New Year, New World, Discovering Dystopian Fiction...
Marlborough District Library's (Blenheim) Book Club meets on the last Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm.
Each month we have a theme that members can choose to read from and we always have an 'also read' section for other great books read in the past month that didn't follow the theme.
January's theme is Dystopian fiction. Dystopian fiction is a sub-genre of Science Fiction, they explore possible futures, new worlds that have been created or evolved after a catastrophic event, mass extinction or plague (Stephen King's The Stand was one of the first novels to create this 'genre'), nuclear war (Robert C. O'Brien's Z for Zachariah, Neville Shute's On the Beach), or more recently EMPs (electromagnetic pulse) or other act of mass-terrorism.
The genre explores how humans might try and survive when life as we knew it has been severely disrupted, how the government and military may react and what a possible 'new world' might look like.
We have chosen some famous dystopian novels to recommend or check out our list on our library's catalogue
Our next book club meeting will be held on Thursday 30 January, 6.30 pm, at Marlborough District Library (Blenheim).
Not forgetting the Whale by J W Ironmonger
When a young man washes up, naked, on the sands of St Piran, he is quickly rescued by the villagers. From the retired village doctor and the schoolteacher, to the beachcomber and the owner of the local bar, the priest's wife and the romantic novelist, they take this lost soul into their midst. But what the villagers don't know is that Joe Haak worked as an analyst and has fled the City amid fears of a worldwide banking collapse caused by a computer program he invented. But is the end of the world really nigh? And what of the whale that lurks in the bay? Intimate, funny and deeply moving, Not Forgetting the Whale is the story of a man on a journey to find a place he can call home.
On the Beach by Neville Shute
The time is 1963. China and Russia have engaged in an all-out nuclear war against each other. The fighting actually begins in Albania and spreads to Tel Aviv, prompting Egypt to unleash a direct assault on London and Washington. The result of this military activity is the total destruction of all life on the northern hemisphere. This is the story of the last survivors, in Australia, waiting resignedly for the globegirdling bands of radiation to work their way south and swallow the final remaining life on Earth.
The Stand by Stephen King
First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams. Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil. His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms. When a man crashes his car into a petrol station, he brings with him the foul corpses of his wife and daughter. He dies and it doesn't take long for the plague which killed him to spread across America and the world.
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking series) by Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown, a town where everyone can hear your thoughts. One month before he is due to become a man Todd discovers that the town has been keeping secrets from him, and he is going to have to run. Todd is soon going to learn about the dangerous choices of growing up.
Pure (trilogy) by Julianna Baggott
In a post-apocalyptic world, Pressia, a sixteen-year-old survivor with a doll's head fused onto her left hand meets Partridge, a "Pure" dome-dweller who is searching for his mother, sure that she has survived the cataclysm.
Life as we Knew it by Susan Pfeffer
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.