What to read after The Handmaid's Tale


The Handmaid's Tale is a classic of both feminist and dystopian SF, and has inspired a film adaptation and a teevee miniseries. If you've never read it, go and do that right now, but if you’ve already done that and are looking for other books to read that are similar in theme or message, here are ten that will scratch near that itch.

They range in their connection-points - most of the selections involve gender and oppression in some way, many are near-future dystopian novels in which women are segregated and subjugated, forced into baroque reproductive practices, there are some feminist SF novels that subvert the typical power structures, but they pretty much all share the theme of the struggle to preserve dignity and humanity in the face of a tyranny intent on whittling away the most basic human rights.

I tried to stay away from the obvious matches - all those classics of feminist/gender-themed SF that are already known far and wide. If you are new to the genre, but intrigued enough by the recent popularity of the show to explore further, these titles are easily found using the Wiki and Google conveniences, but I could also curate a separate and much larger list to feature them if that would please the Riffle community.

For now, here are 10 books that branch off from The Handmaid’s Tale tree.