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"nothing like what it is supposed to be"

Happy early birthday to silveraspen, and best wishes for many more to come!

I have a few links to share:

* My most recent "History of the Genre" segment (this one is about a pathbreaking dystopian short story, E.M. Forster's "The Machine Stops," which turns 100 years old this year) is available in the latest episode of StarShipSofa: The Science Fiction Audio Magazine, "Aural Delights No. 79." You can download it here, listen to it streaming here, or get it via iTunes under "StarShipSofa." A list of my other podcast commentaries, interviews, and unabridged dramatic readings is available here with links. To those of you listening, many thanks indeed! I hope you enjoy it.

* SFSignal has a terrific "Mind Meld" feature answering this question: "What are the "Forgotten Books" of science fiction/fantasy/horror?" Some outstanding titles are named, and I particularly like James Bloomer's list of apocalyptic fiction.

* io9 has a review of the 2008 anthology The Black Mirror & Other Stories: An Anthology of Science Fiction From Germany & Austria here: "German SF Through Two World Wars And The Berlin Wall."

Last but not least: once again, I have updated 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!

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 Day of the Drones by A.M. Lightner (1969)

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)
The Pale Invaders by G.R. Crosher (as G.R. Kestavan) (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) [O]
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]
No Man's Land by Simon Watson (1976) [O]
The Delikon by H.M. Hoover (1977)
Empty World by Samuel Youd (as John Christopher) (1977) [O]
I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier (1977) [O]
The Ennead by Jan Mark (1978) [O]
The Justice Trilogy by Virginia Hamilton (1978-1981)
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 (as G.R. Kesteven) (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]
An Alien Music by Annabel and Edgar Johnson (1982)
The Huntsman Trilogy by Douglas Hill (1982-1984) [O 1st]
The Last Children of Schewenborn (also spelled Schevenborn) by Gudrun Pausewang (1983) [O]
After the Bomb and Week One by Gloria Miklowitz (1984, 1987) [O]
Brother in the Land by Robert Swindells (1984) [O]
The Colsec Series by Douglas Hill (1984-1985)
The Danger Quotient by Annabel and Edgar 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]
The Shepherd Moon by H.M. Hoover (1984)
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]
Wolf of Shadows by Whitley Strieber (1985) [O]
The Keeper by Barry Faville (1986)
The Others by Alison Prince (1986)
Taronga by Victor Kelleher (1986) [O]
The Fire Brats Series by Barbara Siegel, Scott Siegel, and Barbara Steiner (1987-1988)
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)
Eva by Peter Dickinson (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) [O 1st]
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) [O]

Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick (2000) [O] [R]
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) [O]
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] [R]
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]
The Pack by Tom Pow (2004)
Sharp North and Blown Away by Patrick Cave (2004, 2005) [O]
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer (2004) [O] [R]
Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed (2004)
The Truesight Trilogy by David Stahler, Jr. (2004-2007) [O 1st]
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 and Cherry Heaven by L.J. Adlington (2005, 2007) [O 1st]
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] [R 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] [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) [O]
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 Carbon Diaries 2015 and The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd (2008, 2009 forthcoming)
The Cure by Michael Coleman (2008)
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 and The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking, Book Two by Patrick Ness (2008, 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 and The Walls Have Eyes by Clare B. Dunkle (2008, 2009) [R 1st]
Truancy and Truancy: Origins by Isamu Fukui (2008, 2009)
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner (2009) [O] [R]
Candor by Pam Bachorz (2009)
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)
Lifegame by Alison Allen-Gray (2009)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)
Dark Life by Kat Falls (forthcoming in 2010)

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

"We are our own memory-keepers and we have failed ourselves. It is like the game we played in school as children. Sitting in a circle, one student whispers a phrase into another student's ear and the phrase is passed around until the last student in the circle repeats what she hears, only to find out it is nothing like what it is supposed to be.

"That is our life now."

- from The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 10th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Here's a shot in the dark, but what about Watership Down as a YA dystopia? I think Efrafa is terrifying.
Apr. 12th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
Wow, I hadn't even thought of that one! I can see it, though. *scratches head* I think I need to go and reread it now! :) Your shots in the dark are always fantastic; they make me see things in such different ways. Now I need to go and ponder this. It may not fit the list for my current purposes, but I need to note it in some way, because you're right. Thank you!
Apr. 13th, 2009 10:46 am (UTC)
The other thing I thought of was the sequences in The Sword in the Stone where Merlin shows Wart life amongst the totalitarian ants (contrasted in particular with life amongst the free geese). It has an explicitly didactic function, which is something I associate with YA dystopian fiction.
Apr. 17th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, another good one! I really, really need to go back and reread T.H. White.
Apr. 10th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Oh that's one of my favourite genres - young adult dystopian stories! I'm so going to bookmark your list here!

What about The Carbon Diaries? by Saci Lloyd?

Oh, and there's some fab Australian ones I remember from being a kid - except that I don't remember the titles... *headdesk*
Apr. 12th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC)
The Carbon Diaries is perfect! I'd totally missed that one. Thank you so much for the suggestion. As for Australian authors, I've fallen in love with John Marsden's works, and I've just discovered Victor Kelleher. I'm sure there are many more I don't know about!

Thanks again!
Apr. 11th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
I do so love Suzanne Collins' books. I was pleased quite a few posts back when I noticed that The Hunger Games was on your list and that it was one you had read. I listened to the audio back in January and loved it almost as much as her Underland Chronicles. I'm looking forward to reading Catching Fire(September seems so far away). It's nice that you're adding forthcoming books in a series, keeping on top of things and such.
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
I thoroughly adored The Hunger Games, and I've preordered Catching Fire. (I agree - September seems soooo far away!) I haven't read the Underland Chronicles. Do you recommend them? I certainly liked her writing style.

As far as I can tell, the libraries here don't have the We Shall Remain bookmarks. (Woe!) If I strike out next week, may I take you up on your kind offer?
Apr. 12th, 2009 04:54 am (UTC)
Thanks for this list of dystopias, Amy. Gives me even more books to look over. I've been reading through the Obernewtyn Chronicles by Carmody. Found it to be very good. Not a dystopia per se but certainly post-apocalyptic.
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Obernewtyn
My pleasure! I'm working my way through the list. Thanks for the heads up about the Obernewtyn Chronicles. I couldn't tell from reading reviews how far into the "dystopian end" of the post-apocalyptic spectrum, if that makes any sense, the books fell.
Apr. 12th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
I had no idea there was going to be a second Carbon Diaries book! (Makes note.)
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
I just discovered that myself!

I love your icon. :)
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-)
Apr. 13th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Apr. 14th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
You're most welcome!
Apr. 27th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Your latest "History of the Genre" was, as usual, extremely informative -- I'd never heard of "The Machine Stops," & now I have to read it. Sounds like it has way too many resonances with 2009! (Yes, I once again have Pod in my life.)
May. 1st, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
Yay! This makes me so happy. Thanks a million for the kind feedback. Here's a link to the story, FYI. :) You aren't joking about the many resonances with 2009. It's incredible!

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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