Mars is not the only other world we can travel to

Cover: Lord of the FliesThey may have just landed a rover on Mars, but I’ve been travelling to other worlds since I was 13. I love travelling in particular to dystopian worlds, if only using books and movies.

Dystopian societies are repressive and controlled, often under the guise of being utopian. They feature different kinds of repressive social control and coercion. They can be found in the past, the future on our planet or another.

They have all the classic compelling aspects of all good fiction that I enjoy; good vs. evil, strong lead characters you can root for, together with a bit of technology and people rising up to save themselves, their families and their society. They can steer closely into Science Fiction territory at times, but I have always been more interested in the stories that depict human struggle and triumph rather than technology and space travel.

Of course the most recent craze in this genre would be The Hunger Games Trilogy, which I’ve read using my e reader, and while I’m enjoying it and I’m eagerly awaiting the last of the trilogy, Mockingjay, it isn’t the best I’ve read in the genre.Cover: Monsters of Men

I loved The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness and I also enjoyed Salt by Maurice Gee and Wither by Lauren DeStefano.

I have also gone back to read some classics that originally had me interested in this genre in my teens. First was The Crysalids by John Wyndham, then Nineteen Eighty Four, the grandfather of the dystopians by George Orwell. Then Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Lord of the Flies by William Golding and what was for me a pivotal book, The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’d also recommend her book Oryx and Crake.

There are so many dystopian books out there to read, take the plunge and get amongst them without the aid of a rover, or maybe you have a favourite you can share?