Dystopianism is all the rage right now with movies like The Purge, Elysium, and, of course, Catching Fire coming out this year. And we're not complaining: Dystopias are fantastic, and they've actually predicted an impressive list of modern gadgetry, from iPods (Fahrenheit 451) to the Internet (Ender's Game). But we hope they aren't too prophetic, because we'd choose to be tributes before living in any of these dystopian worlds:
The Hegemon, Ender's Game. While not the worst in this list, in this future created by Orson Scott Card, families are limited to two children and Earth is distinctly threatened by attacks from the Formics, a race of destructive aliens they can't understand or communicate with.
Fascist England, V for Vendetta. Let us fanboy for a moment; everything Alan Moore touches turns to gold. This early work of his is as inspiring as it is multi-layered, but we'd rather not live in Nosefire's society, where most minorities have been exterminated and everyone is under surveillance.
Oceania, 1984. No privacy, freedom or love, and no thinking about any of those because doing so would be a thoughtcrime? George Orwell can keep Big Brother.
The Matrix, The Matrix. The Wachowski brothers created a world where reality isn't real, and machines harvest energy from the living. Waking up from the Matrix and staying asleep inside it seem equally dim prospects in this world.
Future America, Fahrenheit 451. The simple fact that books are illegal in this future is bad enough; but the fact that everyone but a few have been lulled into an entertainment-fed trance is even more terrifying and feels very possible.
Mega City One, Judge Dredd. Most of the world destroyed by nukes, unemployment gone through the roof, and the police only able to respond to six percent of all crimes. Sounds like exactly the kind of overcrowded, dirty future we don't want.
World State, Brave New World. Sanctioned drugs and orgies every week might sound great, but when the family system has been left behind and there is nothing but pleasure, is there really any pleasure? Aldous Huxley's future scares us as much as any unpleasurable one.
802,701 A.D., The Time Machine. H.G. Wells is responsible for two of the greatest science fiction milestones; time travel and alien invasion. In the dystopian future of this novella, there are only two races—the Morlock and the Eloi—and one keeps the other as livestock.
The United States, Jennifer Government. In the United States of Max Barry's satirical novel, an opposite of Orwell's 1984 has taken place; instead of too much political power, there's too little and corporations own nearly everything—even people.
Which dystopia freaks you out the most?