Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Seven top dystopian mysteries

Claire Fuller's five novels are: The Memory of Animals (2023); Unsettled Ground (which won the Costa Novel Award 2021, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction); the critically acclaimed Bitter Orange (longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award); Swimming Lessons (shortlisted for the Encore Prize for second novels, and Livre de Poche Prize in France); and Our Endless Numbered Days (winner of the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction). They have been translated into more than twenty languages.

At Lit Hub Fuller says there are surprisingly few "dystopian mysteries or mysterious dystopian novels," and she tagged seven of her favorites. One title on the list:
Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

Mysteries within a mysterious dystopian world. Narrated by Kathy H., it doesn’t take long for the reader to learn that she’s a carer for clones who have been raised as organ donors. She and her two friends, Ruth and Tommy, have been living in a kind of boarding school which is beset by rumors and the three of them go on a quest to have their questions answered.

This is a dystopia that isn’t interested in the science, instead it focuses on relationships and the mysteries that Kathy H., Ruth and Tommy need to unravel.
Read about another entry on the list.

Never Let Me Go is on Elizabeth Brooks's list of ten great novels with unreliable narrators, Lincoln Michel's top ten list of strange sci-fi dystopias, Amelia Morris's lits of ten of the most captivating fictional frenemies, Edward Ashton's eight titles about what it means to be human, Bethany Ball's list of the seven weirdest high schools in literature, Zak Salih's eight books about childhood pals—and the adults they become, Rachel Donohue's list of seven coming-of-age novels with elements of mystery or the supernatural, Chris Mooney's list of six top intelligent, page-turning, genre-bending classics, James Scudamore's top ten list of books about boarding school, Caroline Zancan's list of eight novels about students and teachers behaving badly, LitHub's list of the ten books that defined the 2000s, Meg Wolitzer's ten favorite books list, Jeff Somers's lists of nine science fiction novels that imagine the future of healthcare and "five pairs of books that have nothing to do with each other—and yet have everything to do with each other" and eight tales of technology run amok and top seven speculative works for those who think they hate speculative fiction, a list of five books that shaped Jason Gurley's Eleanor, Anne Charnock's list of five favorite books with fictitious works of art, Esther Inglis-Arkell's list of nine great science fiction books for people who don't like science fiction, Sabrina Rojas Weiss's list of ten favorite boarding school novels, Allegra Frazier's top four list of great dystopian novels that made it to the big screen, James Browning's top ten list of boarding school books, Jason Allen Ashlock and Mink Choi's top ten list of tragic love stories, Allegra Frazier's list of seven characters whose jobs are worse than yours, Shani Boianjiu's list of five top novels about coming of age, Karen Thompson Walker's list of five top "What If?" books, Lloyd Shepherd's top ten list of weird histories, and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best men writing as women in literature and ten of the best sentences as titles.

--Marshal Zeringue