Questions tagged [dystopia]

A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

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9 votes
2 answers
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Cancelled series on WOR channel 9 or WPIX 11 in the 70’s about a dystopian future humans live underground

There was a series or limited pilot that never took off about a dystopian future where human regressed to caveman like people that lived on the earths surface due to a vaccination gone wrong. There ...
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  • 99
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

"Hunger Games"-esque book where teens are run through a gauntlet of ruthless tests, and pitted against one another

The book focuses on a girl (first-person perspective) who enters a program designed to help provide better jobs for poor families, following in her older brother's footsteps (going against her parents'...
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5 votes
0 answers
121 views

Short story about a cop who chases criminals in a dystopia where everyone is perfect at their job

Read at least ten years ago in an anthology, possibly Writers of the Future, but no idea which issue/edition. Everyone in the story is too good at their jobs, and so work is sort of hard to find, so ...
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  • 113
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Movie or book about people kept in a type of prison where if their name came up in a lottery, they'd be subject to experiments and/or organ harvesting

Looking for the title of a science fiction movie or book. It involved young people kept in a type of prison and facing a lottery where if their name came up they would face experiments on their body ...
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7 votes
1 answer
192 views

I'm looking for a dystopian short story called "Same"

In this story everyone had the exact same schedule everyone had the exact same house and car, it was so similar that you could use any car or any house, no one had any possessions. they watched tv at ...
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8 votes
1 answer
165 views

Immortality Injection Short Story?

I've been desperately trying to remember the name of this short story I read in high school, almost 10 years ago. The premise was there was a "cure" for death, and a bunch of parents were ...
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5 votes
0 answers
209 views

What is this dystopia with only three channels on TV?

It's possible that I invented this and it doesn't really exist. What I remember: one character is proudly showing off facets of their dystopia. They say that they've successfully reduced the number of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
95 views

Trying to find a book I read around 2008. It’s a sci-fi dystopia with a green holographic cover of a man jumping and a city behind him

I read a book around 2008. It has a green holographic cover showing a guy in a city. The plot is: virtual reality has everyone addicted to the point they are obese and with bad health problems but ...
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  • 27
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is this from: beheading, head stolen in heist, and connected to new body?

This memory of a scene from a book/movie/show/comic popped into my mind and I can't figure out what it is from! It's a beheading/execution scene on a castle/tower/skyscraper over a waterfall/into a ...
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6 votes
1 answer
224 views

Dystopian short story about a man who can only think in the language of adverts

I read this a while back and can’t remember much. It was a short story where a man can only think in the language of ads - the narrative is subjective to his POV and he can barely describe himself or ...
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  • 69
15 votes
1 answer
237 views

1980s/'90s sci-fi B-movie about a totalitarian future where a boy finds an abandoned combat robot

I once watched this movie on TV. It looks like it was released in the 1980s (or early 1990s). The action takes place in a totalitarian future. At the beginning of the film, a boy hacker uses a ...
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14 votes
1 answer
151 views

Looking for: Future, dystopian, virus & vaccine, medical check, government agency killing people

I'm looking for... something! I'm honestly not sure if it's a book, radio play, TV-series or movie, but I think it's probably a book or radio play. It's set in a bit of a dystopian future. A few ...
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Young fit man pursuing a less healthy man through a hive structure

I'm looking for a short story about a young fit man pursuing a less healthy man through a hive structure. I think he captured or killed him. The young man has superior muscles developed by the hive ...
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  • 165
8 votes
1 answer
206 views

YA novel where the world is divided by color

Read this book before 2013. The protagonist (I think it was a boy) lived in a world where society was divided by colours and each colour had their own city/continent. Each of these colours had their ...
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  • 89
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Short story/novel dystopian where the main character is compelled to buy consumer goods which he packs into a recycling slot

I have this memory of reading a short story of a dystopian future where the main character was compelled (by law?) to purchase "consumer goods". Upon arriving home he packed the purchased ...
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52 votes
1 answer
4k views

Humorous essay on dystopian novel tropes

Several years ago my now-ex was in an MFA program for writing children's literature and read to me an essay she came across. I'm looking for help in finding it. The problem is that I can't remember ...
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  • 651
11 votes
1 answer
309 views

Young Adult Sci-fi trilogy about a world where people can upload their minds but if they die in the simulation they'll die in the real world

I read this book in 2018/2019. It's a young adult science fiction trilogy about a world where people can upload their minds and consciousness to a simulated computer world and interact with others. If ...
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6 votes
1 answer
136 views

Novel series with ritual cannibalism and flesh essential for life

Reminded by a recent question asking for SciFi books with cannibalism in them. I am looking for a novel series (I think 3-5 books) that I read about 5-6 years ago, and I think it will have been ...
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  • 2,095
5 votes
2 answers
143 views

Looking for a dystopian sci-fi book in which the story is told through various characters' perspectives and people are hosts to some sort of infection [duplicate]

There are really only two characters I remember: a military man and a girl. The girl lived in a camp with other survivors or people who weren't hosts (or brainwashed- I can't exactly remember). A ...
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  • 53
11 votes
1 answer
128 views

A book from the 70s/80s; boy breaks out of his dreary city life to find the country as bad [duplicate]

Was taught in UK schools in the 80s. The city was a grubby but sterile environment with the usual tropes of bloody sports and I think high tech policing: then, through a big old fence was the country,...
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8 votes
1 answer
297 views

Science fiction story about a dystopian society where fertility is strictly regulated

I read this story as a teenager. It was about a dystopian future where people lived in buildings with contraceptive gas. When they got permission to become parents, they would leave the city. The ...
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11 votes
4 answers
871 views

Dystopian book where rich people use technology to temporarily inhabit the bodies of the poor

I'm trying to find a book that a friend of mine read. He does not know the title nor the author's name. Here is how he described it: It was a dystopian society where I guess the poor live underground, ...
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  • 121
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Guy gets mugged, then his corporation sponsors the gang?

A novel series from the 90s or possibly late 80s. Thought the title was something like Boedekker's Demons, but I think I got the name mangled. Corporate dystopia where a guy gets mugged but then turns ...
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  • 372
4 votes
0 answers
132 views

Comic book series about dystopian child regime

My memories are somewhat vague on this one. I remember receiving 2 volumes of this series from my aunt when I was a child (somewhere around 10 - I'm now 21). The two books were set in a world that ...
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9 votes
0 answers
106 views

Novel about Los Angeles doll museum run by feminist collective

I read a dystopian novel set in decaying Los Angeles about a Barbie museum. But there was a collective living there building an archive about violence against women below ground. There was a horrible ...
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  • 191
12 votes
1 answer
544 views

YA fiction 1980 - society living in underground caverns [duplicate]

I’ve read through many of the similar questions but I have not found the answer and I have more details. I’ve been looking for this book for almost 30 years. The main character is a youth and I ...
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7 votes
1 answer
526 views

Book where aliens live in an ocean contained in a special camp

I read this book a while ago and I forgot the name. The cover has a big Ferris wheel on it. The main character is a girl and she lives in a small apartment thing with her mom and her dad and basically ...
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  • 81
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Story about a scientist who invents truth serum

I took an undergraduate literature course around 2005. My required anthology (now lost) had a science fiction story I would love to find again. The anthology only had excerpts and a brief discussion, ...
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6 votes
1 answer
257 views

Sci-fi book with a deaf/mute main character and implant headphones

I'm looking for a sci-fi/dystopian book with a deaf/mute main character. I read it in French, 10-15 years ago, but I have no idea of its original publishing date. I can't remember anything about the ...
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  • 155
16 votes
1 answer
271 views

Apocalyptic VR Short Story where a girl experiences glitches in her reality

Hoping to identify a short story I read in a sci-fi anthology in the late 1980s: no character names, I'm afraid, but the plot was along these lines: a girl (probably!) lives in a "normal" ...
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9 votes
1 answer
518 views

Story written in the 80s, appeared in Analog or Fantasy & Science Fiction

I need some help tracking a story that I thought I had on the shelf but didn't. Let me outline the plot, and some details I recall really well, I think it was called Trader's Oath but my google search ...
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  • 941
26 votes
1 answer
4k views

Story about a girl who discovers she lives in an "exhibition" and manages to escape to Indianapolis/Minneapolis [duplicate]

If I recall correctly, the story describes life on the American frontier, but the characters soon realise there's a world outside and that they're essentially living in an exhibition. The characters ...
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  • 521
4 votes
1 answer
269 views

Anime about a city where you must not lose your mask, otherwise you lose your face

I remember the first chapter where the main character is visiting a city with his/her pet (I don’t remember the gender or if the pet was a human). The thing is you don’t have to lose your mask because ...
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6 votes
0 answers
146 views

Dystopian sci-fi story, ink disappears from books, all books must be read out-loud

I'm looking for a dystopian sci-fi story where something (probably nano-machines) makes the ink in books disappear; thus depriving humanity of its history, knowledge, and culture. This prompts a rule ...
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3 votes
1 answer
87 views

Short story: limited life spans, arm tattoos, gang of kids on minibikes [duplicate]

This is from an dystopian anthology I read in the early 1970's. The world is run-down and brutal, reminiscent of Soylent Green / Make Room Make Room. Everyone has a tattoo on their arm indicating ...
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Film (possibly made for TV) where everyone wears a headset which controls thoughts by suppressing IQ [duplicate]

Film set in USA where everyone wears a headset which controls thoughts by suppressing IQ. Everything is a copy of 1950s, even cars & clothes. Hero discovers the truth and is told by interrogator ...
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  • 1,035
7 votes
1 answer
299 views

Futuristic dystopia book where kids have superpowers and were fighting in a war for their countries; had multiple character point of views

The book had a red cover and the synopsis said something like “what would you do if your country told you you were the key to winning the war?” The main boy character in the story had powers similar ...
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29 votes
1 answer
3k views

90s (or earlier) short story concerning two mathematicians and "dark numbers"

I think I read this short story 20, 30 years ago. The story concerns two mathematicians in a dark dystopian future. The one is struggling with some project, and can't figure out how to get the thing ...
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8 votes
1 answer
147 views

90s biopunk novel about near future genetic engineering

The novel is set against the backdrop of an economic collapse in the near future US. At one point a demonstration for a bailout is used as cover for a terrorist attack. There's a character who's a ...
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  • 83
0 votes
2 answers
145 views

Short story set in an apocalyptic or post apocalyptic type setting of an abandoned cityscape

I remember reading this short story in middle school (2009-2011). I think it was set in an abandoned underground subway in NYC, but we don't find that out at all. The way everything is described makes ...
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  • 21
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Short story about AI robot who kills all humans except a small group [duplicate]

Trying to remember the title of a short story about an AI robot computer who kills all humans out of resentment, but keeps a small group to torture. The group consists of one loner, who eventually ...
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4 votes
1 answer
183 views

Short story dystopia about a state that enforces healthy living

I am looking for a short story I read some time in the 90ies in a German anthology. The story itself could be from the seventies, eighties or nineties. As far as I remember the author was an Italian. ...
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  • 143
6 votes
1 answer
81 views

Graphic novel following a female character getting recruited into a revolutionary anti establishment type war

In the early 90’s I was exposed to a graphic novel at my local library. The content was post apocalyptic or dystopian and focused on a black female heroine who I think had a name that followed an ...
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7 votes
1 answer
196 views

Dystopian manga set in a post industrial world where old technology is forbidden and everything is steam/air powered

English, Primarily B/W with those "Key Scene" colored pages. Set in a post industrial world where old technology is forbidden and everything is steam/air powered. Has flying ships (boats that fly), ...
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18 votes
0 answers
336 views

Man accidentally hired into government position, uncovers an attempted alien invasion

This is a book science fiction story. A man was accidentally hired into a (secret?) government position due to having the same exact name as their intended hire. I don't remember, is he required to ...
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  • 223
12 votes
1 answer
259 views

Short online story in which protagonist is the last holdout against advertising products to friends

I read this online in the '90s or 2000s. The male protagonist is a counterculture artistic type who talks about how they and their friends throw all the most coveted parties. In the larger culture, ...
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53 votes
2 answers
7k views

A universe not quite like ours

Okay this is a story someone else was telling me about. I wanted to read it but he didn't remember the title. This was in the mid-eighties; the story itself must be at least that old. The protagonist ...
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6 votes
2 answers
405 views

Dystopian novel, main female character escapes a which factory marks girls with numbers

I read the first few chapters of this book around late 2014 to early 2015. I found it during my senior year in my English teacher's personal book collection for our class. I distinctly remember the ...
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  • 63
1 vote
1 answer
247 views

A Dystopian Anti-Consumerist Novel

I'm trying to remember a recently-published sci fi novel where all consumer decisions are made for you by predictive ai; for example, products you are predicted to want are automatically purchased and ...
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19 votes
1 answer
349 views

Looking for a Science Fiction book on dystopian future about an AI controlled city

I'm searching for a book I've read during the mid-90s in German. But I think the book was older, maybe classic Science Fiction and was translated from English. What I remember from the plot: It ...
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