The Best Dystopian Novels Written Before Orwell’s 1984

Amazing how many of these authors are recognized as lions in realist, Victorian, or even modernist fiction. But just as Cormac McCarthy’s foray into Dystopia by writing “The Road” shows, a great writer refuses to be pigeonholed!

Interesting Literature

10 interesting works of dystopian fiction that predate George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) is perhaps the most famous dystopian novel in the world, with the adjective ‘Orwellian’ being listed in the Oxford English Dictionary and the phrases ‘Big Brother’, ‘thoughtcrime’, and ‘newspeak’ being part of the language. But Orwell’s classic novel didn’t arise in isolation, and there were a number of earlier dystopian novels written before Orwell put pen to paper (or finger to typewriter). Here is our pick of the ten best early dystopian novels worth checking out. Okay, so they’re not all novels – there are a couple of short stories in here too. But then variety is the spice of life…

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