Dystopian literature is a medium through which we can make sense of our present by contemplating our future. It’s also a popular medium through which teenagers work out their confused hormones and pretend that multiple people want to sleep with them. But very rarely does dystopia reflect reality. We do not compete in a Hunger Games, nor do we do whatever it was they did in those fifty other novels that were trying to make money off of the back of The Hunger Games. But sometimes, a dystopia gets it so right that you can only scream ‘Holy shit’ at the book for two hours and then pass out. Here are some of those dystopias who predicted the future with eerie accuracy.
Gulliver’s Travels Perfectly Predicted That Time That Tiny People Came Into My Apartment and Tied Me Up
The oldest entry on this list, Taylor Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels features a scene in which the eponymous hero is captured and tied to the ground by the Lilliputians, a group of very small people. This scene eerily came to pass in 2009 when I was moving house, and hired movers to help me. But when they arrived, none of them were above five feet tall. They weren’t… I don’t know the PC word… ‘like Tyrion Lannister’. Just really short. Realising that I couldn’t rely on them to move my things, I tried to dismiss them. They proceeded to beat me and tie me to the bed until I agreed to give them money. In this way, Gulliver’s Travels eerily predicted the future. Wow! Was Swift a psychic!? But it gets even weirder.
The Shape of Things to Come Perfectly Predicted That Time That An Airline Pilot Subdued Me With Sleeping Gas
Ok, ok, a bit of a cheat, since H.G. Wells didn’t see The Shape of Things to Come as a dystopia. But come on! Plague wipes out most of humanity, and then a group of moustachioed pilots who call themselves ‘The Dictatorship of the Air’ come along and start imposing their ‘rational rule’ on everybody. They abolish religion, and in one scene, knock out the Pope with sleeping gas and exile him to South America. Something exactly the same happened to me on an overbooked flight to Iceland in 2011. It was a proto-United Airlines incident. Icelandic Air had overbooked, and they chose me to leave the plane. But when I resisted, I wasn’t met with burly security guards who beat me and dragged me away. The Icelandic are merciful, and so the pilot just hit me with sleeping gas and threw me out onto the runway. It’s uncanny how Wells predicted this. Was he a psychic!? But wait, it gets even more weirder.
Brave New World Perfectly Predicted That Time That I was Exiled to the Falkland Islands for Destroying a Shipment of Drugs
Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel is used as a standard bearer for dystopian fiction predicting stuff. Whether it’s hatching humans in factories, the world state that oversees them, or the eugenic breeding that separates humans into castes, not one of Brave New World’s predictions have come to pass. But we are able to cling on to the fact that the drug ‘soma’ sort of resembles anti-depressants, even though it doesn’t and it’s borderline offensive to imply that. Based on this assumption, I’m thinking of the part of the book where John ‘the Savage’ destroys a shipment of soma, and is helped by Helmholtz Watson. Helmholtz is subsequently exiled to the Falkland Islands for his transgressions, where he must live outside of the world state. This scene eerily happened to me in 2013 when I ran into a pharmacy and knocked all of the drugs off of the shelves and said ‘Try organising them again now pill-jockeys’, before running straight into an off-duty policeman. A judge then sentenced me to exile in the Falkland Islands for my crimes. My exile was only three months, as opposed to a lifetime, but it was still perfectly predicted by Huxley, and it freaked me the hell out. Was he a psychic? But it gets even much more weirdlier.
Animal Farm Perfectly Predicted that Time Pigs Took Over My Farm, But Then Betrayed the Other Animals By Subjugating Them Even Though They Had Promised Equality for All Animals
Most people would choose Nineteen Eighty-Four if they were going for a George Orwell dystopia, but that would be a terrible choice. Nothing about that novel came true. While 1984 in the novel saw a brutal dictatorship consolidating eternal power, 1984 in real life saw Elizabeth Dole appointed as Secretary of Transportation. It was boring. Animal Farm is a much safer bet, in which a group of communist animals take over a farm, and then the pigs make themselves the leaders. This exact thing happened to me when I owned a farm back in 2015, and the pigs staged a revolt by locking me in the coal shed and establishing a proletarian state. But the same thing happened as had happened in Animal Fam,. The pigs went too far, and one was Stalin. By the time I got out, the dictatorship had collapsed and the pigs had been overthrown by unscrupulous billionaires and a steely eyed lunatic who had been trained by the KGB. Was Orwell psychic!? But wait, it gets even much more slightly weirder.
War and Peace Perfectly Predicted the Napoleonic Wars Fifty Years After They Ended
I’ve never read War and Peace, because it’s stupid long, and nineteenth century Russian authors are generally depressing as hell. But I am aware of its plot kind of. Russian people being affected by war. The Napoleonic War in this case. That’s right, Tolstoy’s novel predicted that war just fifty years after it ended. Crazy right? Was he a psychic? I suppose we’ll never know!
Just how did these authors have such an uncanny ability to see the future? Were they psychic? I don’t know, but if I know anything, it’s that the dystopias of today could be predicting the events of tomorrow. So don’t turn your nose up at dystopia, even though about 90% of them are clichéd as hell. They may just save your life one day.