1. RedRaven
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    RedRaven Active Member

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    Post-Apocalyptic reads

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by RedRaven, Jul 8, 2010.

    Hi

    I have an interest in post-apocalyptic novels and I wondered if any of you had any recommendations for me.

    I have read The Stand by Stephen King and The Road by McCarthy.
    Swan Song by McCammon is in my possession and I've heard good things about The Passage.

    But I wondered if there were any more?
    Any tips are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The Postman, by David Brin is good as I recall (despite what Costner did to the movie).
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    By Jim Aikin there is The Wall at the Edge of the World.

    By John Wyndham there is The Chrysalids. (just finished that one, BTW)

    Goodness. Where would sci-fi be without the post apocalyptic story?
     
  4. CaKsTeR
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    CaKsTeR Member

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    Life as We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone, This World we Live In.

    Three books in the same series by Susan Pfeffer. Great books, focusing on survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Personally, I like The Dead and the Gone the best, and if you're looking for a dark, depressing read you'll like it the best.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And just as a side note.... There is more than one kind of post apocalyptic story.

    There are the obvious:

    ~ Apocalypse was yesterday. We are the survivors.

    ~ Apocalypse was committed by our elders, we now pay the price.

    And the less obvious stories that include the apocalypse as just a feature or plot tool but not as the actual setting. Many science fiction stories include a long, long ago apocalypse in order to devise a breaking point between the past (our present as we know it) and the future universe the author wishes to contrive, far different from the way our current world works.

    Frank Herbert's Dune is one of these stories. It includes the Butlerian Jihad, which serves as an apocalypse of sorts, and gives rise to the governmental and social structure of the story's time line.

    But.... that's just me rambling. :)
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    So trans-apocalyptic vs post-apocalyptic.

    Lucifer's Hammer would be trans-apocalyptic, because it deals with events before, during, and after a cometary impact.

    In trans-apocalyptic stories, the characters have to adjust to a total inversion of their lifestyle. In post-apocalyptic, like Logan's Run or our own Terry Ervin's Flank Hawk, the people are living in a brutal society, fighting for survival, but there are constant reminders around that there was a better time.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Excellently stated.

    Wyndham's The Chrysalids takes the idea of the long ago better time and focuses on it directly, turning it into part of a derailed version of Christianity. The people endeavor to regain a semblance of how things were for The Old People and turn the endeavor into a holy task of sorts. In his story the apocalypse was a nuclear war (strongly hinted at, but never explicitly stated) and in the present time line of the story any deviation (mutation) is seen as unholy and of the devil.
     
  9. Perdondaris
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    A Canticle for Leibowitz takes place after a nuclear war wipes out most of civilization, followed by an anti-intellectual backlash resulting in the destruction of most books, and mass illiteracy. It basically tracks the development of humanity after this, going through different eras and characters.
     
  10. RedRaven
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    RedRaven Active Member

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    Thank you all so very much! :)

    @ Wreybies I was mainly aiming for the apocalyptic event and the struggle coming forth. But I have my eye on Dune a while now.

    But all of the recommendations are added to my wishlist, starting in Swan Song soon, but feeling this might be an apocalyptic summer for me :)
     
  11. JTheGreat
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    If you're not opposed to dipping into children's lit, The City of Ember and all its successors are technically post-apocalyptic. It tells the story from the POV of a girl living (she was born there, so she has no memories or knowledge of the outside world) in a city built underground. It was a sort of bunker, I guess. They're really good for a light read. The third book's a prequel, explaining that the apocalypse was caused by a nuke war in the 70's. It's a bit more boring than the rest, but it explains a lot.
     
  12. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read Dune, It will not disappoint you.

    I was also very fond of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. It brings a whole new twist on things.

    There is also a hidden Gem, that I never find mentioned for Post-Apocalyptic things. It's called Alas, Babylon and it's by Pat Frank. This is another that surely won't disappoint you.
     
  13. Aconite
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    Aconite Senior Member

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    Read Samuel R. Delany's 'Dhalgren.' You'll thank me. It's brilliant, weird, and subversive without feeling forced or overly styled. If nothing else, you'll never think of George Harrison the same way again!
     
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  14. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Richard Matherson's I am Legend is one of the earliest zombie apocalypse novels, and is a very good read. Much better than the mess that the film made.
     
  15. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not zombies.
     
  16. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    "After" is an eerie dystopia-type story for the high school aged audience. I'm in college so I was a bit older than the MC's but I liked it. But then again, that's more of a dystopia than a POST-apocolypse. 1984, Atlas Shrugged, V for Vendetta etc were all pretty good, but those are the obvious ones.
     
  17. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Not strictly speaking, no, but the whole idea of a virus decimating the human population was one of the primary influences for the modern zombie apocalypse.
     
  18. RedRaven
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    RedRaven Active Member

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    I was afraid of that when I stumbled across that title. The movie made me put it back.
    Good to know it's still worth the read. :)
     
  19. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    The movie has almost nothing to do with the book, nothing. I really can't think of a single thing like the novel/novella that they did right. As far as I can tell, it only shares a like title. So don't be bothered by the ridiculous movie, the book is very well done.

    Plus it's from the fifties, my favorite decade. Can't go wrong with it. :D
     
  20. Nalix
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    I don't recall reading very many apocalyptic novels. I enjoyed Emergence - trans-apocalyptic story told almost second person (the story is told as if she is writing it in a diary) from a girl who survived a bio-terror incident that wiped out most of humanity. In some senses the Wheel of Time series and the Sword of Shanarra trilogy could be considered post-apocalyptic, though both slide far into fantasy mode. I should get around to reading Lucifer's Hammer and Dune, both are on my list.
     
  21. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    A movie recommendation rather than a novel recommendation, but I really enjoyed "The Book of Eli", starring Denzel Washington, a post-apocalyptic story about a lone foot-traveller making his way across an American wasteland. Think "Mad Max" meets "I Am Legend" meets "The Road" and you'll just about get the idea. :)
     
  22. RedRaven
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    RedRaven Active Member

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    I've seen The Book of Eli already. Was quite good indeed.

    As for the other recommendations, I put them all in my wishlist. Thank you for giving me another few months worth of reading!! :)
     
  23. HeinleinFan
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    I must second Lucifer's Hammer by Niven and Pournelle. Very well-written, slow build-up, great development.

    I liked Alas, Babylon, about a community that survives an atomic attack.

    "Speech Sounds" is a great short story. When disease strikes, mucking up most people's ability to understand spoken words, society is in for a seriously rough ride.

    "Inconstant Moon" by Larry Niven has to do with what happens when the sun goes supernova. (Yes, if you are saying "But it can't!" you should still read it. This is a plot point.) I like the characters, and what they decide to do in the few hours they have left before the shockwave hits.

    Heck, the book Wastelands might be right up your alley. It's a collection of short stories set in post-apocalyptic worlds. It contains "Speech Sounds" and, if I recall correctly, "Last of the O Forms" and a few other really good ones.

    Technically, One Second After is post apocalyptic. I found it execrable, but this is partly because the main character was a mysogynistic jackass and because the science was bad. Um. Well, there are other failings. I just mean that, technically, this fits the genre and some people liked the book on Amazon. I should probably stop there, lest I get into a rant about how letting kids swim in your drinking water is not smart no matter how much the author lurves his main character, and ... Okay. Stopping now.
     
  24. RedRaven
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    RedRaven Active Member

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    I ordered I Am Legend already. Apocalyptic and zombies.. I like it :)
    As for the others.. I had no clue there were so many, so I'll be reading them as time allows it, mingling in other genres in between.
    Again, thank you.
     
  25. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    I am going to recommend Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. It is a book of short stories that moves forward through time. One of them is a very interesting post-Apocalyptic setting.
     

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