While it made sense to write books where new civilizations were discovered early on, modern readers struggle to believe in finding societies that they were completely unaware of. Given this, it made more sense to play with time instead of space. The near-future allows authors to visualize political slippery slopes, showing readers where current policies may one day lead.
These types of dystopian literature often feature currently-existing countries, depicting where they may end up if things aren't changed now. Even if the nations we know of are gone, their actions are often integral to the creation of the dystopian world. Therefor, the books provide a clear call to action for readers to change things in their own world.
While there may be futuristic technologies depicted, those are not what makes for such a dangerous society. Instead, near-future dystopias deal with human nature and how people can be twisted by monstrous laws and ideologies.
- We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
- The Iron Heel by Jack London
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- American War: A Novel by Omar El Akkad