Anniversary of Orwell’s 1984: The Remarkable Allure of Dystopias Lives On

Influenced largely by George Orwell, the genre of dystopian fiction holds its grip on readers as our society advances and writers are explore new futures.

Book Culture Fantasy On This Day Recommendations
George Orwell's 1984 Book Cover in a glowing circle between 2 books.

Dystopian stories captivate readers with their haunting visions of future societies gone awry, characteristically exploring themes of oppression, survival, and the resilience of the human spirit. These narratives tap into our deepest fears and anxieties about the trajectory of our world, offering a mirror to our current societal flaws and their potential consequences.

The groundbreaking book 1984 by George Orwell stands as one of the most recognized dystopian novels and still resonates with readers long after it was written. In honor of its publication in 1949 — 75 years ago — we invite you to explore similar work. We will keep the suggestions concise and save the mind-boggling for the books to do!

Scythe (Arc of Scythe, 1) by Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Arc of Scythe, 1) by Neal Shusterman. Book cover of a red cloak and a sharp staff.

Two teenagers must navigate the moral complexities and intense competition of being apprentice Scythes in a world where death has been conquered, and a group of elite individuals are tasked with controlling the population.

Severance by Ling Ma

Severance by Ling Ma. Pink book cover with title in white box.

This is a gripping tale that blends post-apocalyptic horror with satire, following a young woman navigating the collapse of society due to a global pandemic while reflecting on the mundanity and absurdity of modern corporate life.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Book cover of a blue-eyed girl.

Three friends discover the unsettling truth about their existence as clones created for organ donation, leading them to confront the ethical and emotional implications of their predetermined fate.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Book cover of hyper-saturated graphic art illustration of city.

Yevgeny Zamyatin creates a totalitarian future society where individuality is suppressed, and conformity is enforced by an omnipresent government.

Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck

Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck. Grey book cover with barb wire fence.

In another future where a totalitarian government controls every aspect of life, individual liberties are curtailed under the guise of environmental sustainability.

Orphans of Canland by Daniel Vitale

Orphans of Canland by Daniel Vitale. Book cover with colorful illustration of farmland and mountain range with two people sharing a tandem bike.

This novel follows the gripping journey of a group of orphans struggling to survive and find hope in a dystopian world filled with danger and uncertainty.

I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman

I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman. Rainbow book cover of ladder going into the ground.

Jacqueline Harpman tells the story of a woman who emerges from years of captivity in an underground bunker where she is trapped with many others. She confronts the mysteries of her past and the complexities of human relationships in a post-apocalyptic world.

Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. Book cover of red axe cracking the title.

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah offers a stark and chilling portrayal of a dystopian world where incarcerated individuals compete for survival and fame in a brutal televised competition.

As we journey through the desolate landscapes and totalitarian regimes depicted in these tales, we are not only entertained but also provoked to reflect on the state of our own societies and the values we hold dear. Ultimately, the allure of dystopian fiction lies in its ability to blend gripping storytelling with profound commentary on human nature and the precarious balance of civilization. On this day, we honor Orwell’s immense influence on this literary genre.

For a deep dive into the popular dystopian series, The Hunger Games, read here!

Check out Bookstr’s Bookshop shelf, which is designated for dystopian and technologically advanced worlds, here!