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Why You Should Still Be Reading Dystopian Fiction

June 14, 17083 min read

Why You Should Still Be Reading Dystopian Fiction

Whilst dystopian fiction once held a prominent place in readers' hearts, its popularity has waned in recent years. Factors such as saturation and fatigue, the pursuit of escapism and hope, changing market trends in traditional publishing, and real-world overlap have contributed to its decline.

However, the cyclical nature of trends suggests that dystopian fiction may find renewed interest in the future as societal dynamics continue to evolve. Now, more than ever, the real world needs solutions that might begin in the imagination of a dystopian writer.

So, here's why I'm not yet done with dystopian fiction.

The Enduring Relevance of Dystopian Fiction: Why We Should Still Read It:

1. It reminds us to reflect on societal issues.

Dystopian fiction serves as a powerful mirror, reflecting many of the societal issues and concerns of our time. By presenting exaggerated and often nightmarish versions of reality, these narratives force us to confront uncomfortable truths about our own world. They explore themes such as authoritarianism, social inequality, environmental degradation, and loss of personal freedom. Through these narratives, readers gain a deeper understanding of the consequences of unchecked power, enabling them to engage critically with contemporary issues. Fiction is a safe way to explore the potential direction of humanity.

2. We learn to cultivate critical thinking.

Dystopian fiction stimulates critical thinking by challenging readers to question existing power structures and societal norms. By envisioning futures where oppressive systems are the norm, these stories encourage us to reevaluate our own assumptions and beliefs. They prompt us to consider alternative paths and possibilities, and to imagine a world that is fairer and more just. By engaging with dystopian narratives, we exercise our analytical skills, fostering a greater sense of agency and the ability to navigate complex moral and ethical dilemmas.

3. It inspires empathy.

Dystopian fiction often features characters who face immense challenges and hardships, yet continue to persevere. Through characters' struggles, we might find inspiration in their resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. These stories also cultivate empathy as we witness characters navigating difficult choices and grappling with the consequences of their actions. By connecting with these characters, readers become more empathetic towards others in their own lives and develop a deeper understanding of the complexities of human nature. This can have a positive impact in the real world.

4. It encourages societal action.

Dystopian fiction can act as a catalyst for societal awareness and action. By presenting cautionary tales of potential futures, these stories inspire readers to consider the implications of their actions and the trajectory of society. They serve as a call to action, urging us to take responsibility for shaping a better world. Dystopian narratives can fuel conversations and activism, driving us to challenge oppressive systems, fight for social justice, and work towards a more equitable society. By reading and discussing these stories, we become catalysts for change, driving forward progress and transformation.


In a world that grapples with complex challenges, dystopian fiction remains an invaluable genre. By reflecting on societal issues, cultivating critical thinking, inspiring resilience and empathy, and encouraging societal awareness and action, dystopian narratives provide us with the tools and inspiration to shape a brighter future for all.

And this is exactly why I'm not yet done with dystopian fiction.

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Kate Hennessy is a sapphic author, writing in the speculative space.

Kate Hennessy

Kate Hennessy is a sapphic author, writing in the speculative space.

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