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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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Movie where protagonist time-travels to dystopian future when people become mentally degraded

Please help me identify a movie referred by an acquaintance. (I haven't watched it.) No cast or director info is available. The protagonist is today's average man who participates in a scientific ...
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9answers
35k views

In the original Mad Max movie, is there actually any reference to an apocalypse?

While the Wikipedia article on Mad Max says: The film opens "a few years from now" in Australia, in a dystopian future where law & order has begun to break down at the end of the 'Oil Age'...
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2answers
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Can you help me identify a short story about mandatory suicide?

I read this story years ago in a very old magazine, so it is written 1990 or earlier. It was a Bulgarian magazine from the 80s, printing translated stories, probably космос or наука и техника за ...
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5answers
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Sci fi short story or radio play of man who ends up on death row for a minor infraction…bureaucracy and obscure laws are real culprits

While traveling through Minnesota in the late-1990's I heard an old radio show rebroadcast of a sci-fi dramatization. It tells the story of bureaucracy gone horribly wrong, with the main proponent ...
28
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1answer
1k views

A dystopian short story where children are raised to be murdered

I read a short story 1-2 years ago and I don't know the title/author. The story was online, possibly at Longform, although it does not appear to be there. I don't recall if the story itself was new or ...
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2answers
4k views

Older science fiction book about time travel to retrieve things but they went sideways through the dimensions instead

So, as I vaguely remember it. It was set in the distant future were a dictator rules the Earth. By this point carbon dioxide was so high most life outside of humans was extinct. So the dictator built ...
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3answers
2k views

Short story where almost all men are infertile, female main character

A few days ago I was discussing SF/Fantasy with unusual subject matter with a friend and he mentioned this short story. I realized I had read it as well a long time ago, but neither of us can remember ...
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1answer
931 views

Title of dystopian story set in an amusement park

Earth is overpopulated, and this story has a grim twist of how some of that might be managed. It is about a poor family that spends the day at an amusement park. Instead of paying money to get in ...
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4answers
1k views

Trying to remember the name of a female, Canadian, children's sci-fi author from the 80s

I read a number of books when I was around 10-15 years old (roughly 1985-1990) by a female, Canadian, sci-fi author. I can't remember her name (maybe Amy something?) or the titles of any of the books ...
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1answer
2k views

Book series about a future where gene-modified sentient animals were used as soldiers and are trying to find a place in post-war human society

I am looking for a series of books (I owned 3 of them) by the same author, if this rings a bell for anyone, here's pieces of story that I remember: First book sets the setting in some dystopian ...
19
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1answer
307 views

Old sci fi story about a mom who sacrifices herself so a child won't die alone in a toxic rainstorm

It was part of an anthology that was required reading in Canada, maybe 30 yrs ago. A woman and her daughter live on a toxic planet. Story may have been told from daughter's POV. The mother is cold, ...
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1answer
605 views

Old sci fi short. Teens constantly at war to stabilize the economy

What I remember.. Read in some anthology mid 1970's but I had an impression it was a good decade or so older (slang expressions etc). The story began with a teenage American looking out from his ...
18
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1answer
557 views

Looking for a sci-fi movie about people who have to play a game to obtain a life-prolonging drug

I am looking for a sci-fi movie I remember from my youth. Given my age, I probably saw this movie in the 90es or early 2000s. I have no idea what the title was, but I remember this from the plot: In ...
17
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1answer
503 views

Tracking down a very obscure novel about dystopian USA

The novel is set in 1984 or 1986, something like that, and it was written in the 1970s I think, maybe a touch earlier. I read it in 1981 or so. The book seems geared to what would now be YA, though ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Movie about gene therapy and genetics-based jobs

I saw a movie several years ago and I have not been able to find it since. It was about a dystopian society where parents could modify the genes of their children before birth. Some individuals, ...
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1answer
2k views

Dystopian novel from the late 80s: Michael and a girl living underground, escape to the surface

I read this book many many times as ~ten to twelve year old in the late eighties. My copy was donated to some charity at the age of thirteen by my very helpful sister (including my cherished copy of ...
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1answer
1k views

Dystopian short film with faulty handmade music box

Can anyone remember the name of a short film that starts in a dystopian future where no one works, and people mostly just party all the time. The only job left is enforcing that all manufacturing is ...
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2answers
1k views

Dystopian future, an old novel where everyone only has a three day memory?

I'm trying to find the name and/or author of a story I read in the 1990s (I think) about a future where everyone takes 'memory loss' pills. It means you only remember three days of short term stuff, ...
16
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1answer
2k views

What novel was set in a dystopian future and featured a boy searching for his missing father?

I'm hoping someone can identify this young-adult/children's sci-fi book. I read it in 1996-1997, but I remember thinking it was written in the 1980s. The main character was a boy (maybe in his early ...
15
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1answer
3k views

Why was the 21st chapter in the early American publications of A Clockwork Orange omitted?

Most Americans were unaware of the missing last chapter; the movie even follows the American novelization. Why in America was the 21st chapter removed when it first came to the US? In Europe the ...
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3answers
2k views

I'm looking for a sci fi book with a tribal woman, hermaphrodites, and implanting minds into new bodies

I read a sci fi book roughly 20 years ago (late nineties) but for the life of me I cannot remember the title nor locate the book on Amazon or elsewhere online. I don't know when the book was actually ...
15
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1answer
745 views

Very old Matrix-like short story, based on chemicals released into the air, pre-computer

I am looking for a story about the future of mankind, in which most people have been enslaved in a virtual reality. It ends with the revelation that the people are just lying there imagining their ...
15
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3answers
465 views

What book series is this?

I read a book series a few years back about a dystopian type of society that was surrounded by some kind of barrier. The girl (the main character) is looking outside the barrier at night and sees a ...
14
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1answer
810 views

Seeking title and/or author of dystopian science-fiction novel from late-70s/early-80s

In the novel, humans all lived underground and were decanted - not born, were undersized, short-lived, emotionally-empty, and prone to suicide and freak-outs. Above ground there were mechanized ...
14
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2answers
477 views

Dystopia from the 70s: floating cities, decadent society, longevity, flying suits?

I'm looking for the name of a novel from the 70s or early 80s(?) that involved a protagonist who was the only young person in a society of decadent immortals. They lived in a floating city (or series ...
14
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1answer
645 views

Dystopian near future where paper is banned because it can't be monitored remotely (digitally?)

It was a short story set in not so distant and a bit dystopian future. Main protagonist (male, I think) lived in a world where paper was not used due to rarity/ecological issues/government ban (and ...
14
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1answer
362 views

Trying to identify a novel I read as a child about a dystopia with social classes and high-security prisons

When I was about 10 (I'm now 38, so this was the in the mid to late '80s), I read a novel about which I have such faint memories that I'm not even sure I'm not mixing up different storylines together. ...
13
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1answer
3k views

What does 0.2 tenths of the population mean?

In Clarence Brown's1 English translation of Yevgeny Zamyatin's (Russian: Евге́ний Замя́тин) dystopian novel We (1921) (Russian: Мы), there is a passage of text, referring to population, which confused ...
13
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1answer
211 views

Looking for story title - younger gen waters down age-slowing drink of older gen, crammed into small apartment

I remember a short story in which multiple generations of people being crammed into a small apartment in a city. The magical drink that either reduced or completely stopped aging was something like a ...
13
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1answer
588 views

Dystopia where all adults get suicide pill at age 21, father gives his to son

I read this short story 30-40 years ago, and would like to find the author/story title. It was a dystopian story about a future society where life is so dismal and hard that every adult is given a ...
13
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1answer
256 views

Story identification: SF about clouded skies, and people growing mushrooms

This novel begins with a world that has recently become very cloudy - there is constant greyish twilight at the ground level. Some kinds of plants are dying off, though IIRC people are growing more ...
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0answers
189 views

Dystopian short story about a home computer, likely written 1970s (1970-79)

Looking for futuristic short story about a man who brings a new device home called a "computer" which soon takes an increasingly central role in its owner's life to the point of literally reaching out ...
12
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1answer
2k views

What TV movie has a man seeing glimpses of dystopia in his utopian world?

This movie came out around 2000 and was created for one of the cable networks (and never in the theaters). I think it was on the original Sci-Fi Channel or maybe the USA Network, but really not sure. ...
12
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1answer
236 views

Short story where a man is actually sane while everyone else is mad

I'm looking for a short story I read as a teen. In the near future, people have machines at home that evaluate their mental health. If it goes bad, they are known to be arrested and taken somewhere ...
12
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1answer
349 views

Novel with nanotech, a utopia isolated from grey goo, and an AI in the protagonist's head

The only reason I even remembered the plot was due to the nanite use. I don't think the plot is very original and is similar to at least a dozen other books written in the last 10 years, but I figured ...
12
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1answer
333 views

Looking for dystopian short story where a woman discovers she can't leave a mall

So, I read a short story decades ago about a dystopian future with rampant consumerism. The protagonist was a woman whose husband had received a promotion, allowing her access to an exclusive mega-...
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0answers
152 views

Short film in stop-motion with cabbages living in a dystopian city

It was a short movie that I saw in a movie theater before the main movie (can't remember the movie). I saw it in Belgium, but there was no intelligible dialogue in it. I think I saw this between 2000 ...
12
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0answers
251 views

Title of book - girl bioengineered ​to be different

I've been looking for a book I read probably in the late 80's to very early 90s (pre 1994). My recollection is that the main character was a girl who lived in a dystopian future where kids were ...
12
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0answers
247 views

Dystopic Fiction with massive divide between rich and poor, kids are medicated to not rebel

I read a great SF novel about a future city where the divide between rich and poor and education was very stark, even more so than now. Kids in this high school took meals in pill form, were almost a ...
12
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1answer
268 views

Short Story about a mother/daughter in an era where there is no more antibiotics

This has been bugging me for a while, the story opens with an aunt? or grandmother locked in a bedroom because she is sick with something we would think is minor and there are no more antibiotics left ...
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0answers
366 views

Help Identifying Sci fi short about game show with button to kill stranger

I read this short story about 15 years ago, in some anthology, and the plot was: Man lives in slums, gets selected for participation in game show, has no choice but to go on. (I think) they ...
11
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1answer
352 views

Title/author of novel(s?) about society where children learn alien languages?

I read this probably in the 1980s. It was a novel, written in English, and I believe there may have been a sequel. I don't think this author wrote much else--I am almost positive it was not one of ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Fifties or Sixties very short story about a food porn movie

Looking for a short story I read in an anthology or SF magazine in the late Fifties or Sixties. It could have been older of course. It was in English. This very short story was about a man who is ...
11
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1answer
771 views

Book with boy with one different colored eye

I once read a sci fi novel where the protagonist was a boy with one different colored eye, maybe gold colored. It must have been sometime in the 70's. It was written in English. Unfortunately I have ...
11
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2answers
339 views

Identify weird Sci Fi movie from 70s/80s

Things I remember (vaguely, maybe incorrectly) about this movie: the setting is overcrowded and we never see "outside", so it may be in space or just a dystopian future it's weird, like Brazil-level ...
11
votes
1answer
291 views

Did Jack London influence “We”?

Summary: Did Jack London's dystopian novel, The Iron Heel, published in 1908, influence Zamyatin's We? Yevgeny Zamyatin's novel, We, completed in 1921 and published in English in 1924, is one of the ...
11
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1answer
196 views

Looking for childhood social SF book name, around 80s, near or alternate future in England [duplicate]

The Protagonist is a suave, charismatic young man and his girl, ending up being persecuted by a rigid dystopian future state. Some details I remember: Featuring a possibly sympathetic military ...
10
votes
1answer
326 views

Story involving the rumoured “whisper line”: 2 points in a subterranean prison between which it is possible to communicate [duplicate]

I have vague memories of a sci-fi story that involves "the whisper line" as a crucial plot device. The whisper line refers to 2 secret points in a highly oppressive prison institution between which it ...
10
votes
5answers
921 views

Trying to recall the name of a young adult dystopian fantasy novel from late 90s / early 00s

I am trying to remember the name of a book I read in middle school, around 2001/2002. I don't remember too many details but it is fantasy. It is about a young girl who lives with her stepmother in a ...
10
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1answer
996 views

Books from the 80s or 90s involving a dystopian future earth with orbiting space stations

I remember reading a series of books in the early 90s (at least 4, maybe as many as 6) that were set on and around a future Earth where vast cities covered the planet. There was a grimy underground ...