I am just now reading "The Machine Stops," a short story (novella?) by Forster written in 1909. This dystopian piece would be a wonderful conversation starter among my students, as it warns of a world where humanity is isolated in small underground cells. The hive of cells is fully automated, with tubes supplying the individual's physical needs and electronic media providing the means for communication ("intercourse," per the text). The story is remarkably relevant to today's electronically isolated teens.
I am looking for other literature to include in a literary unit. An Emerson essay suggests that man never progresses -- for each advancement, man loses something else of equal importance. Other than 1984 or the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Vonnegut, what can someone suggest for comparison?