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Readable utopian novels - any recommendations?

(15 Posts)
Takver Tue 02-Dec-14 22:09:58

Discussing this at work today - there are endless dystopian futures, but not so many utopian options. I've read:
The Dispossessed (definitely my favourite utopia novel, hence the username)
Woman on the Edge of Time
News from Nowhere (not that great as a novel IMO)
Acts of Destruction by Mat Coward (nice change in that it's a socialist rather than anarchist utopia)

I'd love any other recommendations smile

Takver Tue 02-Dec-14 22:14:03

Sorry, forgot Always Coming Home also by le Guin

FishWithABicycle Tue 02-Dec-14 22:16:28

Would Iain Banks's 'culture' novels count?

Takver Tue 02-Dec-14 22:20:17

Hmm, maybe - I was kind of thinking of more explicitly utopian, perhaps? Haven't read them for years, good thought to re-read anyway

The only one I could think of was, 'Woman on the Edge of Time' but I must admit that, as a whole, I found it wanting.

I suspect that fiction needs conflict, so a Utopia doesn't provide enough food to make great fiction.

tobeabat Wed 03-Dec-14 18:08:39

I read some of Walden Two, Skinner's vision of a behaviourist utopia. It was so boring, I stopped.

CaulkheadUpNorth Wed 03-Dec-14 18:11:03

Have a look at Scarlett Thomas's stuff. I think it's utopian.

CaulkheadUpNorth Wed 03-Dec-14 18:11:41

I mean I think it is, rather than i think it is by te way! wink

TheFirstOfHerName Wed 03-Dec-14 18:13:41

I love Woman on the Edge of Time, and lots of Scarlett Thomas' stuff, even though I usually prefer reading about dystopia.

I read, 'The End of Mr Why' but, like, 'Woman OTEOT' I thought it was an interesting concept but that ultimately it didn't work. I hadn't considered that it might be Utopian though - I clearly missed something!

CaulkheadUpNorth Wed 03-Dec-14 18:22:19

I think bright young things is utopian. It's one of her earlier ones.

tobeabat Wed 03-Dec-14 18:41:07

No, I didn't think Mr Y utopian either!

Takver Wed 03-Dec-14 20:46:22

Maybe you're right, Remus. I guess le Guin in The Dispossessed manages it by showing two contrasting worlds, and also exploring the downsides of her utopia.

Never run into Scarlett Thomas, will check her out, definitely.

I've also remembered Huxley wrote a utopian novel as well as BNW, The Island, I"m sure I've read it in the past but don't really recall it - gets pretty good reviews, though.

I have a soft spot for WomanOTEOT, but it is rather a 70s themed utopia, I can't read it without somehow visualising all the characters looking rather like the illustrations in The Joy of Sex.

Takver Wed 03-Dec-14 20:48:24

Come to that, I like Acts of Destruction because the utopian element is purely a backdrop to a trad police procedural novel.

Pmsl at, 'The Joy of Sex' - All beards and hair - love it! grin

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