© 2017

Cold War Stories

British Dystopian Fiction, 1945-1990

  • This is the first comprehensive study of modern British dystopian fiction

  • Addresses dystopian concerns which are rarely studied in scholarship

  • Argues that the British dystopian tradition evolved out of specific features of national experience, such as Britain’s engagement in the Cold War, the nation’s loss of global prestige and the declining status of literature in national culture


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. Andrew Hammond
    Pages 1-28
  3. Andrew Hammond
    Pages 29-62
  4. Andrew Hammond
    Pages 63-95
  5. Andrew Hammond
    Pages 97-133
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 135-168

About this book


This book is the first comprehensive study of mainstream British dystopian fiction and the Cold War. Drawing on over 200 novels and collections of short stories, the monograph explores the ways in which dystopian texts charted the lived experiences of the period, offering an extended analysis of authors’ concerns about the geopolitical present and anxieties about the national future. Amongst the topics addressed are the processes of Cold War (autocracy, militarism, propaganda, intelligence, nuclear technologies), the decline of Britain’s standing in global politics and the reduced status of intellectual culture in Cold War Britain. Although the focus is on dystopianism in the work of mainstream authors, including George Orwell, Doris Lessing, J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter and Anthony Burgess, a number of science-fiction novels are also discussed, making the book relevant to a wide range of researchers and students of twentieth-century British literature.


William Golding C.S. Lewis Raymond Williams Salman Rushdie Roald Dahl totalitarianism technology religion gender

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities, Falmer CampusUniversity of BrightonBrightonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Andrew Hammond is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Brighton, UK. His research interests are Cold War fiction, twentieth-century British fiction, postcolonial literature and theory and cross-cultural representation. Previous publications include The Novel and Europe (editor, 2016), British Fiction and the Cold War (2013) and British Literature and the Balkans (2010).

Bibliographic information


“There are interesting snippets of cultural history—secret service espionage, fear of Soviet invasion, the growth of the European Economic Community—and I learned a lot.” (Andrew M. Butler, Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 46, 2019)