Sapa

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

136 posts in this topic

Just remembered that the post apocalyptic film A Boy and His Dog is based on a short story by Harlan Ellison, which he later expanded into a novella. I've not read either of them, but the film is decent, with some nice ideas and lots of surreal touches.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swan Song by Robert R McCammon

It bears a great many similarities to The Stand (including it's length), but it's a good read. Boy's Life is McCammon's best though.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard is really good. It's more prosy and less satirical than later Ballard, and is somewhat like an update of Heart Of Darkness as it is quite psychological in tone.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard is really good. It's more prosy and less satirical than later Ballard, and is somewhat like an update of Heart Of Darkness as it is quite psychological in tone.

Forms part of a sort of tryptych with The Draught and The Crystal World.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read The Passage by Justin Cronin and thought it was pretty damn good. Definitely worth a read.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Literature blogs have recently become very introspective on the obsession (may be overstating it a bit) with dystopian and post-apocalyptic futures in novels. As we don't have a dedicated literature essays thread I thought I'd post this one in here.

http://m.io9.com/5853946/predicting-the-future-is-hard--heres-why-we-should-try-anyway

I haven't yet read the essay in question but I certainly will when I have time. Looks to be very interesting and thought-provoking as to the value of forward-looking fiction.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read The Passage by Justin Cronin and thought it was pretty damn good. Definitely worth a read.

This. A thousand times this

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a short story by Philip K.Dick which is apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, called 'Second Variety'.

I won't say anything about it, because the fact that it's by Dick should tell you all you need to know. Although it's very much darker than a lot of his short fiction, I suppose.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read The Reapers are the Angels after seeing glowing reviews for it and multiple comparisons to The Passage. Started off promisingly then around the halfway mark went a bit WTF and had an ending that while thematically appropriate didn't really work.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swan Song by Robert R McCammon

It bears a great many similarities to The Stand (including it's length), but it's a good read. Boy's Life is McCammon's best though.

I beg to differ. It's clearly The Wolf's Hour and I can say that without having read any of his other books. Why? The Wolf's Hour features Hitler, Rasputin (off-camera, so to speak), a mad scientist, a Nazi named Boots because he kicks/stamps people to death and a werewolf James Bond fighting Nazis.

[/off-topic]

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh ma, I really need to read the Wolf's Hour again. It was so awesome. Really wish he'd made it into a series...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earth Abides is a good one.

Mockingbird by Walter Tevis is a stoke of genius though. It is beyond good!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a short story by Philip K.Dick which is apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, called 'Second Variety'.

I won't say anything about it, because the fact that it's by Dick should tell you all you need to know. Although it's very much darker than a lot of his short fiction, I suppose.

Just found this available from Project Gutenberg as an ebook. Enjoy!

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32032

NB if you download the illustrated version there's an image halfway through that is a bit of a spoiler, so best to read unillustrated first probably.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would also be worth checking out some early work by JG Ballard, such as the novels The Drowned World and The Drought, and the short story collection The Disaster Area.

Just finished The Drowned World. Excellent book, thanks for the recommendation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Read The Passage by Justin Cronin a few weeks ago - you want an apocalypse, that's an apocalypse. Bit overlong maybe but it had me gripped the whole way.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably one of my favourite topics for books and movies. I like sci-fi but more realistic stuff, no aliens attacking and stuff like that. Some of my favourite reads have been The Stand, The Road and I Am Legend. Anyone recommend some stuff I may like?

Another recommendation for Orwell's 1984. Bleak but awsome.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A nifty avatar joke by Alask in another thread reminded me of the seminal post apocalyptic sci-fi snippet by Harlan Ellison, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. Seriously, read this short if you haven't, because it's amazing.

 

And as a general SF note, if you haven't read Deathbird Stories, a shorts anthology by Ellison (that doesn't include the above), go and do so right now you goddamn fuzzface, you rodder, you punk.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Swan Song by Robert R McCammon
the Stand It ain't!

I like his books including Wolfs Hour but hes not the greatest writer, his work always strikes me as a little immature. I enjoyed them much more when i was younger. But the ideas are fun, the stories are pretty solid and they are an easy read.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And as a general SF note, if you haven't read Deathbird Stories, a shorts anthology by Ellison (that doesn't include the above), go and do so right now you goddamn fuzzface, you rodder, you punk.

Also track down either of the Dangerous Visions anthologies he edited back in the late 60s/early 70s. Seminal stuff.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to whomever recommended On the Beach, I really enjoyed the story. I have to say I thought the writing was pretty bad though, and I usually never notice that kind of thing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like it. It's realistic and suitably sombre. The tone is set with the T. S. Eliot excerpt at the beginning and that the book doesn't deviate from this atmosphere - despite some wonderfully comedic characters - while still remaining riveting is I think testament to Shute's skill with prose. It certainly doesn't feel 50 years old, partly due to the universality in western culture of its imagined premise but mainly because of the down-to-earth writing which avoids superficial romanticising of the characters and instead allows their actions in the gravest of situations to speak of their deeper personalities.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

I had some issues with areas of spotty characterisation and a few sub-plots that went nowhere, but overall I enjoyed it, I particularly enjoy apocalyptic fiction that focuses on the rebuilding of society post-disaster rather than the human race is forever screwed tales and this scratched that itch.

Some of the racial stuff in this was a bit suspect. One character in particular is cringeworthy sounding like a blaxploitation parody character constantly talking about 'Honkies' and the fact that most of the black faces in the book are members of a cannibal army. On the flipside, the first black astronaut is one of the heroes.

It was interesting comparing this novel (written in the 70s) to more modern sci-fi. In particular, there's a trend of treating technology as a bad thing in a lot of modern tales and we'd all be happier if we just went back to living in harmony with nature like our ancestors. In this technology is treated as something we should cherish and fight to preserve.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooh, I like the sound of that, will give it a go myself at some point.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I particularly enjoy apocalyptic fiction that focuses on the rebuilding of society post-disaster rather than the human race is forever screwed tales and this scratched that itch.

Ah, that reminds me of an old Algis Budrys book, 'Some Will Not Die', which concentrates on just that, in an episodic story set in a post-apocalyptic US. Ages since I read it; I seem to recall it was a solid enough read, if not particularly special. Possibly worth a punt for readers of this thread.

http://thistlesforbreakfast.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/book-review-some-will-not-die-by-algis.html

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the last few months I finally got around to reading some of the books recommended here. On the Beach and Earth Abides were both very good. I've also read the Wool series which I guess fits in here, that was also great. I've still got to work my way through plenty of the others mentioned here.

Anyway, has there been any other decent books that may jump to the top of my list that have been released in the last couple of years since this topic was started?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished the 12 , the sequel to the passage , by Cronin and have to say I enjoyed it.

good bit o 'pocalypse.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Engine Summer by John Crowley is quite good - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Engine-Summer-S-F-MASTERWORKS-Crowley/dp/057508281X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403845224&sr=8-1&keywords=engine+summer

It's set a few centuries after the collapse of civilisation, following a guy who heads out from his group's enclosed sanctuary into the wider world. It's reminiscent of Wool in a way, in that the societies he portrays are separated from modern-day life by numerous generations & so the customs and frames of reference are fairly alien. Really enjoyed his writing style.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished Robopocalypse, which, despite the terrible and generic name, was a really good post-robot-apocalypse story. Made a change from the zombie/nuclear war tropes of so many end of civilization tales. I would definitely also recommend The Passage but felt that the sequel was far too similar to Battlestar Galactica but with vampires.

And if you haven't yet experienced Riddley Walker then get to it. An amazing book.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the topic of zombie armageddon, I just finished Day by Day Armageddon by JL Bourne. It's badly written to a certain extent, but as I was listening to it on Audible it didn't really matter as much, so it was kind of ok. Quite enjoyable in a very methodical description of survival sort of way.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Feed (by Mira Grant) is about the aftermath of a Zombie uprising and well worth a read.

Despite recommending this before, I must say, do not try and progress with the series, it pretty much blows its load in the first book, with the next two going further into the rather poorer realised areas, and the end was rubbish too.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.