Closer Than You Think by S.A. Barton





Published December 24, 2016 by Smashwords Edition


Writing dystopian fiction in this day and age poses many challenges, not the least of which is this: how do you keep up? Many of the dystopian premises we see in literature are already popping up in the news — in some form — and often, as Lord Byron famously observed, truth is stranger than fiction.

That was my reaction this week when the media revealed, not for the first time, that employers are microchipping workers. (One of my dogs has a microchip. But if I hired someone to work for me, I would trust them not to wander off and get lost.)

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In a Perfect World by Laura Kasischke


In a Perfect World

Paperback, 326 pages

Published: October 6, 2009 by Harper Perennial (1st published September 23, 2009)

Jiselle, a thirty-something flight attendant with an open heart and naive nature, falls for a pilot. Mark seems perfect — he’s handsome, charming, and sexy. Jiselle quickly agrees to marry him, quit her job, and raise his three motherless children. Do you sense trouble coming?

The story of Jiselle’s marriage is one layer of this novel. In the background of her life, the “Phoenix flu” is killing indiscriminately, and no one understands why or how to prevent or treat it. Furthermore, the United States is blamed for this growing worldwide epidemic. We see society change gradually around Jiselle, beginning with occasional electrical blackouts and shortages and ending with a world that is almost unrecognizable.

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Children of Men (2006)

large_pGksHILD8UljwU1J3ZLPPRgyvF8Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

Written by: Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, & Hawk Ostby, based on the novel by P.D. James

Theo (Clive Owen) has given up political activism and is simply trying to get by in a bleak dystopian world. As women have become infertile, and the youngest humans are now 18, the end of humanity is — to quote 28 Days Later — very fucking nigh.

Britain has become a police state continually battling violence. Official propaganda boldly states that the rest of the world is now in ruins, but “Britain Soldiers On!” The government has launched a Naziesque crackdown on illegal immigrants, and a domestic terrorist group called The Fish is fighting back. Oh, and the authorities are helpfully distributing suicide kits along with rations, encouraging people to go ahead and get out of the way before the eleventh hour. (But marijuana is still illegal — go figure.)

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Indie Spotlight: Prescient (Book 1) by Derek Murphy



Kindle Edition, 152 pages

Published: April 1, 2016 by Urban Epics

Setting: New Jersey


Alicia’s quotidian life — filled with high school, spending time with her best friend and widowed father, and contemplating her unrequited crush — is derailed when seemingly harmless drug experimentation catapults her forward in time. As a time traveler in the near future, she enters a terrifying post-apocalyptic world.

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Paperback, 288 pages

Published: July 5, 2012 by Corsair (1st published January 1, 2011)

Setting: Futuristic London


In a future London, in which our society has been decimated by wars between the Arabic world and the West, the affluent have their children genetically improved. Doctors modify the DNA of their offspring to ensure physical attractiveness, intelligence, and athletic ability. Disabilities and illness have been virtually eliminated among the more privileged classes.

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