We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, translated by Clarence Brown / ISBN 9780241458747 / 258-page paperback from Penguin Classics
'The best single work of science fiction yet written' Ursula K. Le Guin
The dystopian masterwork that inspired George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, We depicts a futuristic totalitarian society, 'OneState', where humans have become numbers. Suppressed in Russia for decades, it is a chilling vision of a world enslaved by technology.
Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937) was a naval engineer by profession and writer by vocation, who made himself an enemy of the Tsarist government by being a Bolshevik, and an enemy of the Soviet government by insisting that human beings have absolute creative freedom. He wrote short stories, plays and essays, but his masterpiece is We, written in 1920-21 and soon thereafter translated into most of the languages of the world.
'Zamyatin's parable looked forward to climate change and surveillance culture ... to peer into its future is to see modernity's reflection gazing darkly back' Economist