The last time I checked, the bleak dystopian future was still firmly entrenched as the film fad genre over yesterday’s vampires and zombies. I’m looking at you, Divergent and Hunger Games.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest none of these trilogies would be possible without the granddaddy of them all, George Orwell’s 1984. Written in 1948, this piece is required reading for high school seniors for the pop culture references alone, a la Big Brother and thought crime. You won’t be able to find your way out of an Orwellian abyss without it.

Pepper in references to this work and your modern-day conspiracy theory is half-written! Technological and poltical relevance almost 70 years later is some staying power, if not clairvoyance on the part of Orwell, who passed away in 1950.

1984 was banned in the former U.S.S.R., and challenged in 1981 in Florida on the grounds of being “pro-communist”, no doubt by the irony-impaired.

Demand for the library’s copies of The Hunger Games has skyrocketed since the movie came out.  Don’t worry, we can put you on the reserve list, but you might have a little bit of a wait ahead of you before your copy comes in.  So while you wait, here are a few similar titles you might want to try:

If you like plenty of action and powerful female characters:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

If you’re looking for fast-paced stories about survival:

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Gone by Michael Grant

If you’re interested in a dystopian world with a government gone bad:

1984 by George Orwell

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

If you want something with a bit of romance:

Matched by Ally Condie

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

If you’re looking for some cool sci-fi:

Feed by M.T. Anderson

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card