With dystopian and post-apocalytpic fiction, horror is often the point. I mean, you're presenting a terrible society, either one that controls its people and does nasty things or one that has fallen apart due to cataclysmic events. Very few dystopias would I want to make a summer home in. Still, some scare me more than others: the ones that feel like reflections of our current society with just the tiniest push in the wrong direction. I find it completely horrifying when a book makes me reflect on the fact that we probably already live in a dystopia. So here you go: the dystopias that terrify me (from the ones I've read so far).
Basic Plot: Young school boys trapped on an island kill one another. Also intimations of some sort of post-apocalyptic, war scenario off the island.
Why It Scared Me: Because this is what I think people are like underneath it all. Put us on an island and we'll strip down to our basest selves. BAM.
Similar Concept: Beauty Queens - Libba Bray (Goodreads|my review)
Basic Plot: Zombies and corruption
Why It Scared Me: Okay, the zombies were scary for sure, but what really got me about this series were the things the government was doing. I hate thinking about all the ways our government is probably keeping us down. Also, again, this is pretty much what I think human nature is like. What all of the bloggers say about humanity and how it would probably have been better off destroyed...yeah.
Basic Plot: TORNADOS.
Why It Scared Me: The book itself didn't scare me, but the idea that the weather could really be headed in this kind of direction is seriously frightening. Weather has definitely been doing crazy things in recent years and I have no desire to see it get worse.
Basic Plot: People can live forever without aging.
Why It Scared Me: People can live forever without aging. If this seems like a good idea, think again. So many things in society just can't function if people do not die at some point, if life is not finite. This really hadn't occurred to me until I read the book, but Magary taught me well (as did Unwind and some others).
Similar Concept: The Declaration - Gemma Malley (Goodreads|my review)
Basic Plot: Hitler/Stalin present the future.
Why It Scared Me: When I read this in high school for class, I was like meh who cares. After several more years of history classes, I reread this and was horrified, because, yeah, if a leader like Hitler or Stalin won the war for domination, like might look like this. *shudder* Also, I sometimes suspect Big Brother is watching, especially with the advent of the internet.
Basic Plot: Disease outbreak.
Why It Scared Me: I don't want to have a disease. Yuck. Also, the disease made people act crazy, sort of like zombies, but worse. Given the number of plagues in human history, having to survive a post-apocalyptic disease scenario is altogether too likely
Similar Concept: The Weepers - Susanne Winnacker (Goodreads|my review)
Basic Plot: The supervolcano under Yellowstone explodes.
Why It Scared Me: THAT VOLCANO IS REAL. Yeah, so that sucks. My geology teacher loved to talk about all the ways that humanity could be wiped out and that was one of his favorites.
Basic Plot: Right wing fundamentalists take over the country.
Why It Scared Me: If certain leaders took over plus some sort of catastrophe, I can totally see America turning into this. Women are losing status, so many awesome things are prohibited, and people can be sentenced to death for 'crimes' that were not illegal when they were committed. Let's not do this, people.
Basic Plot: Department of Homeland Security takes over.
Why It Scared Me: This was SO possible in the decade after 9-11. I want to believe that we're to the point where this couldn't happen, but, really, it would only take another crisis to push us overboard again. Basically, imagine that you are viewed with as much suspicion in your daily life as you are when you go to the airport. Not good.
Basic Plot: Women exist solely as chattel.
Why It Scared Me: Feminism happened, but the double standards remain. It does not take any sort of suspension of disbelief for me to imagine women once again being made into property, useful only for baby-making should something disastrous happen. As a woman, this scares me more than anything else.
Similar Concepts: Eve - Anna Carey (Goodreads|my review) / Wither - Lauren DeStefano (Goodreads|my review) / Bumped - Megan McCafferty (Goodreads|my review)