for a few years. I think it gets the current historical drift pretty well. I think a lot of dystopia fits into two categories:

    A) Mad Max - everything's fallen apart.

    B)1984 -- just the opposite, a fascistic nightmare.

    Brave New World and Wall-E aren't really either of those.

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    “The Machine Stops”—EM Forster

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    “The Machine Stops”—EM Forster
    New to me. I know nothing about EM Forster except the big mini-series from the 80's.

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    I feel like I should mention the film Dark City.
    Gratitude + Forgiveness = Happiness

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    Idiocracy.

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    Re: What are the "Dystopian" classics?

    Neil Postman said we ended up with Brave New World, which gave us too much pleasure, rather than 1984, which dished out punishment. He wrote about how we were being overwhelmed with information and activity back in '85, I think, well before the internet made its way into our homes.
    And no birds sing - Keats

    The ditch is nearer - Lowell

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