List of utopian literature

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This is a list of utopian literature. A utopia is a community or society possessing highly desirable or perfect qualities. It is a common literary theme, especially in speculative fiction and science fiction.

Pre-16th century[edit]

The word "utopia" was coined in Greek language by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, but the genre has roots dating back to antiquity.

16th-17th centuries[edit]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

A Crystal Age, by W.H. Hudson (1906 edition cover)

20th-21st centuries[edit]

  • NEQUA or The Problem of the Ages by Jack Adams – A feminist utopian science fiction novel printed in Topeka, Kansas in 1900.
  • Sultana's Dream (1905) by Begum Rokeya - A Bengali feminist Utopian story about Lady-Land.
  • A Modern Utopia (1905) by H. G. Wells – An imaginary, progressive utopia on a planetary scale in which the social and technological environment are in continuous improvement, a world state owns all land and power sources, positive compulsion and physical labor have been all but eliminated, general freedom is assured, and an open, voluntary order of "samurai" rules.[27]
  • Beatrice the Sixteenth by Irene Clyde – A time traveller discovers a lost world, which is an egalitarian utopian postgender society.[28]
  • Red Star (novel) (1908) Red Star (Russian: Красная звезда) is Alexander Bogdanov's 1908 science fiction novel about a communist society on Mars. The first edition was published in St. Petersburg in 1908, before eventually being republished in Moscow and Petrograd in 1918, and then again in Moscow in 1922.
  • The Millennium: A Comedy of the Year 2000 by Upton Sinclair. A novel in which capitalism finds its zenith with the construction of The Pleasure Palace. During the grand opening of this, an explosion kills everybody in the world except eleven of the people at the Pleasure Palace. The survivors struggle to rebuild their lives by creating a capitalistic society. After that fails, they create a successful utopian society "The Cooperative Commonwealth," and live happily forever after.[29]
  • Herland (1915) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – An isolated society of women who reproduce asexually has established an ideal state that reveres education and is free of war and domination.
  • The New Moon: A Romance of Reconstruction (1918) by Oliver Onions[30]
  • The Islands of Wisdom (1922) by Alexander Moszkowski – In the novel various utopian and dystopian islands that embody social-political ideas of European philosophy are explored. The philosophies are taken to their extremes for their absurdities when they are put into practice. It also features an "island of technology" which anticipates mobile telephones, nuclear energy, a concentrated brief-language that saves discussion time and a thorough mechanization of life.
  • Men Like Gods (1923) by H. G. Wells – Men and women in an alternative universe without world government in a perfected state of anarchy ("Our education is our government," a Utopian named Lion says;[31]) sectarian religion, like politics, has died away, and advanced scientific research flourishes; life is governed by "the Five Principles of Liberty," which are privacy, freedom of movement, unlimited knowledge, truthfulness, and freedom of discussion and criticism.[citation needed]
  • Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton - The mythical community of Shangri-La
  • War with the Newts (1936) by Karel Čapek – Satirical science fiction novel.[citation needed]
  • For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs (1938, published in 2003) by Robert A. Heinlein – A futuristic utopian novel explaining practical views on love, freedom, drive, government and economics.[citation needed]
  • Islandia (1942) by Austin Tappan Wright – An imaginary island in the Southern Hemisphere, a utopia containing many Arcadian elements, including a policy of isolation from the outside world and a rejection of industrialism.[citation needed]
  • Walden Two (1948) by B. F. Skinner – A community in which every aspect of living is put to rigorous scientific testing. A professor and his colleagues question the effectiveness of the community started by an eccentric man named T.E. Frazier.[citation needed]
  • Childhood's End (1954) by Arthur C. Clarke – Alien beings guide humanity towards a more economically productive and technologically advanced society, allowing humans to broaden their mental capacities.[citation needed]
  • Island (1962) by Aldous Huxley – Follows the story of Will Farnaby, a cynical journalist, who shipwrecks on the fictional island of Pala and experiences their unique culture and traditions which create a utopian society.[citation needed]
  • Eutopia (1967) by Poul Anderson
  • The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974) by Ursula K. Le Guin - Is set between a pair of planets: one that like Earth today is dominated by private property, nation states, gender hierarchy, and war, and the other an anarchist society without private property.
  • Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston (1975) by Ernest CallenbachEcological utopia in which the Pacific Northwest has seceded from the union to set up a new society.[32]
  • Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) by Marge Piercy – The story of a middle-aged Hispanic woman who has visions of two alternative futures, one utopian and the other dystopian.[33]
  • The Probability Broach (1980) by L. Neil Smith – A libertarian or anarchic utopia[34]
  • Voyage from Yesteryear (1982) by James P. Hogan – A post-scarcity economy where money and material possessions are meaningless.[35]
  • Bolo'Bolo (1983) by Hans Widmer published under his pseudonym P.M. – An anarchist utopian world organised in communities of around 500 people
  • Always Coming Home (1985) by Ursula K. Le Guin – A combination of fiction and fictional anthropology about a society in California in the distant future.[citation needed]
  • Pacific Edge (1990) by Kim Stanley Robinson – Set in El Modena, California in 2065, the story describes a transformation process from the late twentieth century to an ecologically sane future.[36]
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing (1993) by Starhawk – A post-apocalyptic novel depicting two societies, one a sustainable economy based on social justice, and its neighbor, a militaristic and intolerant theocracy.[citation needed]
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997) by Arthur C. Clarke – Describes human society in 3001 as seen by an astronaut who was frozen for a thousand years.
  • Aria (2001-2008) by Kozue Amano – A manga and anime series set on terraformed version of the planet Mars in the 24th century. The main character, Akari, is a trainee gondolier working in the city of Neo-Venezia, based on modern day Venice.[citation needed]
  • Manna (2003) by Marshall Brain – Essay that explores several issues in modern information technology and user interfaces, including some around transhumanism. Some of its predictions, like the proliferation of automation and AI in the fast food industry, are becoming true years later. Second half of the book describes perfect Utopian society.[37]
  • Uniorder: Build Yourself Paradise (2014), by Joe Oliver. Essay on how to build the Utopia of Thomas More by using computers.[38]
  • The Culture series by Iain M. Banks – a science fiction series released from 1987 through 2012. The stories centre on The Culture, a utopian, post-scarcity space society of humanoid aliens, and advanced superintelligent artificial intelligences living in artificial habitats. The main theme is of the dilemmas that an idealistic, more-advanced civilization faces in dealing with smaller, less-advanced civilizations that do not share its ideals, and whose behaviour it sometimes finds barbaric. In some of the stories action takes place mainly in non-Culture environments, and the leading characters are often on the fringes of (or non-members of) the Culture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1945). History of Western Philosophy. Simon & Schuster. p. 97. ISBN 978-0671314002.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Claeys, Gregory, ed. (2010). The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139828420.
  3. ^ Bobonich, Chris; Meadows, Katherine (21 March 2013). "Plato on utopia". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  4. ^ Pinheiro, Marilia P. Futre. (2006). Utopia and Utopias: a Study on a Literary Genre in Antiquity. In Authors, Authority and Interpreters in the Ancient Novel. Groningen: Barkhuis. (pp. 147–171). ISBN 907792213X.
  5. ^ Winston, David (November 1976). "Iambulus' Islands of the Sun and Hellenistic Literary Utopias". Science Fiction Studies.
  6. ^ Palandri, Angela Jung (1988). "The Taoist Vision. A Study of T'ao Yuan-Ming's Nature Poetry" (PDF). Journal of Chinese Philosophy. 15: 17–121.
  7. ^ Bakhsh, Alireza Omid (2013). "The Virtuous City: The Iranian and Islamic Heritage of Utopianism". Utopian Studies. 24 (1): 41–51. doi:10.5325/utopianstudies.24.1.0041. S2CID 146706033.
  8. ^ Quilligan, Maureen (1991). The Allegory of Female Authority: Christine de Pizan's Cité Des Dames. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0801497884.
  9. ^ Sullivan, E. D. S., ed. (1983). The Utopian Vision: Seven Essays on the Quincentennial of Sir Thomas More. San Diego, CA: San Diego State University Press.
  10. ^ a b c d Davis, J. C. (1994). "Utopianism". In Burns, J. H. (ed.). The Cambridge History of Political Thought 1450-1700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521477727.
  11. ^ Grendler, Paul F. (1965). "Utopia in Renaissance Italy: Doni's "New World"". Journal of the History of Ideas. 26 (4): 479–494. doi:10.2307/2708495. JSTOR 2708495.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Appelbaum, Robert (2013). "Utopia and Utopianism". In Hadfield, Andrew (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of English Prose 1500-1640. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191655074.
  13. ^ René-Louis Doyon. (1933). Variations de l'Utopie.
  14. ^ Weinberger, J. (1976). "Science and Rule in Bacon's Utopia: An Introduction to the Reading of the New Atlantis". The American Political Science Review. 70 (3): 865–885. doi:10.2307/1959872. JSTOR 1959872.
  15. ^ Boesky, Amy (1995). "Nation, miscegenation: membering utopia in Henry Neville's The Isle of Pines". Texas Studies in Literature and Language. 37: 165–84.
  16. ^ Aviles, Miguel A. Ramiro (2012). "Sinapia, A Political Journal to the Antipodes of Spain". In Aviles, Miguel; Davis, J. C. (eds.). Utopian Moments: Reading Utopian Texts. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781849668217.
  17. ^ Lenski, Noel E. Utopia and Community in the Ancient World. p. 26. ISBN 9780549508687. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  18. ^ Utopian Literature in English: An Annotated Bibliography From 1516 to the Present, by Lyman Tower Sargent,
  19. ^ McDonald, Christie V (1976). "The Reading and Writing of Utopia in Denis Diderot's "Supplement au voyage de Bougainville"". Fiction Studies. 3 (3): 248–254.
  20. ^ Oved, Yaacov (1987). Two Hundred Years of American Communes. Transaction. p. 211. ISBN 9781412840552.
  21. ^ Kesten, Seymour R. (1996). Utopian Episodes: Daily Life in Experimental Colonies Dedicated to Changing the World. Syracuse University Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780815603818.
  22. ^ Pleijel, Agneta, "About Fredrika Bremer", Årstasällskapet för Fredrika Bremer-studier, retrieved 22 January 2016.
  23. ^ Novák, Caterina (31 December 2013). "Dreamers in dialogue: evolution, sex and gender in the utopian visions of William Morris and William Henry Hudson". Acta Neophilologica. 46 (1–2): 65–80. doi:10.4312/an.46.1-2.65-80.
  24. ^ "SparkNotes: Looking Backward: Analysis".
  25. ^ Gates, Barbara T. (ed.), In Nature's Name: An Anthology of Women's Writing and Illustration, 1780-1930 University of Chicago Press, 2002
  26. ^ Morris, William (2006) [1903]. The Earthly Paradise. Obscure Press. ISBN 1-84664-523-9.
  27. ^ H.G. Wells, A Modern Utopia, ed. Mark R. Hillegas (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1967).
  28. ^ "Clyde, Irene". SFE. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  29. ^ Sinclair, Upton (2017-12-19). The Millennium: A Comedy of the Year 2000. ISBN 9781609802615.
  30. ^ E. F. Bleiler and Richard Bleiler. Science-Fiction: The Early Years. Kent State University Press, 1990. (p.575-76). ISBN 9780873384162.
  31. ^ H. G. Wells, Men Like Gods, Book I, Ch. 5, Sect. 6.
  32. ^ Dennis Hevesi, "Ernest Callenbach, Author of ‘Ecotopia,’ Dies at 83", The New York Times, April 27, 2012.
  33. ^ Walton, Jo (21 September 2009). "Face or vase? Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time". Tor Books.
  34. ^ Van Belle, Douglas A. (2015). A Novel Approach to Politics: Introducing Political Science through Books, Movies, and Popular Culture. CQ Press. ISBN 9781483368481.
  35. ^ Fullbrook, Edward (2007). Real World Economics. Anthem Press. ISBN 9781843313458.
  36. ^ BOOM A Journal of California, "The Boom interview: Kim Stanley Robinson", "Boom" Winter 2013, Vol. 3, No. 4, Interview conducted by Jon Christensen, Jan Goggans, and Ursula K. Heise.
  37. ^ Manna – the book integral text on Marshall Brain's website
  38. ^ Entry on the Japanese National Diet Library: