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"huge, terrible, and glittering"

Happy birthday to firiath! May you enjoy a great day today and a wonderful new year to come.

In other news...

* io9 has published the latest installment in its "Pre-Golden Age Science Fiction" series, which I quite enjoy. This one is "The Super-est Supermen of Pre-Golden Age SF."

* M.S. Corley has redesigned the Harry Potter book covers to look like classic Penguin Books volumes. Very clever!

* Once again, I have thoroughly overhauled my working list of dystopian fiction written specifically for a young adult audience. I'm particularly interested in Earth-bound stories - and yes, I'm defining "dystopian" rather broadly in this case to include relevant post-apocalyptic works, as well. Suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Recommended Young Adult Dystopias

Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D. (a.k.a. Daybreak, 2250 A.D.) by Andre Norton (1952) [O]
Vault of the Ages by Poul Anderson (1952) [O]
The Future Took Us by David Severn (1958) [O]

The Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle (1962-1989) (dystopian elements) [O] [R]
The City Underground (a.k.a. Surreal 3000) by Suzanne Martel (1964)
The Changes Trilogy by Peter Dickinson (1968-1970) [O]
The Tripods Series by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1968-1988) [O]

The Sword of the Spirits Trilogy by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1970-1972) [O]
Andra by Louise Lawrence (1971)
The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Engdahl (1971, revised edition 2003) [O]
The Guardians by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1971) [O]
Out There by Adrien Stoutenburg (1971)
Sleep Two, Three, Four! A Political Thriller by John Neufeld (1971)
The Morrow Duology by H.M. Hoover (1973, 1976)
House of Stairs by William Sleator (1974) [O]
Outside by Andre Norton (1974)
Wild Jack by by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1974) [O]
The Girl Who Owned a City by O.T. Nelson (1975) [O]
No Night Without Stars by Andre Norton (1975)
Noah's Castle by John Rowe Townsend (1975)
Ransome Revisited and The Travelling Man by Elisabeth Mace (1975, 1976)
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien (1975) [O]
City of Darkness by Ben Bova (1976)
The Missing Person's League by Frank Bonham (1976) [O] [R]
The Pale Invaders by G.R. Crosher (1976)
Empty World by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1977)
I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier (1977) [O]
The Ennead by Jan Mark (1978)
Keep Calm (a.k.a. When the City Stopped by Joan Phipson (1978)
The Tomorrow City by Monica Hughes (1978)
A Quest for Orion and Tower of the Stars by Rosemary Harris (1978, 1980)
The Awakening Water by G.R. Crosher (1979)
Dark Wing by Carl West and Katherine MacLean (1979)

The Creatures (a.k.a. King Creature, Come) by John Rowe Townsend (1980)
A Rag, A Bone, and Hank of Hair by Nicholas Fisk (1980) [O]
Red Zone by Tom Browne (1980)
This Time of Darkness by H.M. Hoover (1980) [O]
The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh (1981) [O]
The S.I.L.V.E.R. Series by Tanith Lee (1981, 2005) [O 1st]
The Voyage Begun by Nancy Bond (1981) [O]
The Vandal by Ann Schlee (1981) [O]
The Last Children of Schewenborn (also spelled Schevenborn) by Gudrun Pausewang (1983)
After the Bomb and Week One by Gloria Miklowitz (1984, 1987)
Brother in the Land by Robert Swindells (1984)
The Danger Quotient by Annabel Johnson (1984)
The Devil on My Back and The Dream Catcher by Monica Hughes (1984, 1986) [O 1st]
Futuretrack 5 by Robert Westall (1984) [O]
Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence (1985)
Earthchange by Clare Cooper (1985)
Strange Tomorrow by Jean E. Karl (1985)
The Winter Trilogy by Pamela F. Service (1985-2008) [O 1st]
The Keeper by Barry Faville (1986)
The Others by Alison Prince (1986)
Taronga by Victor Kelleher (1986) [O]
The Makers by Victor Kelleher (1987)
Orvis (a.k.a. Journey Through the Empty) by H.M. Hoover (1987)
The Sword and the Dream Duology by Janice Elliott (1987, 1988)
The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody (1987-2008, ongoing) [O 1st]
Cityscape by Frances Thomas (1988)
The Lake at the End of the World by Caroline Macdonald (1988)
Children of Time by Deborah Moulton (1989)
The Glimpses by Laurence Staig (1989)
I Feel Like the Morning Star by Gregory Maguire (1989) [O]
The Last War by Martyn Godfrey (1989)
Plague 99 (a.k.a. Plague) and Come Lucky April (a.k.a. After the Plague) by Jean Ure (1989, 1992) [O 1st]
Why Weeps the Brogan? by Hugh Scott (1989)

Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes (1990) [O]
Smart Rats by Thomas Baird (1990) [O]
A Time of Darkness by Sherryl Jordan (1990)
The Eye Witness by Caroline Macdonald (1991)
The Crystal Drop by Monica Hughes (1992)
The Dark Future Series by Laurence James (1992)
Dead Water Zone by Kenneth Oppel (1992)
River Rats by Caroline Stevermer (1992) [O]
The Baby and the Fly Pie by Melvin Burgess (1993)
The Giver Trilogy by Lois Lowry (1993-2004) [O] [R]
The Last Oasis by Sue Pace (1993) [O]
Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan (1993)
The Disinherited (a.k.a. The Patchwork People) by Louise Lawrence (1994)
The Electric Kid by Garry Kilworth (1994)
The Parkland Series by Victor Kelleher (1994-1996)
The Tomorrow Series by John Marsden (1994-1999) and The Ellie Chronicles (2003-2006) [O] [R]
The His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman (1995-2000) (dystopian elements) [O] [R 1st, 2nd]
Fall-Out by Gudrun Pausewang (1995)
Foundling (a.k.a. Found) by June Oldham (1995) [O]
Galax-Arena and Terra-Farma by Gillian Rubenstein (1995, 2001) [O 1st]
The Time Keeper Trilogy by Barbara Bartholomew (1995)
Waterbound by Jane Stemp (1995)
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (1996) [O] [R]
Cave Rats by Kerry Greenwood (1997)
The Scavenger's Tale by Rachel Anderson (1997) [O]
Shade's Children by Garth Nix (1997) [O]
The Virtual War Chronologs by Gloria Skurzynski (1997-2006)
The Ark Trilogy by Stephanie S. Tolan (1998-ongoing) [O 1st]
Evan's Voice by Sallie Lowenstein (1998)
Forbidden Memories by Jamila Gavin (1998)
Off the Road by Nina Bawden (1998) [O]
Originator by Claire Carmichael (1998)
The Shadow Children Sequence by Margaret Peterson Haddix (1998-2006) [O] [R 1st]
Bloodtide and Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess (1999, 2005) [O 1st]
The Copper Elephant by Adam Rapp (1999)
The Cure by Sonia Levitin (1999) [O]
Fabricant by Claire Carmichael (1999)
The Hermit Thrush Sings by Susan Butler (1999)
Star Split by Kathryn Lasky (1999)

Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick (2000) [O]
The Heaven and Earth Trilogy by Richard Harland (2000-2003) [O 1st]
Incognito by Claire Carmichael (2000)
The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick (2000) [O]
Songs of Power by Hilari Bell (2000)
The White Fox Chronicles by Gary Paulsen (2000)
Hole in the Sky by Pete Hautman (2001)
Memory Boy by Will Weaver (2001)
Mortal Engines Quartet (a.k.a. The Hungry City Chronicles) by Philip Reeve (2001-2006) [O 1st]
The Noughts and Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman (2001-2008)
Violet Eyes and Silver Eyes (sequel Angel Eyes pending) by Nicole Luiken (2001)
The Wintering Trilogy by Stephen Bowkett (2001-2002) [O 1st]
Bootleg by Alex Shearer (2002)
Feed by M.T. Anderson (2002) [O] [R]
The Fire-Us Trilogy by Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher (2002-2003) [O 1st]
Green Boy by Susan Cooper (2002)
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (2002) [O]
The Books of Ember by Jeanne Duprau (2003-2008, ongoing) [O 1st] [R 1st]
The Silver Sequence by Cliff McNish (2003-2005)
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn (2004) [O]
The Big Empty Series by J.B. Stephens (2004-2005)
Bringing Reuben Home by Glenda Millard (2004)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2004) [O] [R]
Sharp North and Blown Away by Patrick Cave (2004, 2005) [O]
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer (2004) [O]
Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed (2004)
The Truesight Trilogy by David Stahler, Jr. (2004-2007)
Useful Idiots by Jan Mark (2004) [O]
The Destiny of Linus Hoppe and The Second Life of Linus Hoppe by Anne-Laure Bondoux (2005)
The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington (2005) [O]
The Goodness Gene by Sonia Levitin (2005) [O]
Hunted by Alex Shearer (2005) [O]
Maddigan's Fantasia by Margaret Mahy (2005)
Pure by Karen Krossing (2005)
Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 by Andrea White (2005) [O] [R]
The Secret Under My Skin by Janet McNaughton (2005) [O]
Siberia by Ann Halam (2005)
Stolen Voices by Ellen Dee Davidson (2005) [O]
The Traces Series by Malcolm Rose (2005-2208, ongoing) [O 1st]
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld (2005-2007) [O 1st] [R 1st]
GemX by Nicky Singer (2006) [O]
Ads R Us (a.k.a. Leaving Simplicity) by Claire Carmichael (2006) [O]
The Caretaker Trilogy by David Klass (2006, 2008, ongoing)
Life As We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer (2006, 2008) [O 1st]
Rash by Pete Hautman (2006) [O]
The Six of Hearts Series by Jack Heath (2006-ongoing)
The Declaration and The Resistance by Gemma Malley (2007, 2008) [O 1st] [R 1st]
Escape from Genopolis and Fearless by T.E. Berry-Hart (2007, 2009)
Fearless by Tim Lott (2007) [O]
Hybrids by David Thorpe (2007)
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (2007) [O]
The Inferior by Peadar ó Guilín (2007) [O]
The Rule of Claw by John Brindley (2007)
The Silenced by James DeVita (2007) [O]
Silverhorse by Lene Kaaberbøl (2007)
Unwind by Neal Shusterman (2007) [O]
The Witness by James Jauncey (2007)
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson (2008) [O] [R]
Bad Faith by Gillian Philip (2008) [O] [R]
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen (2008) [O] [R]
Daylight Runner by Oisín McGann (2008)
Exodus and Zenith by Julie Bertagna (2008, 2009, third book pending) [O 1st]
Gone and Hunger by Michael Grant (2008, 2009) [O 1st]
The Grassland Trilogy by David Ward (2008-ongoing) [O 1st]
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (2008, 2009) [O] [R]
In the Company of Whispers by Sallie Lowenstein (2008)
The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking, Book One by Patrick Ness (2008, sequel pending 2009) [O 1st]
The Last Free Cat by Jon Blake (2008)
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2008) [O] [R]
The Lost Art by Simon Morden (2008)
Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin (2008) [O] [R]
The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman (2008) [O]
Shift by Charlotte Agell (2008) [O]
The Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle (2008) [R]
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner (2009) [O]
The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (2009, 2010 forthcoming) [O 1st] [R 1st]
Genesis by Bernard Beckett (2009) [O]
Last Midnight by Parker Peevyhouse (forthcoming in 2009)
Dark Life by Kat Falls (forthcoming in 2010)

Note to self:
[O] = Own
[R] = Read (or Re-read) Recently

"The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering — a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons—a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting — three hundred million people all with the same face."
– George Orwell, 1984


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
Just thought you might like to know ...

Obscure Tolkien book to come out this spring

NEW YORK (AP) — An early, long-unpublished work by J.R.R. Tolkien is coming out.

"The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun," a thorough reworking in verse of old Norse epics that predates Tolkien's writing of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, will be published in May by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

According to Houghton, the book will include an introduction by Tolkien and notes by his son, Christopher Tolkien.

J.R.R. Tolkien, whose fantasy novels have sold millions of copies, died in 1973. "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" was written in the 1920s and '30s, when the author was teaching at Oxford University.
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how happy this makes me. :) I may explode!
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
I grew of age during and was a huge fan of the golden age of 50s and 60s sci fi literature. Since then, I've somewhat neglected the genre, except for films and TV. I have forgotten the plots of a lot of the great books of that era, but off the top of my head I would rec these classics/favorites as additions to your list: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm (sci fi?), Childhood's End, Harrison Bergeron, The Lottery, Flowers for Algernon, and - a later work - The Handmaid's Tale.
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I love golden age SF too!

Thank you so much for your recommendations. I have a separate list here for "mainstream" dystopias, as opposed to dystopias written and marketed specifically for the young adult market. (I'm separating the two - mainstream and YA - at the moment, because of a project on which I'm currently working.) I definitely need to add "The Lottery" and Childhood's End to the mainstream list. What terrific suggestions! I hadn't considered Flowers for Algernon a dystopia, but now that you mention it, I can totally see it. Thanks so much!
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
The only reason Flowers for Algernon popped into my mind was because it was on my bookshelf when I scanned it before replying to you.

Have no idea re the marketing end of it, but I read most of the great sci-fi novels/stories as a child and young adult, so just from the literary perspective I don't see/make a distinction. Curious how you separate mainstream from young adult, aside from the marketing... sex?

By the way, have you seen the Showtime film of Harrison Bergeron?

And - off topic because it's not sci fi - have you read The Yellow Wallpaper by Gilman?

Feb. 18th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
I was really looking at the marketing/authors' intent. In today's YA books, if my limited reading is any indication, there seems to be as much sex and violence as in many mainstream works! Heinlein moved back and forth between "juveniles" and "mainstream" novels back in the Golden Era, and today some authors seem to be doing the same thing, although others specialize in YA books. The main difference I see from a literary perspective is that many of the YA protagonists are older children or teens rather than adults. (Their age may be tied into the fact they are more likely to question/rebel against the status quo, and they are less invested in the systems as they currently exist. There may be, also, a particular immediacy to the authors' messages, as they are writing to an audience of young people who are getting old enough to inherit the world we've created and, potentially, the power to change it.)

I love the film version of "Harrison Begeron"!!! I've used it in two of my university courses (with great success), and when I got to meet Sean Astin some years ago (we were both guest speakers at a con), that was the first thing I told him. Isn't it well done? Quite different from the story, but in a very satisfying way, I think.

I have read "The Yellow Wallpaper," although it's been ages since I did. I need to reread it, since I've recently done a little work on her novel Herland (which I loved). I remember being chilled by the autobiographical elements in the story, imagining all she experienced and endured.
Feb. 18th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
PS. While I'm being annoyingly self-involved (apologies!), I have additional past reports of LOTR actors here and here, although they are disappointingly Sean Astin-free. ;)

Edited at 2009-02-18 07:49 pm (UTC)
Feb. 18th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
What fun! I've met Mr. A a few times, but not in a con environment. Most recently:

You might enjoy this, too, come to think of it.

And (having heard so much negative about it) I enjoyed your review of LOTR on stage. I would have gone to see it if it played here. (Heck, I even went to Howard Shore's failed opera The Fly recently.) I've watched and enjoyed this part several times, that I found on youtube.

After reading your review, I wish I could see the tower rescue scene. It always comes back to h/c, eh? LOL!

I never read Herland... sounds fascinating... will have to get it from the library.
Feb. 18th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
I love the picture of Sean Astin with the Rudy! What an amazing (and historic!) shot. I bet the Q&A was fascinating.

And "Love & Other Social Issues" sounds remarkable. I would have loved to see it! I'll have to keep my eyes open re: what else he's up to, as he certainly seems to be a dynamic and compelling artist.

Herland was one of the early feminist utopias I focused on in my "History of the Genre" podcast segment. I highly recommend the novel. It's fascinating stuff. And now you've inspired me to go back and re-read "The Yellow Wallpaper"!

Thanks for sharing these fantastic links with me.
Feb. 18th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
Well, by golly, here's another link:

(Note that the entry includes a link to The Yellow Wallpaper, in case that's not obvious.)

Malcolm-Jamal is AMAZING. I was blown away.

The Rudy Q&A (which transpired - unintentionally - literally about 5 feet from me) was great, yes. Rudy asked me to email him a copy of the photo, which I did. I also took a photo of the 3 of them with David's camera, so he has one. Sean is the only one who doesn't have a copy, as far as I know.
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, what a fascinating video! I can see the connection with "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Feb. 19th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
In today's YA books, if my limited reading is any indication, there seems to be as much sex and violence as in many mainstream works!

In 4th grade c. 1970 one of the SRA monthly book selections was "Greek Slave Boy" by Lillian Carroll. No pederasty despite the lurid title (Yes! Of course I read it!) I also remember a great book about the exploration of an undersea cavern complex, with a goggle-eyed fishman on the cover. I wish I could remember its title.

I finally found one of the books from my childhood, Charles R. Knights "Life Through the Ages", with the picture of two tyrannosaurs preparing to fight that I haven't forgotten in 40 years.
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
(Yes! Of course I read it!)


Isn't amazing how the images and stories of books we loved as children stick with us?
Feb. 21st, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Well I wouldn't have remembered the author but it was easy to find with Google. It seems to be considered sixth grade level reading now.
Feb. 19th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
If only I'd read Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!, I would have known enough to Just Say No.
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
Feb. 19th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
I definitely need to add "The Lottery"

Have you ever seen a Veronica Cartwright movie where something bad didn't happen to her? She survived The Birds at least, but she died in Alien, got replaced in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, fell down a flight of stairs in The Witches of Eastwick, and was the guest of honor in The Lottery.
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
Excellent point. She really should wear a red shirt in every role she plays, shouldn't she?
Feb. 22nd, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
Redshirt deaths are usually merciful compared to hers. Except for that one transporter malfunction...
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
The redesigned covers are very cool. :-)
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
Fun, aren't they? I particularly liked Deathly Hallows.
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
LOL, a gloomy Orwell for a gloomy day. Are you getting rain to the west?

Thanks for these lists, btw. I refer to them gratefully.
Feb. 18th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Rain, rain, rain! Yes indeed. And I hear we have a chance of thunderstorms tonight. I hope you're nice and dry, and that we don't send any nasty weather your way. (As it is, I think it's great cocoa and writing weather. But Virginia's under the blankets and snoring, so she obviously disagrees. LOL!)

I'm so glad the lists are useful! I'm a compulsive listmaker myself, but it makes me feel a bit better if the information helps more than just me. I simply have to post soon on a couple of these books, because they really impressed me a great deal.
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I just looked at the HP covers. Extremely clever and well-done except maybe the titling needs revision (don't agree with breaking the titles apart). God, I love good design.
Feb. 18th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
Good point about not breaking the titles apart! Still, they are fascinating. I'm not learned enough about design to know why, exactly, but the Deathly Hallows cover completely bewitches me. I just want to sit and stare at it. LOL!
Feb. 18th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
For me, it's a toss up between the creepiness of Deathly Hallows, the claw grip and dripping seal of Philosopher's Stone, and the hand transparancy of Chamber of Secrets. But really, it's the overall vision, design and colors of the collection that is stunning.
Feb. 19th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC)
I was chastened to find I was unfamiliar with so many of the Superman books in the pre-Golden Age list. And not a Skylark or a Lensman in the bunch! *g*. Nor, come to think of it, a Doc Savage.
Feb. 21st, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
Good point! I noticed that several of the books listed have recently been reissued as part of the Bison Frontiers of the Imagination series from the University of Nebraska Press, which is nice and convenient.
Feb. 21st, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
Always fun to meet a fellow fan of dystopias. Great list!!
Feb. 21st, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I discovered your blog (and I'm very glad that I did) via Jen Robinson's "Growing Bookworms" Newsletter.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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