Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian
  Literature of the 21st Century


Test your knowledge of recent Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Literature.  If you love the classics—Brave New World, A Clockwork Orange, et al – as well as the late 20th century offerings by such writers as Jack Womack and Jean Hegland, you’ll probably have read most of these below—perfect antidotes to the “feel good” fiction that usurps so much space on the shelves of our bookstores, and far more insightful.  The winner will receive a 30-euro (£20 / $30) gift certificate to spend at Amazon; in case of a tie, a name will be drawn. Deadline:  August 1, 2008



e-mail (required)

Good Luck.....

Name the novel:

1. Set in a future America in which, following an unnamed catastrophe, there are no machines any more, no electricity or shops, no books and therefore no knowledge of history. . . only gangs of robbers roving around and deadly outbreaks of plague- then comes the “landslide” into the water, the pressure of which creates a leak of deadly gas from the silt bed (undoubtedly a result of the earlier disaster), which kills everyone nearby except for two.

2. Life before the apocalypse included such animal hybrids as wolvogs, rakunks, and pigoons, but a genetically modified virus wipes out the entire population except for the protagonist and a small group of humans who were also genetically modified.

3. The apocalypse in this novel has incinerated all books, leaving only the psychotic rantings of a divorced London cabdriver which serves as a creed for those living hundreds of years after his death.

4. Set in Moscow, this Russian writer tells of a cult of blond-haired, blue-eyed murderers who go around kidnapping people, tying them up, and then beating them on the chest with hammers made out of ice (kept in portable refrigerators) from a Siberian meteorite, the purpose being to awaken the celestial beings who are residing within them—if they survive the "rebirth."

5. Another Russian novel, this one taking place some time after “the Blast” —focusing on the aftermath of a catastrophic nuclear event that left many of the inhabitants of what was once known as Moscow with terrible physical mutations.

6. Seen through the eyes of teenagers, here is a future in which one's every thought and movement is directed and regulated by the "feed," a computer chip implanted in the brain at birth, murmuring encouragement to follow fads and shop; no need to read or write, everyone "chats" over the feednets.

7. In this dreamlike post-apocalyptic novel, told through fractured narratives, a mysterious lake begins welling up from the center of Los Angeles, rising and spreading until the city becomes an archipelago of partially submerged islands; and a young mother is convinced the waters are coming for her child.

8. Dystopian novel, set in England, in which the population has been divided up into color-coded sectors determined by humors:  the phlegmatic, the melancholic, the choleric, and the sanguine, which are regarded as more important than blood ties; the family unit is now considered responsible for "society's disintegration"—and separation is enforced by border guards and government informers.

9. Set in an unnamed totalitarian city dominated by the educational system and ruled by its Mayor and Educators, this recently released novel, written by a boy of 15, follows a fifteen-year-old student named Tack trying to survive under its rule; described as a cross between George Orwell and Pink Floyd.

10. In those first years the roads were peopled with refugees shrouded up in their clothing.  Wearing masks and goggles, sitting in their rags by the side of the road like ruined aviators.  Their barrows heaped with shoddy.  Towing wagons or carts. Their eyes bright in their skulls.  Creedless shells of men tottering down the causeways like migrants in a feverland.

the end





Any comments?