The Best Dystopian Fiction of 2020

After an especially dystopian year, it’s time for the annual update to my list of The 110 Best Dystopian Novels. Here is the best dystopian fiction of 2020* based on curated lists from Book Riot, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and more, suggestions from readers on Goodreads, and ratings on Goodreads and Amazon.

To complement these rankings, I have created two pieces of bonus content:

  1. Recommendations for the best dystopian fiction from sixteen contemporary dystopian authors like Lois Lowry, A.G. Riddle and Neal Shusterman.
  2. A one-page PDF shopping guide to the complete list of The Best Dystopian Novels.

You can access both of these free resources using the form below. And now, on with The Best Dystopian Fiction of 2020!

4. Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Two hundred years after the story of Cinderella, her tale has been manipulated to teach young girls that they must attract a suitor at the Annual Ball, resulting in either a life of servitude or an immediate disappearance if they cannot find a match. But in this Goodreads Choice Awards finalist in Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, two teenage girls in love with one another set out to destroy the kingdom and its myths once and for all.

3. Malorie by Josh Malerman

This Goodreads Choice Awards finalist in Horror and the sequel to Malerman’s 2014 debut Bird Box continues in a world where one glimpse of the creatures living there will drive a person to commit horrific violence. When Malorie learns her parents may still be alive, she must decide whether to seek them out or stick to her rules for survival.

Cover images of the best dystopian fiction of 2020

2. Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Another Goodreads Choice Awards finalist (in Science Fiction) and one of Publishers Weekly’s best science fiction, fantasy and horror books of the year, Riot Baby follows two black siblings with supernatural powers as they kickstart a revolution against their brutally racist nation.

1. The New Wilderness by Diane Cook

With her daughter suffering from pollution-induced illness, one woman volunteers for them both to live as hunter-gatherers in an experimental wilderness state. Amazon named The New Wilderness one of the best fiction books of the year, and it was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the Goodreads Choice Award in Science Fiction.

*-I have decided to exclude from these annual updates books that are prequels or sequels to novels that appeared on one of my previous lists in this genre. This year, Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (a prequel to The Hunger Games) was a critically and popularly acclaimed novel which fit that description.