A dystopia (from Ancient Greek “bad” and “place”) is an imaginary place where everything is as bad as it can be. Though several earlier usages are known, dystopia was used as an antonym for Utopia by John Stuart Mill in one of his Parliamentary Speeches in 1868. Mill denounced the government’s Irish land policy: “It is, perhaps, too complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather to be called dys-topians, or caco-topians. What is commonly called Utopian is something too good to be practicable; but what they appear to favour is too bad to be practicable.”


Skyboat is proud to partner with Blackstone Publishing to produce The Dystopia Triptych audiobooks. Original stories from 17 of the best science fiction authors working today. A team of 3 superstar editors with impeccable track records. A cast of 11 talented narrators ready to bring these stories to life. An editing & proofing team dedicated to fulfilling the authors’ visions. This is an audiobook experience you won’t want to miss.

The Dystopia Triptych explores all sorts of dystopias, some of which don’t seem too far from reality as we know it. From societies torn apart by racism and classism, to multi-dimensional colonialism and gun violence, to AI worker unions and lack of mental and bodily autonomy, the writers of The Dystopia Triptych question the nature of our humanity and respond to injustices and imbalances in our current socio-economic reality.

Left: John Joseph Adams
Top: Hugh Howey
Bottom: Christie Yant

Edited by John Joseph Adams (whom you may know from the Hugo-Award winning Lightspeed magazine/podcast, the Nightmare magazine/podcast, or from his earlier anthologies Wastelands and The Apocalypse Triptych), Hugh Howey (New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the WOOL series and the award-winning Molly Fyde saga, who wrote introductions to all three books, as well as the “Inheritors” stories), and Christie Yant (whose writing has been featured in magazines such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, and Fireside Magazine and in the anthologies The Way of the Wizard, Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2011, and Armored), The Dystopia Triptych features original stories from some of the best science fiction authors working today. (Drum roll please…)

Authors in order of appearance: Carrie Vaughn, Tim Pratt, Rich Larson, Cadwell Turnbull, Karin Lowachee, Adam-Troy Castro, Caroline M. Yoachim, Hugh Howey, An Owomoyela, Seanan McGuire, Dominica Phetteplace, Alex Irvine, Tobias S. Buckell, Scott Sigler, Darcie Little Badger, Violet Allen, and Merc Fenn Wolfmoor.

And who could have known that in the midst of recording we would be in a dystopia of our own, communicating solely through our technological devices and facelessly sending files and emojis back and forth? Not any of the authors of these stories, and certainly not the team here at Skyboat! Fortunately these stories, while dark and haunting pictures of possible futures, also offer us hope even as the world seems to go haywire all around us.

Skyboat’s Stefan Rudnicki on The Dystopia Triptych: “These are among the best stories we’ve ever done. Powerful, relevant, engaged.” 

Our three editors, eleven narrators, and seventeen authors learned new ways of communication and collaborated remotely in order to bring this truly unique project into being and we can’t wait for you to hear it!

The first two collections, Ignorance is Strength and Burn the Ashes, paint bleak pictures of worlds falling apart, but the third collection, Or Else the Light shows us what can happen when we come together (spiritually, not physically of course) and think beyond the day-to-day to bring to fruition a world better than our own. Each author’s set of stories carries through from book to book to take you on a unique journey through what dystopia means to them.

Our amazing narrators (in alphabetical order) Paul Boehmer, Gabrielle de Cuir, Susan Hanfield, Janina Edwards, Justine Eyre, Kathe Mazur, Emily Rankin, John Rubinstein, Stefan Rudnicki, Mirron Willis, and Judy Young, will be your faithful guides on this incredible and epic journey to the brink and back again.


The Dystopia Triptych is a series of three anthologies of dystopian fiction. Ignorance is Strength—before the dystopia—focuses on society during its descent into absurdity and madness. Burn the Ashes—during the dystopia—turns its attention to life during the strangest, most dire times. Or Else the Light—after the dystopia—concludes the saga with each author sharing their own vision of how we as a society might crawl back from the precipice of despair.

Book 1: Ignorance is Strength

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” 

George Orwell once wrote of a world where abuse of power begins with an abuse of language and a bastardization of truth. Some of today’s most exciting voices in speculative fiction explore the ramifications of those ideas in Ignorance is Strength

Ignorance is Strength features all-new, never-before-published works by the following authors, in order of appearance: Carrie Vaughn, Tim Pratt, Rich Larson, Cadwell Turnbull, Karin Lowachee, Adam-Troy Castro, Caroline M. Yoachim, Hugh Howey, An Owomoyela, Seanan McGuire, Dominica Phetteplace, Alex Irvine, Tobias S. Buckell, Scott Sigler, Darcie Little Badger, Violet Allen, and Merc Fenn Wolfmoor.

Listen to a sample of Gabrielle reading Carrie Vaughn’s “We Take Care of Everything: The Department of Talent Resources” here.

Full Contents:

Introduction by Hugh Howey – read by Paul Boehmer

We Take Care of Everything: The Department of Talent Resources by Carrie Vaughn – read by Gabrielle de Cuir

Glasslands by Tim Pratt – read by Susan Hanfield

Animals Like Me by Rich Larson – read by Janina Edwards

Glass Houses by Cadwell Turnbull – read by Mirron Willis

Lyceum by Karin Lowachee – read by Justine Eyre

The Truth About the Boy by Adam-Troy Castro – read Justine Eyre

The Shadow Prison Experiment by Caroline M. Yoachim – read by Susan Hanfield

Inheritors by Hugh Howey – read by Janina Edwards

The Oracle of Exile by An Owomoyela – read by Mirron Willis

Opt-In by Seanan McGuire- read by Gabrielle de Cuir

One Thousand Beetles in a Jumpsuit by Dominica Phetteplace – read by Judy Young

Red Sky at Morning by Alex Irvine – read by Emily Rankin

Idle Hands by Tobias S. Buckell – read by Stefan Rudnicki

The Love by Scott Sigler – read by Justine Eyre

The Orphan of Greenridge (Water) by Darcie Little Badger – read by Justine Eyre

Mister Dawn, How Can You Be So Cruel? by Violet Allen – read by Kathe Mazur

Trust in the Law, For the Law Trusts in You by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor – read by Stefan Rudnicki


Book 2: Burn the Ashes

“We burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes.”

In Ray Bradbury’s FAHRENHEIT 451, that’s the motto of the Firemen who hunted down and burned books wherever they found them. Bradbury warned of a world where our literary history is taken from us. In Burn the Ashes, some of the best science fiction authors working today continue to explore the dystopic worlds they introduced in Ignorance is Strength.

Burn the Ashes features all-new, never-before-published works by the following authors, in order of appearance: Carrie Vaughn, Tim Pratt, Rich Larson, Cadwell Turnbull, Karin Lowachee, Adam-Troy Castro, Caroline M. Yoachim, Hugh Howey, An Owomoyela, Seanan McGuire, Dominica Phetteplace, Alex Irvine, Tobias S. Buckell, Scott Sigler, Darcie Little Badger, Violet Allen, and Merc Fenn Wolfmoor.

Listen to a sample of Paul Boehmer reading the introduction by Hugh Howey here.

Full Contents:

Introduction by Hugh Howey – read by Paul Boehmer

We Take Care of Everything: Keep Your Streak Going! by Carrie Vaughn –read by Gabrielle de Cuir

Cacophony by Tim Pratt – read by Stefan Rudnicki

Our Lady of Perpetual Disdain by Rich Larson – read by Stefan Rudnicki

Sand Castles by Cadwell Turnbull – read by Mirron Willis

Survival Guide by Karin Lowachee – read by Paul Boehmer

The Proscribed Words by Adam-Troy Castro – read by Stefan Rudnicki

Shadow Prisons of the Mind by Caroline M. Yoachim – read by Susan Hanfield

Inheritors of the Curse by Hugh Howey – read by Mirron Willis

You Cannot Push Back the Sky by An Owomoyela – read by Mirron Willis

Conscription by Seanan McGuire – read by Gabrielle de Cuir

Paradise Requires a Wall by Dominica Phetteplace – read by Stefan Rudnicki

Print the Legend by Alex Irvine – read by Emily Rankin

The Fruits of Their Labor by Tobias S. Buckell – read by Stefan Rudnicki

The Hate by Scott Sigler – read by Justine Eyre

How to Use Your Visor Evacuation Helper to Escape an Active War Zone (Fire) by Darcie Little Badger – read by Janina Edwards

Our Motto: Do Not Wake Up by Violet Allen – read by Justine Eyre

Believe in the Law, For the Law is All by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor – read by Gabrielle de Cuir


Book 3: Or Else the Light

“Into the darkness within; or else the light…”

When Margaret Atwood wrote these words, she left open the possibility that even our darkest tales may harbor a glimmer of hope. In Or Else the Light, the third and final entry of The Dystopia Triptych, over a dozen of the best minds in science fiction conclude their stories with a descent into darkness, or perhaps a ray of light.

Or Else the Light features all-new, never-before-published works by the following authors, in order of appearance: Carrie Vaughn, Tim Pratt, Rich Larson, Cadwell Turnbull, Karin Lowachee, Adam-Troy Castro, Caroline M. Yoachim, Hugh Howey, An Owomoyela, Seanan McGuire, Dominica Phetteplace, Alex Irvine, Tobias S. Buckell, Scott Sigler, Darcie Little Badger, Violet Allen, and Merc Fenn Wolfmoor.

Listen to a sample of Paul Boehmer reading Hugh Howey’s introduction here.

Full Contents:

Introduction by Hugh Howey – read by Paul Boehmer

We Take Care of Everything: You Have Been Crowdfunded by Carrie Vaughn – read by Gabrielle de Cuir

Spheres and Harmonies by Tim Pratt – read by Justine Eyre

Failsafe by Rich Larson – read by John Rubinstein

Dresses by Cadwell Turnbull – ready by Janina Edwards

Sakura by Karin Lowachee – read by Stefan Rudnicki

Blood Relations by Adam-Troy Castro – read by Kathe Mazur

The Shadow Prisoner’s Dilemma by Caroline M. Yoachim – read by Susan Hanfield

Inheritors of the Earth by Hugh Howey – read by Janina Edwards and Mirron Willis

A Foreign-Born Heir by An Owomoyela – read by Mirron Willis

Recovery by Seanan McGuire – read by Gabrielle de Cuir

Human Country by Dominica Phetteplace – read by Judy Young

Blackberries by Alex Irvine – read by Emily Rankin

The Machine Votes by Tobias S. Buckell – read by Stefan Rudnicki

The Sadness & Joy by Scott Sigler – read by Justine Eyre

Making Faces (Earth) by Darcie Little Badger – read by Susan Hanfield

Why Can’t I Sleep a Little Longer? by Violet Allen – read by Emily Rankin

The Law is the Plan and the Plan is Death by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor – read by Stefan Rudnicki


The Dystopia Triptych audiobooks — Book 1: Ignorance is Strength, Book 2: Burn the Ashes, and Books 3: Or Else the Light — are now available for purchase! Start your journey today.

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