The Dystopian phenomenon: 17 reasons dystopian is the genre of choice in 2016

There was a point, not too long ago, where the naysayers were happy to declare the death of dystopian fiction in YA. But what do they know? Nothing. Obvs. Because it’s still going strong, and 2016 just might be its best year yet.

giphy-18It gets a bit of stick as being cliche, melodramatic and predictable…

(brilliant account, all should follow) …And it undeniably has its tropes but its how the author USES them that makes an instant smash with readers.

1. Let’s throw ourselves right in there with the release of ‘Darkness Follows’, the EPIC sequel to ‘Broken Sky’.


We didn’t think it could actually get any better, but L. A. Weatherly does it again. Jeopardy, betrayal, entrapment, heartache, humanity, and so many twists and turns you’ll never guess where the story will go next. Are we gagging for book three? You bet.

2. EVOLUTION! It’s happening. You can see it through the decades as SF and dystopian fiction moves and remoulds canon such as George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’.


2016 has given us the absolute gem that is Peadar O’Guilin’s ‘The Call’. It’s a very bloody and harsh gem. But it’s still damn shiny and whereas it has been compared to ‘The Hunger Games’ its much more ‘Battle Royale’. And really, it’s cutting its own path. A real diamond read.

3. You’ll never think of the word ‘Flawed’ the same way again. Cecelia Ahern’s YA debut centres on the concept of what it can mean to strive for total perfection and really, what DOES make someone flawed?


4. You can now officially binge read on the WHOLE of the ‘5th Wave’ series by Rick Yancey now book three has been let loose on the world.


You mean you’ve already read ’em? Go watch the film!

5. Margaret Atwood is back, baby. The mother of dystopia.


Her short story collection ‘Stone Mattress’ might err on the side of fantasy but there is always that darker side of dystopian questioning in her writing. And this makes us Atwood fangirls SO HAPPY!

6. ‘The Girl With All the Gifts’ arguably more SF or post-apocalyptic but it’s still set in a very alt world. An intense dystopian experience. Seen the trailer? See the trailer:

7. There’s no way you missed the release of ‘Cell 7’ by Kerry Drewery. Once again proving that dystopia is alive and well and gorydamn electrifying!


One of the best things you’ll read this year. Fact.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.


14. Are we living it right now? Possibly 2016 could be the closest we’ve come to featuring in our own dystopian nightmares.


Good news though, the oppressor of any dystopian story will 100% fail. Every time.

15. You guys are standing up and letting your opinions be heard:

How popular are your opinions exactly? We gots an article on that right here.

16. We’ve also made it possible to find out if you’d survive most of your fave dystopian worlds making 2016 all about honing those survival skills, eh?




17. Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again. But wait! Isn’t this sci-fi? Maybe. But isn’t it also a dystopia of Dr Frank n Furter’s making? (Keep up with Fox’s latest on their Snapchat!)

We won’t wax too philosophical but 2016 is the year this cult classic gets a remake with Laverne Cox as its lead. Will it be a dystopian disaster, or a fangirl utopian heaven? We’ll know soon enough.

So let’s make it official, 2016 is the year for dystopian reads. Which is your fave though? Are you a hardcore Hunger Games fan, or is there an unsung title everyone should know about? Tell us in the comments below!

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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.

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