Literary dystopias



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Novels depicting various disturbing fates for mankind are bubbling up, and George Orwell's birthday is Saturday 25, so we're embracing both the books and this master of the dystopia. Below we present our critics' reviews of recent novels about bleak futures in Newspeak, the overly simplified (and ugly) English spoken in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. A pair of the reviews have been expanded into Oldspeak (that is, how proles talk) for those who need more than two or three adjectives.

Ashes of the Earth
By Eliot Pattison. Counterpoint, $26.
Killing man finded in blackwhite place. Good.—Carly Guarino
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By Daniel H. Wilson. Doubleday, $25.
Humans fight pridefull machines. Good.—Chris Grace
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By Albert Brooks. St. Martin's Press, $26.
375 pages of unstrong duckspeak. Doubleplusungood.—Emily Jacobson
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Ready Player One
By Ernest Cline. Crown, $24. Available Aug 16.
Minipax fights proles in unsame worlds. Good.—Elizabeth Barr
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By Dan Simmons. Reagan Arthur Books, $28. Available July 1.
Old pol man oldthinks. Good.—Sarah Bruning
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The Passage
By Justin Cronin. Ballantine Books, $16.
Fanged, bloodsuckfull unmortals attack. Plusgood.—Dan Lopez
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Super Sad True Love Story
By Gary Shteyngart. Random House, $15.
Oldthink man loves Newspeak girl in doublethink world. Plusgood.—Joe Paul
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The Curfew
By Jesse Ball. Vintage, $15.
Creation of unpersons makes man crimethink. Good.—Matthew Love
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Mind Storm
By K.M. Ruiz. Thomas Dunne, $25.
Unnormals hate telepathicwise in a plusunbright future. Doubleplusungood clichfull prolefeed.—Amanda MacBlane
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