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Post-apocalyptic books allow the reader to imagine the end of the world safely. It allows us to look at what humanity would look after it inevitably ends, whether from nuclear war, disease, or environmental destruction. In the past two decades, post-apocalyptic books have become extremely popular. Here are some of the best post-apocalyptic books to ever exist.
Our top 5 recommendations for the Best Post Apocalyptic Books
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Severance by Ling Ma
Severance is a comedic post-apocalyptic novel written by Ling Ma. Shen Fever is a disease that slowly kills off civilization around the world. Ma writes about many different things in this novel, exploring ideas like monotony, nostalgia, office culture, relationships, etc.
It makes us wonder if Shen Fever is nothing more than nostalgia weaponized. Whatever it is, Candace is one of the few who remains immune, filming the destruction of New York City as it crumbles around her until she is compelled to run.
Severance: A Novel
Winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction
You might read this book for its wickedly serrated, apocalyptic humor: two driven young women continue to show up at their Manhattan publishing jobs even as they’re among the last people left in the city.
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
This story by Walter M. Miller spans over several thousand years, and the conclusion is that despite the safeguards taken by our forefathers, we will inevitably destroy the earth. The story focuses on the aftermath of nuclear war and how it wiped out most of civilization, leaving few survivors who became devout Luddites, purifying themselves of knowledge and murdering anyone who would share or spread it. The Albertian Order of Leibowitz monks were the only ones who could be trusted with science, and they promised to protect it until humanity is ready for it again.
A Canticle for Leibowitz Mass Market Paperback
Things we didn’t see coming by Steven Amsterdam
The narrator of this collection strives to survive in a society that is getting increasingly brutal as horrific events occur one after another. The opening story, “What We Know Now,” introduces us to the nine-year-old narrator, who leaves the city with his parents just as the year 2000 approaches. The remaining stories depict strange situations he faces in his no longer simple act of surviving. He tries to protect a squatter at a place with constant rainfall all year long, gets harassed and infected by a man suffering from virulent flu, and gives a job interview to an unstable accessor who can access all of his thoughts.
Who Fear Death by Nnedi Okorafor
This story is set in a post-apocalyptic Sudan and is a true fantasy novel. After the apocalypse, Onyesonwu was born in Sudan. She was known to be a child of rape and genocide because the country was in great turmoil. She works hard at gathering the courage to fight for her rights and talk about her trauma. During all these years, she hones her magical abilities to retaliate against her father. He is known to be a problematic man. The story talks about Onyesonwu’s journey at growing out of her damage and fighting back.
Who Fears Death
Blindness by Jose Saramago
An epidemic of “white blindness” sweeps through a city, affecting everyone. Authorities incarcerate the blind to an abandoned mental institution. Still, the criminal element holds everyone hostage, shoplifting, stealing food staples, and rapping women. However, there is one eyewitness to this nightmare. He leads seven strangers through the city’s empty streets to guide them over what is happening in their surroundings. Strangers include a boy without a mother, a girl with dark spectacles, and a dog of tears. As the story comes to an end, the procession becomes odd as the surroundings are terrifying.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Only a few survivors, along with Malorie and her children, remain five years after the trouble began. She has fantasized about leaving to a safe area while staying in an empty house by the river. It’s time for them to leave now that her kids are four years old. The journey forward, however, will be nothing short of terrifying. Thirty miles down the river in a blindfolded rowboat with nothing but her brains and the children’s tutored hearing to rely on. They will not survive if they make a terrible decision. And they’re being pursued by something. Is it a man, an animal, or a monster?
Bird Box: A Novel Editors' pick
Into the forest by Jean Hegland
Nell and Eva struggle to survive over 30 miles from the nearest town and several miles from their nearest neighbor. At the same time, society rots and crashes around them. There is no single event that heralds society’s demise. Even when there are rumors of war abroad and turmoil in congress, it comes as a surprise when the power goes out. The sisters deplete the remaining supplies in the house while waiting for the power to be restored. On the other hand, their transition to adulthood pushes them to reconsider their place in the world, as well as their relationships with one another.
The Dogs Stars by Peter Heller
Hig managed to survive the flu epidemic that claimed the lives of everyone he knew. His wife is deceased, and he now lives with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting cynic named Bangley in the hangar of a small abandoned airfield. However, when a random signal comes via his 1956 Cessna’s radio, it gives him faith that a better life exists outside their strictly restricted boundaries. So he takes a chance and flies past his point of no restore. Following its static-broken trail, he discovers something better and worse than anything he could have ever imagined.
The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries) Editors' pick
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The passage is an epic and thrilling tale of disaster and survival about Amy, abandoned by her mother when she was six years old. Later she was pursued and imprisoned by the shadowy individuals following a government investigation of apocalyptic proportions. The lawman ordered Special Agent Brad Wolgast to find her. He is taken aback by the strangely silent girl and risks everything to save her. Wolgast facilitates her escape as the investigation goes wrong. But he can’t stop society from collapsing. Amy is imbued with the horrifying awareness that only she has the power to save the damaged world as she goes alone over miles into a future laden with violence and sorrow.
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
This book is the secret to surviving the onslaught of zombies that may be stalking you right now. This book covers all you need to know about zombies, including how to understand their physiology and behavior, the most effective defense techniques and weaponry to use, how to prepare your home for a protracted siege, and how to survive and adjust in any region or terrain.
In addition, the Zombie Survival Guide gives lessons for surviving zombie attacks. For example, some of them state that ideal protection comes with tight clothes and short hair; your blades do not require reloading; you should keep moving, keep quiet, and keep alert.
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya
Benedikt isn’t one to grumble two hundred years after civilization came to an end in an event known as the Blast. He has a job. It is transcribing old literature and presenting them as the words of the great new leader. Tatyana writes The Slynx is a dystopian fantasy with many twists and turns. Benedikt is a normal human with no mutations. Hence he is hunted down by Saniturions.
The Children of Men by P.D James
The human race has become infertile over the years, and the most recent generation has reached adulthood. Suicide and despair are becoming more widespread, and civilization is disintegrating. Theodore Faron, an Oxford historian who is apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time remembering. Then, Julian, a brilliant, handsome woman, approaches him and asks him to assist her in obtaining an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her unexpected revolutionaries reawaken his desire to live. They also prove to be a key to humanity’s survival.
Wool by Hugh Howey
Men and women live in a world where they feel restrictions are in place to safeguard them. A community resides in a massive silo below, hundreds of stories deep, in a damaged and poisoned future. In this story, Sheriff Holston, who has faithfully enforced the silo’s laws for years, unintentionally breaks the most sacred of all taboos. He asks to walk outside. His fatal decision sets in motion a chain of dramatic events. Juliette, a mechanic with no legal experience with a remarkable flair for fixing machinery, is nominated to replace him. Juliette is about to be tasked with repairing the silo, and she will quickly discover just how her world is messed up. The silo will face something its history has only hinted at, and its residents have never dared to say.
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
Post-apocalyptic and dystopian books were very popular during the 1940s. After WW2, people started to think about what it would be like during societal downfall and widespread destruction. Born from this idea, Earth Abides begins with a disease that kills off most people. A grad student, Isherwood Williams, has managed to avoid this catastrophe, but civilization has collapsed when he emerges from hiding.
In search of other humans, Ish finds a woman and decides to have children with her. Emma and Ish start a new society without electronics or modern technology, reverting to a primitive lifestyle.
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Like Earth Abides, this book starts with a pandemic too. However, the disease doesn’t kill the population; instead, it turns them into vampires. These mutants hunt and infect other people.
Robert Neville is a scientist who is the only remaining hope for humanity. Robert is determined to find the cause of the disease and discover a cure. But, unfortunately, he has already lost his wife and daughter to the disease. Robert does find another survivor, Ruth, but she has her plan in mind.
I Am Legend Audible – Audible Audiobook Best Values
On the Beach by Nevil Shute
On the Beach is a novel that deals with the concept of nuclear fallout. The ‘beach’ in the title refers to Melbourne, Australia, one of the last few livable places on earth. However, even the people here will soon die of radiation poisoning.
This book takes a different scope on the genre, as many people are still alive. However, they know that they will die soon and must come to terms with the fact. This book highlights the different coping mechanisms of people, rather than just concentrating on the survival part of the apocalypse.
The Stand by Stephen King
Even though Stephen King was popular for writing supernatural horror, The Stand is an ambitious post-apocalyptic tale. The book is set in a world that is ravaged by a pandemic. This pandemic occurs due to a weaponized strain of influenza that kills over 99% of the people in contact with it. The book has an exciting twist that sets it apart from other post-apocalyptic stories.
Swan Song by Robert McCammon
A mixture of horror and post-apocalypse, The Swan song was published in 1987. Frequently compared to The Stand, Swan’s song is a novel that is set after a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the US. Very few people survive and are left with the task of facing a scorched landscape. Additionally, fighting evil warriors, mutated animals, and starvation. This novel is not meant for the faint of heart and is very dark.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
A classic post-apocalyptic book, this book is eerily similar to what everyone has been through during the COVID 19 pandemic. Station Eleven tells the story of a woman in the early stages of the ‘Georgia flu.’ This flu strain is swine flu that is deadly, killing most of the population in 20 years. Kristine is part of a theatre troupe in this post-pandemic world. So while the book is a post-apocalyptic book, it’s also a book about people and how they preserve themselves.
One Second After by William R. Forstchen
This novel makes our worst nightmare come true, taking out all forms of electricity. An electromagnetic pulse attack renders anything that runs on electricity futile. Things include water systems, all forms of transport, generators; therefore, many people are stood with little to no water, food, or other viable resources.
The tale takes a twisted turn when people try to maintain order in these touch times.
Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
Metro 2033 is written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. The book is set in the Moscow metro, where people have lived after a nuclear holocaust. A military officer, Sukhoi, saves baby Artyom from a pack of killer rats. As Artyom grows up, he learns more about the mysterious creatures called ‘ The Dark Ones.’ The book follows Artyom in his journey to the middle of the metro to gain more knowledge and deliver a message.
Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
One of the classic fiction books, Roadside Picnic, is a post-apocalypse philosophical science novel published in 1972. This book is based on the aftermath of an alien invasion that leaves behind a death zone. This zone is commonplace for things to die instantly and has rare alien technology that can be sold for decent money. The novel follows the main character’s adventures into the zone, despite it being a dangerous place.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
By the year 2025, pollution, global warming, and sickness have caused a worldwide decline. Only a few safe neighborhoods remain throughout the world. Lauren Olamina and her family live on the outskirts of LA in one of the safe neighborhoods remaining. Laurens’s father is a preacher who tries to salvage the remains of their culture finished by disease, war, and drugs. When their compound is destroyed, Lauren loses her family and is forced into a world of danger. With some other refugees, Lauren travels north to seek shelter and safety.
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban – 1980
This novel is based 2000 years after a nuclear war that almost wipes out civilization. Riddle, a young boy, stumbled upon a plan to recreate a weapon from the ancient world. The characters in the novel live a difficult life in a small area and hardly know anything about the outside world. This novel is an intense and imaginative read with a deeper meaning in the book, unlike anything you have read before.
Edge of Collapse By Kyla Stone
Edge of Collapse is the first book of a four-part book series. An EMP destroys all the power of the country and stops humanity from functioning. However, this is the greatest day of Hannah Sheridans Life as she escapes from her captor. Hannah and an ex-soldier navigate the unknown work to get back to the life they knew. The first novel of the four-part series only introduces the characters. Still, the other three get better and more exciting as you read on.
Edge of Collapse: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller #1 Best Seller
Each of Us a Desert By Mark Oshiro
Mark Oshiros’ post-apocalyptic world comes in the form of a magical desert world that has been set on fire by the sun God Solis. However, this novel is more than just about the struggle of a post-apocalyptic work; it is about the internal battles we face. Oshiro tells the story of Xochitl, a young girl who has the gift of listening to the stories of village members and forgiving their sins. When Xochitl feels the burden is too much for her, she goes on a journey to return the gift to the dessert. Along her journey, she finds love in a young woman who becomes a companion in her travels.
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Melanie, along with other youngsters, is imprisoned in a windowless bunker in post-apocalyptic England. When they leave their cells, they are all restrained and muzzled. Under no circumstances is an adult permitted to touch them. These are fair measures given based on who these children are. The installation is then attacked. Finally, Melanie is released along with a group of adults, some of whom want her alive. Some want her dead, yet others want her dissected. This book is thoughtful and a fast-paced thriller that everyone should read at least once.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Before a pandemic wiped out mankind, Snowman was is called by the name of Jimmy, is fighting to live in a place where he may be one of the last humans, lamenting the losing of one of his friends, Crake, and the lovely and mysterious Oryx who they both adored. A snowman, aided by the Crake Children, sets off on a voyage across the wilderness that was once a beautiful city before powerful corporations grasped humanity on an unchecked hereditary engineering trip.
Oryx and Crake (The MaddAddam Trilogy)
The Giver by Louis Lowry
This novel is apt for middle school readers as it talks about 12-year-old Jonas, who lives in an ideal and colorless world of comfort and pleasure. Yet, he does not fully comprehend the dark, complicated truths that lie beneath his frail community until he is assigned his life mission as the receiver of memory.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A man and his kid trek alone through a destroyed America in this Prize-winning novel. Only the ash on the wind moves amid the ruined countryside. It’s cold enough to break stones, and the snow is grey when it falls. The sky is overcast. Their target is the coast, but they have no idea what, if anything, they will find there. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the criminal bands that stalk the highway, their clothes, a cart of food, and each other.
The Road Hardcover
Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
The phrase, “In the end, meat is meat,” keeps the readers hooked to this story throughout. This story offers so much more than one can imagine. Tender Is The Flesh delivers a sad and horrific insight into what occurs when social conventions go away and the ramifications of the hunger for food in a world where human meat is now legal. All of this is done in such a spectacular way that you will be hooked, lose your appetite, and consider it one of the best post-apocalyptic books of 2020.
Leave the world behind by Rumaan Alam
Leave The World Behind, written before the pandemic, manages to encapsulate every sensation of the panic and uncertainty that the world seems to be experiencing today. In a world where communication and technology are failing, a story of delayed trust and isolation emerges. The writer weaves a complicated story about race, parenthood, and dependency on technology. He switches between the characters’ narratives and allows us to see where they stand in the plot from our viewpoints.
Leave the World Behind: A Novel Hardcover Editors' pick
When the rain stops by J.S Sutton
Sutton’s new novel tackles a topic that few can discuss and even fewer are willing to address directly: climate change. Humanity lives in a world in the clouds in a future world ravaged by climate change and nuclear conflict. On the wasteland Earth, acid rain is prevalent, criminals live on the planet, and we see ocular fit bits instead of eyeballs. However, David’s dedication to his profession forces him to go undercover in a world that no human being would willingly enter.
When The Rain Stops Paperback
2028 The Awakening by Carrie Russell
Russell’s new world of surveillance and covert revolt ranks among the best post-apocalyptic novels of the year 2020. Russell’s post-apocalyptic Seattle, perfect for lovers of The Hunger Games or WE, is filled with secrets and twisted webs as the government strives to eliminate dissent. But, in the process, the story builds a new form of resistance.
The Raven by Jonathan Janz
How long will humanity be able to endure in the presence of monsters? Readers will be curious about this in Janz’s new work. The Raven doesn’t hold back on the horror and murder as it mixes vampires, werewolves, cannibals, and everything else that moves jolt in the night. The story ends with Dez being one of the few humans left whose DNA hasn’t been unlocked to unleash the monsters that once were.
As Our World Ends by Jack Hunt
Hunt’s series picks up in 2020, which is the year for post-apocalyptic stories that focus on technology and power. This novel by Jack Hunt is a combination of apocalypse and romance, as Alex and his wife discover that the world has been thrown into panic and confusion the day Alex’s wife arrives with their divorce papers. This is one of the best reads, and everyone should get their hands on them.
As Our World Ends: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Thriller (Cyber Apocalypse)
Lockdown by Peter May
May wrote this book over a decade ago, but it was never published until now due to the plot’s implausibility. Despite being primarily a crime story, the plot is set in a post-apocalyptic London at the epicenter of an epidemic that will kill millions of people. As if that weren’t enough, DI. Jack McNeil is confronted with a heinous crime that pushes him to choose between the pandemic and the killers who want to silence him for good.
The New Wilderness by Diane Cook
In this book, humans dwell in an overcrowded city, and nature is left to its device. Bea and her 5-year-old daughter Agnes are recruited to participate in an experiment to bring the two together, only to discover that the group has a different relationship with nature than they had anticipated and that they are willing to go against their will to protect it. Bea and Agnes must also fight the tide during the battle to keep their mother-daughter bond from deteriorating.
The New Wilderness Editors' pick
Junkyard Cats by Faith Hunter
Robotics, aliens, spaceships, and kitties! The perfect recipe for a post-apocalyptic narrative is Junkyard Cats. Unfortunately, it’s only been available as an audiobook thus far. Still, it captures all of the information without rambling at five hours long. This one is for all you tech people who will enjoy the story’s exploration of artificial intelligence and confidential robots in a post-apocalyptic junkyard where shining is pounding a secret.
The Species Imperative by Nick Storming
Although Nick Storming does not identify the sickness in his post-apocalyptic world as COVID-19, readers this year may undoubtedly connect to the fear of the world ending due to a lethal epidemic. The only difference is that the Man-Slayer Flu killed 99.99 percent of all men, leaving only a few who wish to repopulate the world. Adam is the last man remaining on the west coast. He wakes up in a research hospital one day. Still, He finds himself in a world without governments, law and order, or a primordial hunger that he doesn’t fully comprehend.
The Species Imperative: A Post-Apocalyptic Pandemic Fantasy Best Values
A Gift Upon the Shores by MK Wren
A Gift Upon the Shore is set of a generation after a nuclear war. It chronicles the adventure of two survivors as they try to save the last vestiges of civilization: books. The heroes of the story, drawn into battle with one more group of survivors known as the Ark, fight to preserve the knowledge of a lost planet, as well as their humanity.
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut’s novels have a habit of tackling the most important and pressing subjects of our time. Cat’s Cradle is no exception, and it examines the role of technology in ushering at the end of days. Following the fictional co-creator of the atom bomb, Felix Hoenikker, Vonnegut tackles a serious subject with his trademark humanizing humor and earnestness. This read is an eye-opener regarding how our lives are changing without us realizing it.
Cat's Cradle (Penguin Essentials) by Kurt Vonnegut
The Postman by David Brin
In the dark and violent aftermath of a catastrophic war, he is a survivor, a wanderer who exchanged tales for food and shelter. When he takes the jacket of a long-dead mail worker to defend himself from the cold on a chilly winter day, fate intervenes. He begins to create his biggest story, of a nation on the road to recovery, with the old, worn uniform, which nevertheless has power as a sign of hope. David Brin’s “The Postman” rounds out the top 10 list. This is a tale of falsehood that turns into the most powerful form of truth. It is a timeless story as urgently gripping as War Day and Alas, Babylon. It is the epic saga of a man who revived the spirit of America through the force of a dream.
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
“Alas, Babylon.” Those fatal remarks signaled the end of an era. When a nuclear holocaust sweeps the United States, a thousand years of civilization are torn away suddenly. Tens of millions of people are slaughtered instantly. But one little Florida town was miraculously spared. There, the fight is just getting started, as men and women from all walks of life band together to face the darkness. This novel is a sad, human story from 1959, which was published 50 years ago. Nevertheless, the novel, set in a small Florida community following a nuclear strike on the US, is an instant success. It’s been reissued numerous times, is on high school reading lists, and is always towards the top of lists of the best post-apocalyptic fiction.
Alas, Babylon Best Values
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Meteor-like objects begin slamming into earth immediately after astronomers see explosions on Mars’ surface. As they explore the English countryside, Martians emerge from their craters in enormous tripods, wiping out army troops with heat-rays. When the order to evacuate London is delivered, everything appears to be lost. However, there is one tiny element that the Martians overlook. H. G. Wells has consistently been credited for popularising time travel in 1895 with The Time Machine. He introduced time as the “fourth dimension” a decade before Einstein’s first Relativity papers were published. In The Island of Doctor Moreau, he envisaged a mad doctor producing human-like beings from animals. This sparked a surge in interest in animal welfare across Europe. It demonstrates how a formula could render one invisible in 1897 in The Invisible Man, recognizing that an invisible eye would not focus, rendering the invisible man blind. The War of the Worlds popularised the term “Martian” and the idea that aliens could attack earth and that an advanced civilization could reside on Mars.
The War of the Worlds (Signet Classics) Best Values
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag works as a firefighter. Firefighters ignite fires where television reigns supreme and literature is on the verge of extinction. His mission is to eliminate the most unlawful of commodities, the printed book, as well as the homes where those books are stored. Montag never challenges the devastation and ruin his actions cause; instead, he returns to his mundane existence and wife, Mildred, who spends her days with her television. But then he meets Clarisse, an eccentric young neighbor who introduces him to a time when people didn’t live in dread. When people saw the world through the ideas present in books rather than the meaningless talk on television. Montag begins to doubt all he has ever known after Mildred commits suicide and Clarisse mysteriously vanishes. He begins to hide books in his home. However, towards the end, when his theft is detected, he is forced to flee for his life.
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
In this novel, spaceships come out of nowhere over the world’s most populous cities. They are Overlords, an alien race far more technologically advanced than humanity with the goal of dominating the planet. Their demands, on the other hand, are surprisingly beneficial. They want to put an end to war, poverty, and cruelty. Rather than announcing the end of humanity, their arrival ushers in a golden age, or that is what it appears to be. Childhood’s End, Clarke’s first successful novel, was released in 1953 and is now regarded as a classic of science fiction. Many of Clarke’s later writings, particularly the Space Odyssey series, have the dominant topic of transcendence development. The novel was nominated for a Retro Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2004.
Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
A gigantic comet breaks apart and bombards the earth with disastrous results in this bestselling novel by the writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. They include volcano eruptions, worldwide earthquakes, massive tidal waves, and endless rain. However, individuals come together to survive and form a new community as civilization crumbles. Lucifer’s Hammer, first published in 1977, was the first major science fiction novel to attempt to deal realistically with the planetary emergency of a collision. It explored depths of curiosity on a grand scale. It was rewarded with sales considerably exceeding the genre’s standard expectations at the time.
The Disappearance by Philip Wylie
This novel is ideal for fans of The Leftovers and stories that examine what life is like for those left behind after the end of the world. For the people of The Disappearance, everything changes in an instant. Men vanish from the world of females, and women vanish from the world of men. Men and women learn to forget the gender norms assigned by the old world’s culture as they find themselves in separate timelines, oblivious of what has happened to their friends, parents, lovers, and children. Wylie examines female issues and systemic discrimination in The Disappearance, issues that are unfortunately still pertinent over 70 years after the publication of this addition to the post-apocalyptic genre.
The Disappearance (Bison Frontiers of Imagination)
In the Drift by Michael Swanwick
The nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island melted down 100 years ago. The terrain around the reactor is now the scene of not only environmental devastation but also human devastation. It includes vampires and other previously unimaginable beasts, as well as poisoned air and incomprehensible dirt. The lives of survivors on opposing sides of the drift are chronicled in this horrifying tale as they strive to keep their humanity in a new Hell on Earth. “A potent new myth from the realities of radioactive waste,” George R.R. Martin said of the novel, and you know it’s serious when Mr. Red Wedding himself deems a sci-fi horror book “potent.”
In the Drift
Valhalla by Newton Thornburg
Newton Thornburg creates a compelling dystopian America scenario. America devolves into anarchy following the fall of the government. With towns on fire and the violent Mau Mau gang wreaking havoc across the country, vagabond Walter Stone sets up camp on a lake. As plane crash survivors join the lakeside refugees, supplies run low, and the mansion known as Valhalla begins to tempt those who dwell outside of it. A wealthy junkman and his daughters live inside Valhalla, which is filled to the brim with food and weaponry. Though the refugees are at risk of drowning in the lake between them and the mansion, robbers also threaten the lakeside camp. Whatever decision is made, humanity, as these survivors know it, is quickly vanishing.
Mockingbird by Walter Tevis
The human species has been reduced to a handful of survivors in this science fiction story. The few people who remain on a deteriorating Earth float through life in an electronically drugged state, with no release or relief in family or art. It’s even illegal to read. Spofforth, an indestructible machine, dominates the husk that the world has left behind, but he yearns for death. The love that humans Paul and Mary Lou have for one another, on the other hand, provides a ray of hope for humanity. Spofforth’s jealousy for the couple’s affections simmers, resulting in an odd and sad love triangle.
What are the best post-apocalyptic books?
- Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- The Stand by Stephen King
- Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- world War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
- One Second After by William R. Forstchen
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
- On the Beach by Nevil Shute
What is a post-apocalyptic book?
Post-apocalyptic fiction is a subgenre of science fiction. For a book to be post-apocalyptic, it needs to be set when the world has ended, and the characters try to survive and keep life going. The apocalypse can occur with many different scenarios like a plague or war or any other disaster.
What are the characteristics of a post-apocalyptic book?
Post-apocalyptic science fiction books are generally grim, where the apocalypse has drastically altered the state of the planet’s humanity. The landscape in these novels is often bleak with extreme weather conditions or mutation or radiation that affects and kills most of the human race. The novels are meant to make the reader feel a sense of loneliness.
Is post-apocalyptic fiction science fiction?
Yes, post-apocalyptic fiction is science fiction; they are subgenres of science fiction. Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic books are set in a time frame where the earth has been destroyed and life as we know it is ending. Almost all post-apocalyptic books are set in the future.
What was the first post-apocalyptic novel?
Apocalyptic fiction has existed for centuries, with stories going back millennia. One of the first post-apocalyptic novels written was The Last Man. written by the same author who wrote Frankenstein, Mary Shelly. The book was published in 1829, 8 years after Frankenstein was published. The book follows the story of tragic love and the extermination of the human race. More than just a post-apocalyptic novel, The Last Man offers insight into a future against romanticism while also demonstrating the failure of the book’s characters trying to redeem themselves.