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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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Foreign film about a dystopian future where people age 30 or over can get "regenerations"

It was a foreign film about a dystopian future where at age 30 people can start getting "regenerations". You can literally go into a place like a dairy and get regenerated; it's that easy. ...
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Sci-fi dystopian novel where not being addicted to any substance is illegal

I'm looking to identify a sci-fi novel I read as a teenager I scarcely remember now: Dystopian setting. Not being addicted to any substance is illegal. Smart people choose to get away with being ...
6 votes
0 answers
125 views

Dystopian kids’ novel in a society where growing your own food is illegal

I read this book as a 4th grader around 1981-82. It was about a boy who lived in a society where growing your own food was illegal. At school he had to eat hard little pink cookies that cut up his ...
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20 votes
1 answer
3k views

Dystopian future, illegal parents are punished by rapid aging

Please help me identify a book/story I read some years ago. Dystopian SF future. World is extremely overpopulated and food scarce. People have gradually moved into megacities each consisting of just a ...
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13 votes
1 answer
190 views

Dystopian book series I can’t quite remember

I’ll give you what I can remember from this book series. I remember the aftermath of what ever world changing event left the atmosphere deadly to anything metallic. So the main character, i want to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
86 views

Hunger Games-style book about a world with different alien species fighting

Around 10 years ago, I read a new book about an entire world, with different alien species all fighting. I remember the enemies being spider-like. The protagonist learns that they are being watched ...
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4 votes
2 answers
195 views

What is the earliest work of fiction with a dystopian future?

Taking the following definition of dystopia: an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives It would seem there’s a certain aspect to it that is very much ...
11 votes
1 answer
433 views

Book series about a group of humans who colonise another planet after the Earth is destroyed by the Sun going nova

Trying to find a series - two books from memory - in which the Earth was destroyed by the Sun going nova. A smallish group fled to a science base to make it a colony. The world was not really suitable ...
7 votes
2 answers
217 views

Sci-fi / dystopian novel about a community where misbehavers’ brains are removed

It was a novel classified as young adult. I don't remember the character names. First off, it was a full-length novel (around 300-400 pages, but I might be off by a lot). The cover is a sunflower-...
  • 123
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Show/miniseries which aired on HBO in the early '90s, featuring "Water Police"

This is something I've been totally unable to find any information about through search engines. In the early/mid '90s, I remember seeing what I think was a show or miniseries about a dystopian future ...
13 votes
1 answer
175 views

A broadcast enforces pacifism/vegetarianism

An American 40s to 60s novella read in the 80s. Set near Detroit or Chicago at about the same time. After a nuclear war, broadcast towers have been installed to stop aggression, and nearly all the ...
5 votes
1 answer
125 views

Novel where rationing is extended to time rationing [duplicate]

In that novel, a government managing a war economy tries to reduce further resource consumption by more rationing. In addition to food rationing already in place, they introduce time rationing: each ...
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

SF cyberpunk graphic novel from 80s involving a habitat called the hoop and its occupants hoopers

A habitat called the hoop was supposed to solve housing problems in a futuristic city. Something doesn't work and the hoop becomes a dumping ground for undesirables. There is a curfew for hoopers to ...
4 votes
1 answer
112 views

1950s or 1960s short story where everyone is in constant phone communication with relatives

In this short story, a male character commutes to or from work. He's constantly in conversation with his wife at home. If I remember correctly, there's also always music in all the places he goes ...
9 votes
2 answers
956 views

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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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'...
5 votes
0 answers
133 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 ...
  • 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
224 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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
190 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 ...
6 votes
0 answers
219 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
100 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 ...
  • 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
236 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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15 votes
1 answer
270 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 ...
14 votes
1 answer
178 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 ...
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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8 votes
1 answer
255 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 ...
  • 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 ...
53 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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11 votes
1 answer
355 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
150 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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5 votes
2 answers
146 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 ...
  • 53
11 votes
1 answer
130 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,...
8 votes
1 answer
307 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 ...
11 votes
4 answers
1k 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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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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4 votes
0 answers
138 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 ...
9 votes
0 answers
115 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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12 votes
1 answer
565 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
537 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 ...
  • 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, ...
6 votes
1 answer
272 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 ...
  • 155
16 votes
1 answer
296 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" ...
9 votes
1 answer
525 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 521
4 votes
1 answer
277 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 ...
6 votes
0 answers
149 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
88 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 ...
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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