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:
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When the unthinkable happens, Seffy faces the worst apocalypse she could ever imagine. Will her friends force her into an off-brand solution that brings only the illusion of peace from heartbreak? Or will she follow in the footsteps of her namesake and get her second...read more
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When the effects of a hypnosis inducing drug fade, April slowly begins a conscious awakening. Memories of her past are unclear and she has no recollection of her identity or her whereabouts.As the days slip by, April realizes there is more to life than existing when...read more
A house divided cannot stand…Erik Larsson's world changes forever the day the lights go out. As hours turn into days and word spreads that terrorist attacks have thrown the whole nation in the dark, Erik and his neighbors soon discover just how quickly the thin veneer...read more
It’s all the news channels can talk about: the White House has been bombed, there's chaos in the streets, and the United States has found itself in the throes of a violent revolution.Surrounded by panicked people, washed-up journalist Len Savitz takes the crisis in...read more
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A captivating dystopian adventure. Inspired by survival in a post-apocalyptic world, this standalone novel takes charge with a brazen heroine and riveting twists. SAFE is a fast-paced adventure that makes you turn the page!As a third-generation survivor of the...read more
Readers can't stop raving about ARISEN:"heart-stopping" ... "Knock Down Drag Out FANTASTIC!!!!!!" ... "left me with my mouth hanging open" ... "scary good" ... "the most original and well-written zombie novels I have ever read" ... "riveting as hell - I cannot...read more
Leigh Enderi thought she would be safe behind Dogton’s gates. . . but her fight for survival has only begun. The Bloom is over and Dogton is left buried by the monstrous storm that swept across the Shy’war-Anquai desert. With Neiro Preciaus presumed dead and the...read more
A heart-pumping futuristic thrill-ride set in a frightening dystopian society. 2016 Once Upon A Book Award Winner. It is the year 4006, and nuclear war has come to the United States. With tens of thousands killed and countless more injured or terminally ill from the...read more
Orphaned. Alone. Starving. The land is dying. As resources dwindle, the population is placed at the mercy of a secretive government, which operates on its own agenda. Critical top-level scientists researching the ecological disaster have gone missing, their...read more
Readers call the ARISEN series:"Wall-to-wall adrenaline - edge of your seat unputdownable until the very last page" ... "rolls along like an out of control freight train" ... "the most amazing and intense battle scenes you've ever experienced" ... "moves like an...read more
USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith introduces his galaxy-spanning Seeders Universe with a new novel.Paleontologist Callie Sheridan spent a few days deep in the Oregon Caves on a dig with three students from the University of Oregon. When they emerged, they...read more
Policing Post-Apocalyptic Britain.They called them Artificial Intelligences. Sentient viruses were closer to the truth. They spread throughout the world until every networked circuit was infected. Then they went to war. Millions died in the nuclear holocaust that...read more
Do you have what it takes to survive?Ben Davis was prepared for disaster. He just didn’t know it would come so soon.He and his teenage son, Joel, are miles deep in the backcountry of the San Juan Mountains when high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic detonations light...read more
The Year is 2042, and Los Angeles Police Graduate, Jon Kobe woke up this morning to find out that his friends, his job, the society he lives in is one gigantic lie. And now they know he knows. Octagon is a page turning, electrifying dystopian thriller. Think of the...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
"The Survivalist may be the best post-apocalyptic series out there," raves Steve Erwood of the Disaster Preparedness Blog. "In addition to a steady stream of gunfights with zombie-like mutants, roadway bandits, and opportunistic warlords, the books teach dozens of...read more
It’s been three years since Lee Harden emerged from his bunker into a world gone mad. Governments have fallen. And new ones have taken their place. In the United Eastern States, Lee and his team of battle-hardened operatives walk a tightrope of survival, keeping their...read more
"The perfect culmination of jaw breaking action and political intrigue from DJ Molles. Readers will certainly find his newest thriller to be as chilling as it is exciting."--Nicholas Sansbury Smith USA Today bestselling author of Hell DiversKeep your head down. Do...read more
Obsessed. Driven. Blinded By Pain.Avalon’s pride is her downfall. Abandoned at an early age and obsessed with the knowledge that her parents may still live, she sneaks away in the early morning hours. Determined to discover the truth she confronts the deadliest ghetto...read more
****WARNING**** This book is NOT for sensitive readers. Contains UNSPEAKABLE HUMAN VIOLENCE.Alien Species Intervention #6609, is an alien apocalyptic saga spanning 200 years from the Prohibition to the distant future. It encompasses tender love between divergent...read more
One man. Two worlds. Last Chance.On the edge of a far frontier rests a place of gentle manners and common civility--Last Chance. Threats of war change all of that. A hero is needed. A Savior. Meet Aaron Turner, the unassuming man who runs the Last Chance General...read more
An EMP means the end of the world as they know it for a family who fights to survive.When disaster strikes in the form of an EMP, Charlie's family flees to their homestead. They fortify their ranch and prepare to ride out the worst of the chaos. Unfortunately, the...read more
Despite her willingness to sacrifice everything to change the future, Violina found the events of the world to be set in stone and unchangeable, until at long last, she embraced the Inevitable Ascension as her own. A single and glorious spark set the world aflame,...read more
He's just a teenager, hollow and lost, looking to keep the past buried, to forget. He surfs the backwash of the westward migration across a dead America; a war-torn desolation devoid of electricity, infrastructure and civilization. It has become a strange and...read more
If you knew the truth, would you live in shackles or die for freedom?High above the ruins of Seattle sits the Nest, a settlement filled with the aristocratic Crow class, governed by the iron fist of Lord Corvus. For decades, Rayna and her fellow Hydrans have crawled...read more
If you knew the end was here, who would you tell? Who would believe you?In Cady’s case, no one would take her word at face value. Not anymore.A microbiologist in another time and a prepper by choice, Cady hasn’t been in the science industry in years. She gave up a...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
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Two folk heroes emerge from the ashes.Ben and Lila are two ordinary teenagers forced to rise to extraordinary heights when faced with a world that has suddenly and inexplicably died. Dealing with the sorrow of all they have lost, but the love they have found in each...read more
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