Hope has hit a wall. After technological and political inclusiveness begat creative optimism, utopian dreams have gone dark. An inevitable dystopian fiction cycle is upon us — perfectly synced with tectonic real-world shifts. Such novels offer visions of the planned apocalypse, from Michael Tolkin’s plague of idiots in NK3 to Omar El Akkad’s climate-change-inspired Southern secession in American War. If you can see a twisted future coming, it’s likely there’s a novel to match, as forward-looking writers imagine brutal societies where belief in reason, sustainability and equality can’t possibly survive.