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  • Writer's pictureNovel Nest

15 Ridiculously Good Corporate Dystopia Books You Need To Read

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Have you read any of these?


Welcome to the dark and enthralling world of corporate dystopia! In this blog post, we are excited to present a carefully curated list of 15 remarkably good books that delve into the sinister and thought-provoking realm of corporate-dominated societies. From gripping tales of corporate espionage to haunting explorations of the human condition under the shadow of corporate control, each book on this list is an absolute must-read for dystopian fiction enthusiasts. So, buckle up and get ready to immerse yourself in these riveting narratives that will leave you pondering the eerie intersection of power, technology, and human nature.


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1. Several People Are Typing by Calvin Kasulke:


"Several People Are Typing" offers a unique and interactive reading experience, presenting the story through a series of chatroom conversations. Set in a not-so-distant future, the novel takes place within a massive tech corporation where employees communicate solely through digital messages. As you dive into the chatlogs, you'll uncover the intricacies of corporate life, the power struggles, and the hidden agendas that lurk behind every email. This innovative storytelling format sheds light on the modern world of virtual communication and the sometimes alarming ease with which individuals can be manipulated. In a society where genuine human connections are scarce, "Several People Are Typing" challenges our perceptions of technology's impact on corporate dynamics and personal relationships.




2. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood:


In "Oryx and Crake," Margaret Atwood paints a haunting vision of a future world dominated by powerful biotech corporations. The story follows Snowman, a man who appears to be the last human survivor in a post-apocalyptic landscape. As he navigates the remnants of civilization, he reflects on his past life and the events that led to the collapse of society. Atwood's narrative masterfully weaves together themes of corporate greed, unchecked scientific advancements, and the devastating consequences of tampering with nature. "Oryx and Crake" is a thought-provoking and cautionary tale that forces readers to confront the ethical dilemmas surrounding corporate power and its impact on humanity.




3. "The Warehouse" by Rob Hart:


Step into a world where a powerful tech corporation has become the epicenter of all economic activity. In "The Warehouse," three individuals find themselves drawn into the company's sinister workings. As Zinnia, an employee tasked with surveillance, Paxton, a new hire, and Gibson, a corporate spy, navigate the secretive world of the company, they uncover disturbing truths about its true intentions. Rob Hart's dystopian thriller serves as a chilling commentary on the consequences of corporate monopolies and the loss of individuality in the face of corporate control. With themes of corporate surveillance, consumerism, and the erosion of personal freedom, "The Warehouse" is a gripping and thought-provoking read that will leave you questioning the real-life implications of corporate dominance.




4. Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling:


In the satirical masterpiece "Qualityland," Marc-Uwe Kling presents a dystopian future where powerful algorithms dictate every aspect of life. In a society where corporate AI's know their citizens better than they know themselves, protagonist Peter Jobless finds himself in a unique predicament when the system erroneously assigns him a perfect romantic match. As he embarks on a journey to return the unwanted package, he inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events that challenges the foundations of the seemingly perfect society. With wit and humor, "Qualityland" explores the dangers of unchecked corporate algorithms and the loss of human agency in a world driven by data-driven decisions.




5. "Company" by Max Barry:


"Company" delves into the dark and disturbing realities of corporate life. In a futuristic world where corporations have transformed into powerful entities with sinister motives, the novel centers around Stephen Jones, a new recruit at the mysterious "Company." As Stephen's idealism is gradually eroded, he becomes entangled in the company's malevolent workings, questioning the true nature of his employer and the sinister secrets they are hiding. Max Barry's gripping narrative delves into the psychological impact of corporate culture on individuals, blurring the line between loyalty and self-preservation. "Company" is a thought-provoking and unnerving exploration of the depths to which corporate influence can shape human behavior and morality.




6. The Circle by David Eggers:


In "The Circle," David Eggers presents a chilling vision of a world where a powerful tech corporation seeks to create a unified digital identity for every individual. The protagonist, Mae Holland, lands a dream job at the Circle, a prestigious tech company with a global reach. As Mae climbs the corporate ladder, she witnesses the unsettling implications of unchecked corporate surveillance on personal privacy and society as a whole. The novel is a thought-provoking exploration of the consequences of corporate dominance and the erosion of personal autonomy in an age of ubiquitous technology. As the Circle's vision of a transparent society unfolds, readers are left contemplating the price of constant connectivity and the loss of personal boundaries in a corporate-driven world.




7. Severance by Ling Ma:


Ling Ma's "Severance" presents a post-apocalyptic tale of a corporate-induced epidemic that devastates the world's population. The story follows Candace Chen, an employee at a Bible manufacturer who finds herself struggling to survive in the aftermath of the apocalypse. As Candace reflects on her past corporate life and the monotony of modern work culture, she is faced with a new kind of survival in a desolate landscape. The novel cleverly intertwines themes of consumerism and corporate culture with a poignant meditation on identity and the search for meaning in a society that has lost its way. "Severance" is a compelling and haunting exploration of the human spirit and the enduring will to persevere in the face of corporate-inflicted chaos.




8. Infomocracy by Malka Older:


In a near-future world dominated by a global micro-democracy, "Infomocracy" takes readers on a thrilling journey through a society where corporate interests vie for control over information and public opinion. Protagonist Mishima is part of an organization responsible for facilitating elections, but as the day approaches, chaos ensues, and the true nature of corporate-driven politics is revealed. Malka Older's riveting novel explores the intense competition between corporations to influence global affairs, and the complexities of navigating a world where information is power. "Infomocracy" is a timely and thought-provoking examination of the corporate influence on democracy and the delicate balance between the quest for truth and the pursuit of power.




9. "Please Be Advised" by Christine Sneed:


In this collection of poignant short stories, Christine Sneed provides a candid and insightful glimpse into the lives of individuals navigating the corporate landscape. Each story presents a unique perspective on the sacrifices and compromises made in the pursuit of success and belonging within the corporate world. From the young employee striving to make a name for themselves to the seasoned professional facing the pressures of corporate culture, "Please Be Advised" delves into the human experience within the confines of corporate life. With emotional depth and authenticity, Sneed's stories shed light on the complexities of human relationships and the impact of corporate dynamics on personal lives.




10. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson:


Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk classic, "Snow Crash," immerses readers in a future America where powerful corporations wield immense influence over society, both in the virtual and physical realms. In this action-packed narrative, Hiro Protagonist, a hacker and pizza delivery driver, stumbles upon a dangerous drug called Snow Crash that infects the minds of those who encounter it in the virtual world. As Hiro delves deeper into the mystery, he uncovers a corporate conspiracy that threatens to change the course of humanity forever. With its fast-paced plot and mind-bending exploration of virtual reality and corporate control, "Snow Crash" remains a thrilling and influential work in the cyberpunk genre.




11. The Room by Jonas Karlsson:


In this quirky and thought-provoking novella, Jonas Karlsson introduces readers to protagonist Björn, a mild-mannered office worker who discovers a mysterious room at his new job. This seemingly ordinary room, which no one else seems to notice, becomes an escape from the mundanity of corporate life. As Björn spends more time in the room, he is increasingly drawn into a bureaucratic nightmare that challenges his sanity and perception of reality. With humor and keen observation, "The Room" provides a clever commentary on the absurdities of corporate life and the human need for both conformity and escape.




12. The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells:


In "The Murderbot Diaries," Martha Wells introduces readers to an endearing protagonist: Murderbot, a sentient artificial intelligence with human emotions. In a world dominated by corporate interests and oppressive control, Murderbot grapples with its identity and autonomy, while navigating a complex web of corporate machinations and dangerous missions. As the series unfolds, readers accompany Murderbot on its journey of self-discovery, forging emotional connections with human allies and questioning the true essence of humanity. The Murderbot Diaries offer a gripping exploration of artificial intelligence, individuality, and the struggle for independence in a world driven by corporate greed.




13. Market Forces by Richard Morgan:


Set in a future where corporations engage in deadly road duels to secure lucrative contracts, "Market Forces" follows Chris Faulkner as he navigates the ruthless world of corporate combat to advance his career. Richard Morgan's thrilling narrative combines elements of high-octane action and corporate intrigue to create a compelling tale that delves into the consequences of a society driven by violent corporate competition. As Chris faces the moral implications of his choices and the personal toll of corporate ambition, "Market Forces" serves as a powerful commentary on the human cost of corporate dominance and the lengths to which individuals will go to succeed.




14. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris:


Set during the dot-com bust, Joshua Ferris' darkly comedic novel "Then We Came to the End" centers on the employees of an ad agency on the brink of collapse. The collective voice of the office workers provides a candid portrayal of the human condition under the pressures of corporate culture. As layoffs loom, tensions rise, and the future of the company becomes uncertain, Ferris explores themes of corporate identity, the dynamics of office politics, and the impact of corporate downsizing on individuals. With humor and keen observation, "Then We Came to the End" offers a poignant reflection on the fragile nature of corporate life and the bonds that form within its walls.




15. "Jennifer Government" by Max Barry:


In "Jennifer Government," Max Barry presents a satirical take on a future world where corporations hold unimaginable power over society. In this darkly comedic tale, individuals adopt the surnames of their employers, symbolizing their complete surrender to corporate interests. When Hack Nike, a low-level employee, is assigned to track down and kill those responsible for a failed marketing campaign, the novel humorously explores themes of consumerism, brand loyalty, and individual agency. "Jennifer Government" is a clever and thought-provoking exploration of the consequences of unchecked corporate power and its impact on personal identity.



Conclusion:


The world of corporate dystopia is a captivating and thought-provoking realm, filled with stories that mirror the complexities of our own corporate-dominated reality. Each book on this list offers a unique and compelling perspective on the consequences of unchecked corporate power, the erosion of individuality, and the struggle for survival in a world driven by profit. From innovative storytelling to riveting action, these 15 ridiculously good corporate dystopia books are a must-read for anyone seeking to explore the darker side of society and the human spirit. So, pick up a book from this list, immerse yourself in these haunting narratives, and embark on a literary journey that will leave you questioning the intersection of power, technology, and the human experience. Happy reading!

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