If You Liked “The Handmaid’s Tale”, You’ll LOVE…

Margaret Atwood‘s The Handmaid’s Tale  was originally published over 30 years ago.  The Hulu series adaptation–alas, more relevant than ever–debuted to great acclaim on Wednesday night.

The yin to the yang of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Atwood’s bleak dystopia of a literally sterile and environmentally-damaged America taken over by the Moral Majority right (ie woman should just shut up and bear children) is scarier and, with all the talk of de-funding Planned Parenthood and rolling back Roe vs Wade, looking more possible in the era of President Donald Trump than it did when it was first published in 1985.

The “Handmaid” in question is Offred, an educated woman, whose very life depends upon getting pregnant, via government sanctioned rape, by a ruler of said government.  Along the way, Atwood synthesizes elements in this plausible coup via fundamentalists–it must be said, more Old Testament than the more humane,  forgiving message of the New Testament– from real-life theocracies such as Iran (with its soccer stadium murders of “infidels” and “gender criminals”), and such purge-happy “people’s democracies” like 1980s’ era Romania.

Atwood achieves this horror in such a way that even men, albeit of the non-theocratic variety, will be disturbed.

If you like dystopias like Atwood’s you should read the following:

 

SYSTEM: WITH HIS FACE IN THE SUN

by Jon A Davidson

Like Atwood, Davidson taps into a theme of a regime protecting citizens from the messiness that comes from democracy.  In his plausibly-constructed government, citizens’ needs are anticipated and provided for by supposedly benevolent rulers.  But as with all dystopias, there is corruption underneath, and the protagonist discovers that all is not right.

Read IR’s full review here.

 

TICK

by Allison Rose

Like Atwood, Rose culls from themes in our own time; in this case, corporate control, which with a few futuristic adjustments, takes over not only people’s lives but their minds as well.  The protagonist, a 17-year-old girl with enormous talents, fears her mind will be altered, and thus her talents destroyed, if the corporate state discovers her “visions” of murdering people in brutal and creative ways; an effective mix of the War on Terror and the Occupy Wall Street era.

Read IR’s full review here.

 

 

KAT CUBED

By Leslie L. Smith

Dilating more on environmental decay than Atwood and more scientifically based with its quantum theory trappings, Smith nevertheless entertainingly addresses the familiar identity confusion among even feminists.  Smith explores this conundrum for modern women by giving Kat three personalities into three different dystopias; an effective mix of faith and science.

Read IR’s full review here.

 

THE PERIHELION

By D.M. Wozniak

The apocalypse meets mind-warping technology in this entertaining and complex look at characters called upon to save the world.

Read IR’s full review here.

 

 

 

 

ROTVILLE

By Bruce Bentley Summers

A mixture of the super-hero, dystopian and horror genre, Summers’ tale deals with a super-human who is tasked with saving a scientist’s children from literal monsters; the kind of super-powered champion Atwood’s Handmaids wish they had.

Read IR’s full review here.

 

 

 

 

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