In an attempt to provide a relatively comprehensive apocalyptic book list , I have scoured the internet and come up with what I believe to be a substantial list of books divided into the following categories: Nuclear War, Zombies, Plague, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), Asteroids/Comets and Economic Collapse. Please understand that I use the term “apocalyptic” to cover a wide variety of fiction that includes post-apocalyptic and many other sub genres. You may or may not agree that all of these books belong lumped into the apocalyptic category and that is fine. My intent is not to split hairs with semantics but to provide a resource for fans of “end of the world as we know it” fiction. Keep in mind that this list is a work in progress and I will add new books as I find them. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a book that you would like added to the apocalyptic book list. Thanks and enjoy!
Many of these books were written during the height of the cold war and as such have some dated subject matter. In case you weren’t alive during this time, people around the world lived with the possibility of widespread, instantaneous nuclear destruction by fire, blast wave and radiation. It’s no surprise that some of this preoccupation with nuclear destruction was expressed in the fiction of the time.
For some reason, which is clearly beyond the scope of this website, the zombie fiction genre has really taken off in the last 20 years. Possibly fueled by some great remakes of zombie movies like Dawn of the Dead and some awesome originals like 28 Days Later and Zombieland. Whatever the reason for the zombie insurgence, we now have enough zombie apocalypse entertainment to fill the rest of our days.
In R.P. Ruggiero’s new apocalyptic novel Brushfire Plague, a highly contagious, lethal new virus is spreading across the world, forcing civilization to its knees. The virus is aptly named the Brushfire Plague after its ability to spread extremely fast and its very high mortality rate.
In Brushfire Plague, there are no bugout locations and there is no safety. The virus attacks indiscriminately and kills fast. This apocalyptic story follows the early stages of a rapidly spreading pandemic and the violent beginnings of civil breakdown in suburban Portland, Oregon. Cooper, a combat veteran, is unable leave his recently buried wife and decides to make a stand at his suburban home. In an attempt to fend off the seemingly never-ending waves of violent incursions, Cooper works to organize his neighbors. With the help of his best friend and neighbor, Dranko, they are able to equip a small neighborhood defensive force.
Right from the beginning of Brushfire Plague, violent threats are met with deadly force. R.P. Ruggiero presents a fight or die type of scenario that I suspect is quite similar to what it would be like in a war zone. With no time for deliberation, one must choose to stand up against those with harmful intent or be at their mercy.
Brushfire Plague really captures the sense of panic and sadness that would undoubtedly accompany such a large-scale disaster. For an added twist, Cooper discovers that the plague may not be a random occurrence and may actually have its origins in a laboratory.
Ruggiero has written a very entertaining apocalyptic novel that presents an entirely possible pandemic scenario through a cast of interesting and likable characters. Bring on the sequel!
Apocalyptic Fiction is a website that provides reviews and commentary for fans of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. We seek to provide honest and helpful reviews that will guide you in your selection of apocalyptic entertainment. Additionally, we frequently present high quality fiction from lesser known and independent authors.
Apocalyptic Fiction was launched in October 2011, by Barry O, a fledgling writer and long time fan of the apocalyptic fiction genre. When Barry isn’t working, you will find him writing, reading, watching movies or striving towards the creation of a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Though fascinated by the apocalypse, Barry is not necessarily convinced that it will happen in his lifetime. In fact, he is happily married and driven to build a future where his family is safe, happy and secure.
If you have a fictional work about the apocalypse and would like to have it reviewed and showcased on this website please contact us through one of the methods below:
The greatest post-apocalyptic tv show ever made, AKA, The Walking Dead ends Season 2 with the farm being overtaken by a massive herd of zombies. Along with the farm, our weary group of survivors must abandon any hope that they had for a semi-normal life. While I hate to see the end of Season 2, (it is basically the only show I watch on tv and it gives me something to look forward to on a weekly basis) the season finale does give us a glimpse of what season 3 has in store and it looks excellent! Among other things, we are introduced to a new “kick ass” character and get to see a sneak preview of the group’s new post-apocalyptic safe haven. As with any good show, we are given just enough information in The Walking Dead Season 2 Beside the Dying Fire to keep us coming back for more. It’s a good thing I’m reading World War Z now or I might be going through some type of zombie fighting withdrawal! 😉 Watch the Season 2 Finale of The Walking Dead Beside the Dying Fire through the link below.
Who knew that an EMP wiping out the electric grid could be so much fun! Ron Foster creates a truly unique world that is down right hilarious at times. In this post-apocalyptic journey, an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) that is caused by a solar flare has destroyed the modern world as we know it, disabling almost everything with electronic components.
The protagonist, David, provides the very unique and often humorous perspective that makes this post-apocalyptic world so much fun. David doesn’t take himself too seriously and likes to have a good time. He’s no fool though. In fact, he’s a military veteran with a keen sense for survival.
Along with frequent laugh out loud moments, The Prepper Trilogy has a lot of great ideas and practical prepping tips. For me, the laid back, conversational style of the story makes it easy, fun reading. These are very entertaining books. If you can appreciate some “down home”, southern survival fun with a ton of laughs and practical knowledge, the Prepper Trilogy is for you. Ron Foster reminds us that a good sense of humor is an excellent asset in any crisis situation.
It is refreshing to see some fun and humor in the post-apocalyptic landscape. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously. After all, isn’t laughter part of what makes survival worthwhile in the first place?
The post-apocalyptic mayhem continues in AMC’s second season of The Walking Dead with Episode 9, Triggerfinger. An encounter at the “town tavern” with another group of survivors turns ugly and Rick finds that he has another war on his hands, as if a world full of flesh eating zombies and dealing with Shane’s obsession with his pregnant wife weren’t enough trouble. While it’s difficult to side with Shane due to his morally questionable actions, his keen sense for reality can’t be denied. As is often the case in post-apocalyptic scenarios, ethical matters that were once black and white often take on a certain shade of grey, especially when it comes to protecting those that you love. Great episode! Watch it through the link below:
The best show on TV is back and you can watch it for free through the AMC website until February 28th! The walkers are out of the barn and the raw, violent, post-apocalyptic fury returns to The Walking Dead! AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I won’t spoil it for you, watch it through the link below:
update 3/7/12 This episode is no longer available for free but you can get it through Amazon at the link below. Also, for those of you wondering what the song is at the end of this episode it is The Regulator by Clutch. Rock on!
Survivors is a post-apocalyptic BBC television series spanning two seasons from 2008-2010 that follows a group of people struggling to stay alive after a pandemic kills 99% of the human population. I was able to watch the entire series for free when I signed up for a one month trial membership on Amazon Prime. The virus has spared a select few, with little regard to the moral standing of its victims. The main characters, brought together by chance, have diverse backgrounds, ranging from an escaped prisoner to a previously care free heir to a Kuwaiti oil fortune. This small group of survivors struggles to define their moral boundaries in their quest to stay alive. The necessity of violence is constantly in question. Most of the characters are willing to accept that sometimes violence is necessary, at least in the defense of the innocent. On some level, as humans, aren’t we all complicit to the unspeakable acts that have occurred in the defense of the lives of our ancestors? In Survivors, violence is not a forgone conclusion though, as is often the case. Through their hostile encounters with others, it becomes clear that they will need to fight to survive. Survivors is gentler in a number of ways compared to some of the other apocalyptic fiction that I have reviewed. It is “civil” in many aspects. For instance, there are minimal displays of violence. While danger is always present, violence is used sparingly and not gratuitously. The formation of relationships between the characters remains the focus throughout the development of Survivors. I would recommend the Survivors series. While it is not without its flaws, especially in terms of its realism, I found the characters and their relationships to be interesting and story to be very entertaining.
Hunter After the Fall, by John Phillip Backus, is a captivating post-apocalyptic adventure that takes place 15 years after an all out worldwide nuclear war has devastated the planet and killed the majority of its human inhabitants. After surviving the war and subsequent nuclear winter, Hunter, a former special forces operative, has made a home for himself in a long abandoned gold mine nestled into the side of a mountain. The rich detail in which Backus describes Hunter’s rocky mountain home creates the sense that Hunter is truly returning to being one with nature. Hunter’s lifestyle is similar to those that lived throughout North America for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. Much like the wolves and bears that roam the area, Hunter is deeply connected to the mountain wilderness. He is able to sustain himself from the abundant resources that the rocky mountain ecosystem provides. Hunter is content with his life until the arrival of Elise, who is the daughter of Hunter’s former commanding officer. Elise is sent by her father to find Hunter and to seek his help in the defence of their community of New Eden, which is in danger of being overtaken by an army of bloodthirsty invaders. In an effort to repay his former commanding officer for saving his life in action, before the nuclear war , Hunter is quick to offer his assistance. The story follows the many adventures of Hunter and his counterpart, the strong and beautiful Elise, as they fight to save New Eden. In Hunter, the first book in his After the Fall series, Backus combines a unique blend of Native American shamanism and post-apocalyptic action that makes for a very thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining story.
Apocalypse Law 2 by John Grit is the second book in the series following the Ex-Army Ranger, Nate, as he struggles to keep his family safe in a post-apocalyptic world. This is a very fast paced and enjoyable read. Nate is a humble, reluctant hero that in many ways is the post-apocalyptic version of John Rambo. With Apocalypse Law, John Grit brings me back to the action movies of my younger years that I remember so fondly. Being vastly outnumbered and overpowered by an unrelenting, extremely violent group of ex-military raiders, Nate is forced to pull out all of the stops and resorts to using some “unconventional” weapons in defense of his farm. Nate and his female fighting companion, Deni, are truly stretched beyond their limits as they take on this gang of marauders. While you might be tempted to see this story line as cliché, Apocalypse Law 2 is full of surprises and will hold your interest until the end. If there is a post-apocalyptic action sub-genre (which there may very well be, excuse my ignorance), the Apocalypse Law series would certainly rate at the top of the list!
Apocalypse Law by John Grit is a very entertaining story about a man and his son struggling to survive on a small farm after an influenza strain kills a large part of the human population. After the last few books that I have read, it was truly fun that the main character in Apocalypse Law, Nate, is a retired Army Ranger that can kick some major ass! (what can I say, sometimes I get tired of the bad guys running the show!:) Naturally, some unsavory types make their way past the farm in the period following the outbreak and Nate is willing and able to defend himself and his son. Apocalypse Law reads more like an action movie. It is fast paced and full of suspense. This is a good book to read after you finish The Road by Cormac McCarthy. You could argue that The Road may be more realistic but Apocalypse Law sure is a lot more fun!
The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 6, Secrets explores the dynamics between a number of characters in this group of survivors in the post-apocalyptic, zombie infested world. Human relationships sure do get complicated, especially when secrets are kept and this show holds nothing back. Shane sets the tone for this show when he reminds Dale that the world is no longer a place to make casual threats when he says “…if I would shoot my best friend, imagine what I would do to someone that I don’t even like…” Tailgaters beware: if civilization ever deteriorates to this point, we all better be careful with our words and actions.
Season Two of The Walking Dead forges ahead with the post-apocalyptic tale of survivors in a zombie infested world in the fifth episode, Chupacabra. This episode starts out in a flashback where they show a few of the main characters looking over the Atlanta skyline as bombs explode and gunfire is everywhere. It is clear at this point that the world has drastically changed forever. If you missed this episode follow the link below to watch it now.
The Walking Dead: Season 2, Save the Last One gets at the heart of the matter: is it better to be dead in the post apocalyptic world? While Carl struggles for his life, Rick and Lori contemplate whether he might be better off dead. In their own way each of the characters, at least temporarily, decides that it is better to be alive than dead. This episode has some good old zombie killing action but it did seem a little dark – I mean I sometimes had difficulty seeing what was happening…maybe it was just my TV, or my eyes, or maybe it was a bad recording. Anyway, as always, it was a great show.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a dark story about a man and his son on a quest for safety and hope in a post apocalyptic world.
The cause of the disaster remains a mystery throughout the book and there are only some brief, non-specific references to the event itself. Whatever the cause, much of the world is set on fire and the smoke and debris blocks out the sunlight causing everything to die.
Having watched the movie prior to reading the book, I was surprised to see how closely the movie follows the story. The darkness in The Road is vivid and relentless. In fact, the smothering effect of their environment is much more impressive than the raider-cannibals that are a constant threat. The Road is based entirely on the struggle of the man and his son. While they are physically striving to get “south” to a safer,warmer place, mentally and emotionally they are trying to keep “the fire” of goodness and hope alive. Unlike many of its counterparts in the genre, The Road is a very well written novel and has a great deal of depth and substance. It is clear that The Road surpasses most of the other books that I have listed here in terms of its literary merit but I also found it to be a little more bleak and less inspiring than some of the other books that I have read recently. Perhaps some of what draws me to this type of fiction is a fascination with the human will to survive and our ability to adapt to and prepare for difficult situations. The dark, lifeless world that Cormac McCarthy creates in The Road leaves one wondering if survival would be a good option which is perhaps his driving point.