Tag Archive for: dystopia

Raging wildfires sweep through the Swedish countryside – turning holidaymakers into climate refugees. And yet, against this hellscape, life goes on. Marriages collapse; teenagers fall in love; parents succumb to midlife crises; children rebel.

As society starts to crumble, the fates of four very different characters intertwine. Didrik, a father of three and media consultant, finds that his misguided efforts to be the hero that saves his family only make things worse. Melissa, a climate change denying influencer, is determined to live for the moment, despite it all. Andre, the bitter teenage son of an international sports star, uses the erupting violence to orchestrate his own personal revenge. And Vilja, a once self-absorbed teenage girl steps up in the face of all this adult ineptitude, to organise and resist. This novel asks us to face up to one question: how will you decide to live, even if everything ends?

Oryx and Crake is the first book in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian trilogy Maddadam. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic future around the year 2050 and centres on the main character called Snowman. As the only human left on earthSnowman is tasked with teaching a group of humanoids known as Crakers. All the while he is dwelling on the past, his lost-love Oryx and the devastating set of events that brought him to this place.

 

Read more of our Climate Classics: timeless works exploring themes of climate change and biodiversity loss.

The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change.

It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city. The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright’s previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning bestseller.

It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale, has Oblivia Ethylene in the company of amazing characters like Aunty Bella Donna of the Champions, the Harbour Master, Big Red and the Mechanic, a talking monkey called Rigoletto, three genies with doctorates, and throughout, the guiding presence of swans.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

Opening on the eve of the millennium, when the world as we know it is still recognisable, we meet the nine-year-old narrator as he flees the city with his parents, just ahead of a Y2K breakdown. Next he is a teenager with a growing criminal record, taking his grandparents for a Sunday drive.

In a world transformed by battles over resources, he teaches them how to steal. In time we see him struggle through strange, horrific and unexpectedly funny terrain as he goes about the no longer simple act of survival.

Despite the chaos of his world, he keeps his eyes on the exit door, his heart open and his mind on what he thinks is going to happen next.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section

Toby, a survivor of the man-made plague that has swept the earth, is telling stories. Stories left over from the old world, and stories that will determine a new one.

Listening hard is young Blackbeard, one of the innocent Crakers, the species designed to replace humanity. Their reluctant prophet, Jimmy-the-Snowman, is in a coma, so they’ve chosen a new hero – Zeb, the street-smart man Toby loves. As clever Pigoons attack their fragile garden and malevolent Painballers scheme, the small band of survivors will need more than stories.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section