Dystopian and Apocalyptic Books – Free & Bargain Priced!
Dystopian and Apocalyptic Fiction is one of the newest categories we’ve added to Bookzio recently. And there was a good reason for it, too: Zombies. Now, let me back up a little, here — there was already a problem, but it was the zombies that made us deal with it. We began getting zombie novels submitted and each time we’d think: ‘where should this go?’ Of course, it could go in horror, but zombies aren’t specifically horror, they’re about a futuristic state in which the world is changed. But they’re not sci fi either. In fact, this happened with a few different titles and we’d always be hit with the same problem — so, we finally created a new category: the zombies made us do it!
What is a ‘Dystopian or Apocalyptic’ Book?
Dystopian and Apocalyptic novels are set in the future, but they’re not science fiction because their story isn’t about future technology, it’s about society and how it has changed, or is changing. All science fiction genre stories are technology-based: or they rely upon technology for their story to occur. Dystopian and Apocalyptic stories may involve futuristic technology, but that isn’t the driving force of the story.
So, that’s why they’re not Sci Fi — but what are they?
What is Apocalyptic Fiction? Quite simply, it’s any story that is located in a time after the end of civilization as we know it. Some kind of ‘apocalyptic’ event has taken place — usually a nuclear war or an alien invasion or a massive meteor strike — and the story is about what comes after, whether it’s set on a barren post-nuclear earth or in an abandoned space station. The apocalypse has happened.
What is Dystopian Fiction? Quite simply, it’s the lead up to the Apocalypse or the world in decline. Civilization has taken a turn for the worse and things have gone ‘pear-shaped’ for everyone. If the Apocalypse is the end of the material world as we know it, Dystopia is the end of the intellectual and civilized world as we know it. In theory, Zombies could appear in either scenario — darn them!
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction explains that dystopian fiction depicts a negative view of ‘the way the world is supposedly going in order to provide urgent propaganda for a change in direction’. As such, dystopian stories have their roots firmly in a political ideology, which is inevitably expressed once an author sets about dissing on civilization as we know it.
Although some earlier authors were a little more overt in their politics, in areas other than their fiction writing, such as George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984 and renowned for his polemics against totalitarianism and authoritarianism, both of which are the topics of his fiction. Similarly, Jonathan Swift , author of, perhaps, once of the first dystopian novels Gulliver’s Travels (1726) was a avid political pamphleteer, satirist, and essayist, criticizing the politics of his time and extending his criticisms through the events of his novels.
In recent years there has seen a surge of popular dystopian young adult literature and blockbuster films. Theo James, actor in Divergent, notes that “young people in particular have such a fascination with this kind of story”, saying “It’s becoming part of the consciousness. You grow up in a world where it’s part of the conversation all the time – the statistics of our planet warming up. The environment is changing. The weather is different. There are things that are very visceral and very obvious, and they make you question the future and how we will survive. It’s so much a part of everyday life that young people inevitably — consciously or not — are questioning their futures and how the Earth will be. I certainly do. I wonder what kind of world my children’s kids will live in.”
Dystopian and apocalyptic landscapes have had a surge in popularity, of late: in films, television, and books. Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale was turned into a movie in 1990, and became a TV series in 2017. Comic book series The Walking Dead became a blockbuster tv series boasting 15 million viewers per episode in its 5th season (zombies, again!). And these are just the tip of a very large iceberg.
Theo James, the actor who portrayed the role of Tobias “Four” Eaton in the movie adaptation of the ‘Divergent’ series of movies (three science fiction films set in a dystopian society) says that “young people in particular have such a fascination with this kind of story… It’s becoming part of the consciousness. You grow up in a world where it’s part of the conversation all the time – the statistics of our planet warming up. The environment is changing. The weather is different. There are things that are very visceral and very obvious, and they make you question the future and how we will survive. It’s so much a part of everyday life that young people inevitably — consciously or not — are questioning their futures and how the Earth will be. I certainly do. I wonder what kind of world my children’s kids will live in.”
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Max Brooks Discusses World War Z and Dystopian / Apocalyptic Fiction
I enjoyed this 5 minute monologue by Neil Gaiman on the 3 books which changed his life. Briefly, it’s The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, Michael Moorcock’s ‘Stormbringer’, and Alan Moore’s comic series ‘Swamp Thing’ — which is not really a book but Gaiman was a comic writer, too. But it’s more than just 3 books, it’s a reflection on a life of reading. Worth a watch if you like Neil Gaiman, or simply if you like books and enjoy ‘bonding’ with other booklovers, by listening to how their lives, like yours, have been affected by the books they read.
Want to find even more Bestselling books? Take a look at our other non-fiction and reference categories:
Imagine living in a world where everything you do is controlled.Book 1 in the Dystopia TrilogyIn the distant future the United States has been split into two regions separated by a barren wasteland; this is the country of Dystopia. Here the individual is discouraged,...read more
Virus. Chaos. Survival.Alienated in a world where he doesn’t fit in, Christian Black survives because he’s different. Then the virus came, and made the world turn different, too.Now people are dying by the million. Food supplies are short. Riots are blazing through...read more
Book one in an emotional, erotic, dramatic trilogy about a world gone to hell, and the hell we hold inside…The human race has been all but wiped out, along with our best traits: compassion, empathy, and generosity.Euan is a survivor. In a dystopian wasteland infused...read more
NOW ON SALE - In the first five minutes over a million people will die… that’s just the beginning of the nightmare.The super solar-storm wasn’t supposed to hit Earth—the odds were against it. And yet with barely a warning it did, and everything changed. In a remote...read more
A fortress city. A terrifying prison. A survivor determined to beat the odds ...Joe Parsons is playing with fire and he knows it.He has no idea what deadly secrets he and his friends will uncover when they finally hack into The City's sinister Fortrillium...read more
The end of the world has been avoided—for now. With Miri and her team of extracted heroes still on the run, Mother, the disgraced former head of the British Secret Service, has other ideas…While Mother retreats to her bunker to plot her next move, Miri, Ben, Safa and...read more
Chaos reigns after an electromagnetic pulse attack destroys the country’s power grid and sends the United States back to the Dark Ages. The hit leaves fifteen-year-old Dee stranded on a farm in rural Washington, where basic survival is the top priority. But without...read more
A generation ago, continent-sized storms called hypercanes caused the Earth to flood. The survivors were forced to retreat deep underground and build a new society.This is the story that sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist has heard all of her life.Jansin grew up in a...read more
Three billion miles from home, Commander Xianx Paul helms an antiquated space station orbiting Tangent, a lonely planet at the edge of the solar system. Tangent is a fabled El Dorado, its wealth taking the form of artifacts left behind by its long-lost...read more
Epic, thought-provoking, post apocalyptic adventure. When Kiya, a young mother and healer, is kidnapped to fulfil an ancient prophecy, Abe must choose between his friends and mankind's immortal souls. Two very different, isolated cultures clash and Kiya is raped and...read more
The war is over. Resources are scarce. The population is dwindling in the Forkstream Territories.Pinnacle Officer Wilcox has created FERTS amidst the chaos, a facility designed to protect the female population from raiding hordes. Beth 259201, a newly-demoted Epsilon...read more
They all want feisty British journalist Fleur Nichols dead? The CIA think she is a Jihadist sympathiser.The Jihadists think she is a CIA informant.She is on the hit list of a renegade assassin.But the biggest threat of all is the deadly virus that has been let loose...read more
An unstoppable virus. Humanity’s last stand has failed."Mad Max meets The Day of the Triffids", "Terrifyingly realistic." "A perfect blend of science fiction, history and social commentary."In the aftermath of a devastating global pandemic, what would you do be...read more
The world did not end in fire. It did not end in ice. It ended for want of an insect. The global famine and societal collapse that followed would render humans an endangered species themselves, hanging onto survival in the most remote places. Over one hundred years...read more
When the world is hunting you, where can you hide?I see three things. First, all the masked faces that have turned to focus on me. Second, Tim is backing slowly away from me—abandoning me. Desperation pounds in my ears. Then, I see Rosa's small form laying still--too...read more
With humanity on the brink of extinctionThey activated the EMPAnd now, the world enters darknessIt started with bright lights; a new medical technology, promising to eradicate all human ills. History of blood clots? Cholesterol clogging up the old ticker? There was a...read more
A DISCOVERY HIDDEN IN DARKNESS...A TRUTH BROUGHT TO LIGHT...What if… scientific evidence of a coming extinction event was known and kept secret?What if… your survival was dependent on being chosen?What if… the only choice you had was to give up that chance?Three years...read more
For those who do not comply, the consequences are much darker than he'd ever imagined.Braxton Luther is sixteen when the Progressive Reform Party takes over the government. He can’t understand his best friend Eliza’s panicked reaction, or his father’s cryptic...read more
Bio-chemistry whiz Everly Jax wants one thing: to know who her parents are. Raised with other repo kids in InKubator 9, she has pinned her hopes on Reunion Day, the annual event where sixteen-year-olds can meet or reunite with their parents. When her Reunion Day goes...read more
End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the...read more
A survivor is born... The Black Tide. That’s what they called it. We thought we were prepared. How wrong we were... Saddled with the care of her kid sister, Ava struggles to cope with the demands placed upon her young shoulders. When an unstoppable disease sweeps...read more
Sometimes the fall is only the beginning.In the year 2048, the crumbling remnants of western North America are suddenly buried in ash, weakening the grip of the brutal dictatorship. A factional landscape springs from the ashes, con man Luke Stokes artfully navigating...read more
Now expanded, enhanced, and re-edited as of December 4, 2017The Colony Ship Vanguard was one of seven colony ships launched from a damaged Earth in a desperate plan to carry human settlers to Earth equivalent worlds. The voyages would take generations, and the people...read more
Michael and Jamie live in Dome 17. The last place safe for humans, or any life, on a dying earth. They are adventurers who have explored other domes, but everywhere else is dead. Will Dome 17 meet the same fate? The committee has a risky plan to try out unproven...read more
“His writing is haunting, honest, and refreshing. There are echoes of Stephen King in his character development, and an understanding of the human condition that is sometimes uncanny.”USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR— Michael Ploof*** WARNING This book contains some...read more
EARTH’S DARKEST HOUR IS ABOUT TO GET DARKER.The outbreak killed many and forced the rest to evacuate towns and cities. In the Midwestern United States, a refugee camp shelters hundreds of survivors from the harsh reality of the new world. But how safe are they? Some...read more
A catastrophic pandemic ravaged the globe, reducing the human population to extinction levels.All of the 'normal' people have died. The survivors have genius level IQ's, possess "autistic savant" skills or are pyschopaths. Some possess all three traits.How do you...read more
"Fast, fun and action-packed!"Who would help you during a zombie apocalypse? The Police? The Military? Your crazy prepper neighbor? No, it's time for The Zee Brothers!Two badass zombie killing brothers keeping the apocalypse at bay, one job at a time.Will they be able...read more
"Death Thieves by Julie Wright is such a fantastic read, perfectly paced and packed with emotion, intrigue, and characters I fell in love with. The premise is strong, a twist on time travel that's both original and fascinating. Summer Rae felt so real to me, and as...read more
Imagine your entire life being turned upside down in a matter of hours. Everything in your life that held utility is now worthless, and your only currency is your will to survive.In an ironic twist of fate, Remy's quick thinking in a moment of desperation has...read more
Pisces Antony is my bodyguard. A man who is supposed to protect me, not make me want to run. How did knowing him make me face myself? Being kidnapped by my enemy makes me doubt if he's my twin flame. I had always known my mission but was I ready for love? Aries The...read more
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel Winner - 2018Our world was perfect––until we broke the law: Don't go out at night.Utopian by day, dystopian by night; this is the world I recently discovered. I now struggle with the fact that our whole society has been based on a lie....read more
When the world falls, who will survive?Overview:In a single moment, everything changes. Hundreds of thousands of people suddenly collapse, leaving their friends and loved ones behind, terrified and confused. Moments later, the fallen rise and the survivors become the...read more
"Surrealistic and haunting, this story gets under the skin like a virulent infection... Jenner's slightly twisted yet subtle narrative as seen through Kellie's innocent eyes is compelling..." - George Wier, Mystery Author**As of January 1, 2015 - This book now also...read more
Elder Tull is a Puke, one of the few unconverted. Without a stem, he's been discarded by society. Forgotten. Those converted now fed directly on electricity, through a power socket attached to their sternums. This cybernetic implant has transformed mankind: everyone...read more
Michael Evans is only in rural St. Davids to maintain a low profile after his time spent as a city cop ended in disaster. The town is perfect for him: isolated. A tiny population. Virtually no crime.Until the night the strange canisters fall from the sky and the town...read more
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