The best dystopian novels of all time
Our edit of the best dystopian books ever written, from classic authors like George Orwell, Margaret Atwood and Aldous Huxley.
Dystopian novels fascinate us because they draw on aspects of our own world. Mirroring elements of society, the environment, religion, politics or technology, dystopian books present a world that, though eerily familiar, is much more frightening than our own.
From the misogynist dystopia of The Handmaid’s Tale and Margaret Atwood's sequel The Testaments, to a world changed forever by a deadly pandemic in Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven, dystopian novels often carry a warning for the future. George Orwell's 1984 in particular only seems to grow in relevance, and Dorian Lynskey discusses the novel's fascinating history in his book The Ministry of Truth. Here are some of the most sinister, and some might argue prescient, dystopian novels ever written.
If you can't get enough of terrifying potential futures in prose, here Emma shares her recommendations for the best apocalyptic books: