Modern dystopian novels and it's contribution to the cyberpunk genre: a history

  • The Iron Heel - Jack London

    The Iron Heel - Jack London
    Although many dystopian novels have been published prior to London's classic, "The Iron Heel" is widely regarded as the earliest of modern dystopia within literature. Unlike the majority of dystopian stories, "The Iron Heel" is less sci-fi and more political, thus ultimately making the novel a less significant addition to the Cyberpunk genre.
  • Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

    Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
    Another early addition to modern dystopia, Huxley's novel links closely to cyberpunk due to his creation of a totalitarian world, in which humans are controlled through science and technology.
  • 1984 - George Orwell

    1984 - George Orwell
    Possibly the most notable of dystopian novels, Orwell's classic is becoming more eerily similar to the world we are living in today. Focusing on persistent surveillance and government controlled media, "1984" definitely features the mega forces and underground illegality aspects of the Cyberpunk genre.
  • Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

    Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
    Known as "the ultimate dystopia", Bradbury creates a society wherein books are burned and intellectual thought it illegal, definitely incorporating the cyberpunk trend in which the problems of today are only intensified.
  • A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

    A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
    Inspiring the 1971 film, "A Clockwork Orange" paints "a vivid, depressing future riven with violent gangs, extreme youthful violence and the work of state authorities to try and restore order" (Fawbert, 2017). That description alone contains many cyberpunk buzz words, including "violence", "gangs" and "authority".
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
    "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is an archetypal cyberpunk dystopian, set in an apocalyptic world in which hover cars and robots are present. It's a literary phenomenon which inspired the successful 1982 cyberpunk film, "The Blade Runner".
  • The Running Man - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

    The Running Man - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
    Published under a pseudonym by the legendary Stephen King, "The Running Man" is another dystopian novel significant enough to inspire a movie. Again, set in a violent future with a ruined economy and a totalitarian government regime, the novel most definitely is a contribution to the cyberpunk movement.
  • Neuromancer - William Gibson

    Neuromancer - William Gibson
    "Neuromancer" is the quintessential cyberpunk novel, featuring themes of humanity, corporate power and artificial intelligence. The novel is highly loved and appreciated by science fiction fans and inspired movies such as "The Matrix".
  • The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

    The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
    Clearly common in the dystopian genre is the presence of totalitarianism, "The Handmaid's Tale" being no exception. Heavily based on gender discrimination, Atwood's novel may not be as "high tech" as other cyberpunk stories, however still inspires a similar chaos.
  • The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

    The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
    The basis of an extremely successful franchise, "The Hunger Games" took the world by storm, arguably inspiring the most recent trend towards dystopian novels. Highly loved amongst other young adult books of the same genre, such as "Divergent" by Veronica Roth or "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner, "The Hunger Games" helped bring cyberpunk-esque stories to the forefront of the new generation's attention.