The Best Dystopian Novels of 2023

For the eighth year running, it’s time for the annual update to my list of The 110 Best Dystopian Novels. I started with over sixty contenders for the best dystopian novels of 2023 and eventually selected the top five* titles of the year. The final rankings are based on curated lists from Amazon, The Guardian, 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 novels from seventeen contemporary dystopian authors like A.G. Riddle, Neal Shusterman and Lois Lowry.
  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, here are The Best Dystopian Novels of 2023!

5. The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton

A girl born during a catastrophic hurricane navigates a rapidly changing, futuristic Florida beset by climate disasters. The Light Pirate was a Goodreads Choice Award finalist in science fiction.

4. The Future by Naomi Alderman

Two women on opposite sides of the world team up in a daring heist to save the world from the billionaire tech giants whose companies produce weather modification, predictive analytics and deadly weapons. Amazon named The Future one of the best books of 2023, and it was a science fiction finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards.

3. Prophet Song by Paul Lynch

A mother of four fights to protect her family in a dystopian Ireland sliding toward totalitarianism. Lynch’s fifth novel won the 2023 Booker Prize for the best English-language novel published in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Cover images of the best dystopian novels of 2023

2. The Ferryman by Justin Cronin

In an isolated utopia where people live long, fulfilling lives until they are ferried to an island to restart life anew, a ferryman discovers his community holds some alarming secrets amid building social unrest. The Ferryman was a Goodreads Choice finalist in science fiction and made Amazon’s list of the best science fiction and fantasy books of the year.

1. Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Adjei-Brenyah’s debut novel earned massive critical acclaim, with recognition from The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and Amazon. It follows two female gladiators fighting for their freedom in America’s private, for-profit prison system.

*-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, Pierce Brown’s Light Bringer (the latest in his Red Rising series) was a critically and popularly acclaimed novel which fit that description.