Since I've been enjoying C.J. Sansom's Dominion so much, it's made me think about other books telling stories of other worlds--alternate histories or dystopias (maybe I should look for some utopias, too, but none come to mind right off the bat). This is a type of story I have been wanting to read for ages and I seem to have collected quite a few titles. So, as I love lists so much and they are so handy to refer back to, here are thirteen stories of 'other worlds' (to encompass a variety of genres). In no particular order:
1. Fatherland by Robert Harris -- Another 'what if' story involving Hitler and the premise of his having won the war. This story involves a murder.
2. Dominion by C.J. Sansom -- You already know the story behind this one (see yesterday's post . . .).
3. Farthing, Ha'Penny and Half a Crown by Jo Walton -- A trilogy of books set in Post WWII Fascist England. High on my list of potential vacation reads if I happen to finish Dominion sooner than later.
4. Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood and Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood -- Since meeting Margaret Atwood earlier in the year these books have become part of my must, must, must read this list. Cautionary tales? I see these listed as 'speculative fiction'. Can they possibly be as good as one of my all time favorites, The Handmaid's Tale?
5. The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon -- What if the Jews had been allowed to resettle in Alaska instead of Palestine? I loved The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I have been thinking of reading this in particular since taking my Israeli Literature class.
6. 1984 by George Orwell -- I read this so long ago I have forgotten all the details. A must reread.
7. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess -- I found the film adaptation of this sort of disturbing, but ever after I have wanted to read it. I have a copy somewhere and keep meaning to dig it out of the piles.
8. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde -- Read and enjoyed this years ago. I never have gotten around to reading any of his other books (I always mean to, but you know how that goes). Literary references abound and this is nowhere near as dark as any of the rest of the books on this list.
9. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth -- I have never read Roth and it feels as though there is a gaping hole somewhere in my reading history because of this. I'm not sure this would be the best place to start with his work, but the premise (Lindbergh as President) is certainly an intriguing one.
10. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis -- This one is set in the 21st century as well as the 14th (for a little something different!). I really do mean to read Connie Willis someday, too.
11. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley -- "'Community, Identity, Stability' is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today . . . "
12. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury -- I love this book--have read it at least twice and listened to it in audio once as well. Even the movie adaptation is not bad.
13. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson -- A coworker recommended this one to me years ago. This "is the story of what happens when a state-of-the-art interactive device falls in the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life—and the entire future of humanity—is about to be decoded and reprogrammed . . . "
I realize I might be shoe-horning some of these into what I think of as dystopian fiction or alternate worlds, so keep in mind I am using the terms very broadly.
As always recommendations are most welcome! If I didn't already have Dominion on the go I would immediately reach for one of these!