Vulture compiled a fantastic list of 100 Great Works of Dystopian Fiction, “tales about a world gone wrong”.
Stand out entries on the list include some of the earliest examples of dystopian fiction like Mary Shelley’s The Last Man and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. There are classics like Huxley’s Brave New World and 1984 and modern classics like Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and William Gibson’s Neuromancer. There are also some newer books I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading like On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee and A Planet for Rent by Cuban author Yoss.
As the old saying goes, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme” – and Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here is proof. This 1935 satire chronicles the career of fictitious U.S. politician Buzz Windrip, a populist senator who wins the presidency. As it turns out, he’s a bit of a fascist, but more frightening than his actions is the speed – and eagerness – with which Americans join him in his authoritarian crusade. Lewis understood the American soul better than most, and he makes a compelling case that fascist tendencies would make a horrifyingly good fit for our polity if presented with the right amount of good, old-fashioned patriotism.
It reminds me a bit of this great anti-fascist short-film produced by US Military in the wake of WWII, titled Don’t Be a Sucker: