With 2014 well underway, you might think that the almighty Dystopian subgenre has worn out its welcome with the Speculative Fiction crowd. NOPE—from the popularity of Catching Fire to the upcoming film adaptation of Divergent by Veronica Roth, dystopian fiction is still going strong, and 2014 is full of new entries in this particularly beloved subset of SFF.
Not sure where to start? The good news is there’s a whole new crop of dystopian SFF coming out this year, with a little somethin’ somethin’ for every kind of reader. Here’s our breakdown of the good dystopian stuff we’re betting on, from YA to sci-fi, and beyond.
The YA Stuff
The Testing Series by Joelle Charbonneau: A trilogy that takes entrance exams and University testing to the next level. Independent Study (book 2) just came out this month.
The Hybrid Chronicles by Kat Zhang. Futuristic dystopia in which two souls are born in one body, until the day the recessive soul fades away (or is forced into death by a controlling government). Echoes of Us (book 3) is out on September 16.
The Wasteland Trilogy by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan. Welcome to the Wasteland. At fifteen, the citizens of Prin marry. At seventeen, they reproduce. And at nineteen, they die. We’re hooked. Wanderers (book 2) is available on March 25.
The Literary Stuff
California by Edan Lepucki. (July 8) California has finally succumbed to catastrophe, and life in the wilderness is safe but hard for Cal and Frida. When they seek out the enclaves of vestigial society, though? That’s when things get really tough.
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta. (June 10) In a future Scandinavia, fresh water is worth killing for. Those who can find new sources of water, like heroine Noria Kaitio, are even more valuable.
The Detainee by Peter Liney. (March 11) Society has collapsed, and in The Detainee, the elderly are to blame. The old and the sick are shipped to The Island, where there is no hope for escape. Or is there?
The Sci-Fi Stuff
Red Rising by Pierce Brown. (January 28) On a distant planet, the lowest working caste, “Reds,” think they’re working tirelessly to terraform a planet for future generations...except that the planet has already been colonized, and the Reds are unknowing slaves. Revolution ensues.
Resurrection, Inc. by Kevin J. Anderson. (March 13) The dead don’t rest in this sci-fi novel from fave spinoff author Anderson. Resurrected with microprocessors for brains, the dead are enslaved by the living, thanks to technological breakthroughs. You know where this is going, right?
The Linked series by Imogene Howson. Twins are separated at birth in this grim future—one gets to live a normal life, the other is subject to horrific psychic testing and manipulation. Book 2, Unravel, is due out on July 8.
It’s the End of the World As We Know It Stuff
In the After Duology by Demitria Lunetta. If you read one alien invasion apocalypse-cum-dystopia novel this year, read this duology. In the End, the concluding volume, publishes on June 24.
The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey. (March 27) An extension of the Edgar Award nominated short story of the same name, The Girl with all the Gifts is NOT your average zombie apocalypse.
The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben H. Winters. An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and there is no escape. Society, naturally, devolves—but at least Detective Hank Palace is there to pick up the pieces (well, before life as we know it goes to pieces). The third and final volume, World of Trouble, is due out on July 15.
And that’s our list! What other dystopian novels are you looking forward to in 2014?