Discussion Forums - Science Fiction

Topic: Post Apocolyptic Earth Stories?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Post Apocolyptic Earth Stories?
Date Posted: 12/16/2007 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2006
Posts: 4
Back To Top

Can anyone recommend any books on the re building after an apolcolyptic event?

I'm interested in the aftermath and re invention of mankind. New societies etc.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
Back To Top

Have you read the oldie but goodie Earth Abides, by George Stewart? Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Abides-George-R-Stewart/dp/0345487133/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197847932&sr=1-1 It's a trifle dated, but it's interesting to see how many subsequent novels built on or borrowed from his idea.

And here's a list someone made: http://www.empty-world.com/book_index.html

Final edit: If you search the boards for apocalyptic, you'll find a number of specific recommendations.


Last Edited on: 12/16/07 6:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/17/2007 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2007
Posts: 162
Back To Top

Lucifer's Hammer is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a huge comet that lands on earth.  I have read alot of these types of books and IMO this is one of the best, most realistic in its descriptions of peoples' actions before and after the event.  Reading it, I really felt like I was there, to the point that I wanted to go out and stock up on survival gear  :o)   The last 1/2 of the book tells how people survive, join together and start to build new societies.

Dark Advent is a good book about the aftermath of a world pandemic.  A version of the Black Plague wipes out the majority of people.  The book deals with a group of around a dozen survivors before the plague and afterwards how they band together to survive.

The Stand by Stephen King is really great.  Also, Swan Song is a good post-nuclear holocost book.  Both of these are good reads and have to do with rebuilding new societies, but they also both have major supernatural elements in them.  It depends on what you are looking for, but if you want something with alot of realism, you might want to try something else.

And if you want to try something that blends realism with fantasy/supernatural, try World War Z by Max Brooks (Mel Brooks' son).  Without a doubt, it is the most realistic treatment of a zombie invasion I've read.  (BTW the audiobook is excellent !!)

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2006
Posts: 4
Back To Top

Thank you so much or the great suggestions!  I've already ordered 3 books.

And the link to the master list was great.

I guess I am more intersted in the natural disaster/pandemic kind of story more than the alien/sci fi sort.

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2006
Posts: 27
Back To Top

"THE LAST SHIP" is excellent but long like "lucifier hammer' but worth the read, one of my favs in the genre.

Date Posted: 12/21/2007 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
Back To Top

I believe the "Horseclans" series is post-apocalyptic.

I liked it in high school, I don't think I'd like it now.

 "Sos the Rope" is also part of a trilogy. It's about a PA society split into 2 parts. The one techno part lives underground and supplies these out buildings with primitive weapons. Differences in the primitive part of society are solved by fighting with these weapons in a circle.


Last Edited on: 12/21/07 3:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/24/2007 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2007
Posts: 706
Back To Top

I read "Earth Abides" and "Lucifer's Hammer." Both great selections. Try "Alas, Babylon" too.

Hehe..I'm editing as I think of other books...

Blood Music by Greg Bear

Plague by Graham Masterton

White Plague by Frank Herbert

Last Edited on: 12/24/07 1:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/26/2007 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2007
Posts: 367
Back To Top

Harvest, by Wilson; also David Brin's The Postman.

Subject: after the end of the world
Date Posted: 12/30/2007 2:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 116
Back To Top

S. M. Stirling has two different series that fit this scenario a bit differently. But the bottom line is modern folk thrown into place they must create new world/cultures etc.

Sometimes a bit too much warfare description, but otherwise excellent


Date Posted: 1/1/2008 3:10 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2007
Posts: 6
Back To Top

Don't forget A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller. Centuries after a global nuclear war, a Roman Catholic monastery in the American southwest preserves some records of human knowledge and becomes the seed of a new civilization. But will the new world destroy itself just as the old one did? Required reading for anyone interested in this particular subgenre.

I'm very fond of the Hiero books by Sterling Lanier: Hiero's Journey and The Unforsaken Hiero. This story also involves a Catholic order, an abbey in what was once Canada. But the abbey is engaged in an ongoing struggle against evil mutants called the Unclean. Hiero is a warrior-priest on the front line of this war. These novels read like sword & sorcery, but there's no actual magic here -- just psionic disciplines and strange mutant powers.

Books I've never read, but that should be mentioned in this context: Nevil Shute's On the Beach and Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.


Last Edited on: 1/1/08 3:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/1/2008 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2007
Posts: 6
Back To Top

I just thought of another one: Warday by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka. Premise: a limited nuclear exchange between the US and the USSR in 1988 reduces both nations to Third World status. Five years later, in 1993, the two authors journey across the US to write a book about the state of the country and its prospects for recovery. I found it fascinating.

Date Posted: 1/5/2008 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2007
Posts: 1,101
Back To Top

James Axler has a couple series of books you may enjoy.

Outlanders and Deathlands

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2006
Posts: 18
Back To Top

The Psalms of Herod and its sequel, The Sword of Mary by Esther Friesner are excellent examples of post-apocalyptic fiction with a feminist slant. The premise is that a whole range of ecological disasters caused infertility of both earth and women -- who can now only have sex in order to conceive, otherwise intercourse kills them. Civilization has reverted to subsistence farming and a form of polygamy in which only one man (the 'alph') is allowed to breed and holds the power of life and death over everyone in his household, in which he is supported by a deformed variation of Christianity. Now the Holy Trinity consists of Father, Son and King Herod, who 'reaps' children. While ultimately hopeful and beautifully written, these novels are very bleak, and at times border on horror, but never fail to convince.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2007
Posts: 68
Back To Top

I love the James Axler Deathlands books

Their a series about postnuclear America and the world, I am hooked on them

Date Posted: 1/28/2008 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2007
Posts: 1,951
Back To Top

Thanks to those of you who recommended Lucifer's Hammer - I ordered it and I'm looking forward to the read!


Subject: post-apocalypse
Date Posted: 7/12/2008 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
Back To Top

Here's some sf novels I've read that are set in the aftermath of a global catastrophe

Eternity Road, Jack McDevitt

A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter Miller

Davy, Edgar Pangborn

A Boy and His Dog, Harlan Ellison

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, Kate Wilhelm

Through the Heart, Richard Grant

The Postman, David Brin

Planet of the Apes, Pierre Boule

Galapagos, Kurt Vonnegut

Faraday's Orphans, N. Lee Wood

The Wild Shore, Kim Stanley Robinson

On the Beach, Nevil Shute

The Drylands, Mary Rosenblum

Always Coming Home, Ursula LeGuin

Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler

Last Edited on: 7/12/08 1:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 19
Back To Top

In briefly scanning this thread, I didn't seee where anyone mentioned The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It's a really great novel set after a nameless apocalypse. Shocking, intense, and beautiful.

Also try The Wall at the Edge of the World by Jim Aikin. It's a really fascinating, well written book, very underrated, long out of print, undeservedly. But PBS has it! Definitely worthwhile.

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
Back To Top

Cherish said: "I guess I am more intersted in the natural disaster/pandemic kind of story more than the alien/sci fi sort."

There's a book by Charles Pellegrino called "Dust".

You'll never look at the dust-bunnies under your bed in the same way, I guarantee :-)

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2008
Posts: 417
Back To Top

The Vampire Earth series by E. E. Knight is good and the 7th or 8th book just came out this month. It has 'aliens' but it's more background than a major chuck of the action. It's also post-apocolyptic so the technology is pretty basic and the landscape/action gritty.

I'm not as into the last couple of books, but the first few I thought were very good. And the author is an awesome person. He has a blog on Livejournal that is just a blast to read.

Subject: S.M. Stirling
Date Posted: 7/16/2008 4:22 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 59
Back To Top

His book is called "Dies the fire"....take my word for it, it's awsome.


                             peace and blessings



Subject: Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks is good
Date Posted: 7/27/2008 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2008
Posts: 352
Back To Top

If you ever read The sword of Shannara you know it is set far in the future. well Armageddon's Children is the Genesis of shannara book 1 and starts after some holocost has decimated North America and creatures are running the earth seeking out mankind and killing them off... it is supposed to explain elves in book 2 called The  Elves of Cintra and book 3 comes out this or next month.


Date Posted: 7/27/2008 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
Back To Top

I just finished an anthology called Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse that I thought was wonderful.


No aliens, just humans.

There's a lo-ong waiting list :/


Date Posted: 8/8/2008 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2006
Posts: 50
Back To Top

I'm late to the party, but better late than never...  Here are some more authors/titles:

Poul Anderson - Vault of the Ages

C.J. Cherryh - Sunfall

Brian Aldiss - Hothouse (aka The Long Afternoon of Earth)

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle - Lucifer's Hammer

Gordon R. Dickson - Wolf & Iron

Clifford D. Simak - A Heritage of Stars

Philip Jose Farmer - Dark is the Sun

Andre Norton - Star Man's Son (aka Daybreak: 2250 A.D.)


Last Edited on: 8/8/08 3:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
Back To Top

Twilight World by Poul Anderson

Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card (Good, but Mormon-specific, which may bother some)

The Survivalist Series by Jerry Ahern

Farnham's Freehold by Robert Heinlein


Date Posted: 9/23/2008 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 54
Back To Top

This may or may not help, but if you like post apocalyptic fiction, you'd probably like world colonization fiction as well.  I've had some good recommendations here:  http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=126696

And I've put several of the books that have been recommended to you on my wish list, thanks for starting this thread!  :)

Last Edited on: 9/23/08 9:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1