dystopian adj.

of or pertaining to a dystopia n. 2

SF Criticism


  • 1953 D. Knight Dissecting Table in Science Fiction Adventures July 117 Damon Knight

    Proteus, like many a dystopian hero before him, becomes increasingly uneasy about the elite to which he belongs and eventually winds up involved in an attempt to overthrow it.

  • 1990 Thrust Winter 8/2

    This worst-case scenario for a future Australia evokes most of our dystopian dreads.

  • 1992 Science Fiction Age Nov. 70/1

    There were utopian and dystopian visions, pessimistic as well as optimistic views of the future.

  • 1992 SFRA Review July–Aug.–Sept. 5

    Certainly the strongly overt messages of '70’s feminist SF and the feminist utopian/dystopian novels of the '80’s represented clear trends.

  • 1994 B. Bova Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells xix. 211 Ben Bova bibliography

    Even in the darkest dystopian science fiction stories, there is hope for the future.

  • 1994 J. Morrow Nebula Awards 28 52

    I conceived a dystopian novel about the problem of human aggression.

  • 2001 Locus June 13/3

    Paul J. McAuley delivered Whole Wide World, ‘a crime novel about ultrasurveillance and cybersex [with] a thread of dystopian SF running through it’.

  • 2001 Locus June 15/2

    Alec arrives in a huge hall where all the children are tested and then assigned the career roles they will adopt in life. It’s a classic dystopian SF situation.

  • 2020 H. Green A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor 325 Hank Green bibliography

    Aside from the frustrating needs of the body, you could live your entire life there. Your home, your work, your learning, your life could be in the Space. The only thing it didn’t have...and I wasn’t sure if this was good (because it meant people would have to leave) or deeply dystopian (because I’m not sure if they would) was social interaction.

Research requirements

antedating 1953

Earliest cite

Damon Knight in 'Science Fiction Adventures'

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from Damon Knight's review column in Science Fiction Adventures.
Ben Ostorwsky submitted a 2020 cite from Hank Green.

Earliest cite in the OED: 1962

Last modified 2021-04-20 19:04:15
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.