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Novels > I'm looking for apocalypse/end of the world themed books to read

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message 1: by Amy (last edited Dec 26, 2009 02:52AM) (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Please share any good books you've read with an apocalypse/end of the world theme in the horror genre.

I've read The Stand by Stephen King, of course, as well as Cell.

Many apocalypse/end of the world themed books, I realize, will blend with other themes, such as zombies (The Rising), floods (The Conqueror Worms), etc., which is fine as long as they qualify as horror.

Anyone?


Yas (Yas666) What about Under the Dome by Stephen King. I got it for xmas so haven't read it yet but apparently its quite similar to the stand in this apocalypse/end of the world kind of theme your looking for.
Good luck!


Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Great! I've got this on hold at the library since I can't afford a copy of my own. Thanks Yas!


Jerrod (LiquidAzrael) | 894 comments One by Conrad Williams is an end-of-world book, many who've read The Road say that it's very similar, but as I have not, I cannot say.


Marge | 8 comments Swan Song by Robert McCammon is one of the best end-of-the world novels I have ever read and I've read both The Stand and The Road. Swan Song is fabulous!


Sandi (Sandikal) Post-apocalyptic fiction is one of my favorite sub-genres. Although most of what I've read is classified as science fiction, I think that the end of the world falls into horror just as well. It's definitely a cross-genre theme.

For example, World War Z An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks is shelved in the horror section of most bookstores. However, I thought it was as much science fiction as horror. Brooks has a very science-based explanation for the zombie disease and there is plenty of scientific explanation of everything involve.

The Rapture by Liz Jensen is shelved under general fiction. I read an advance copy earlier this year and thought it should have been marketed as science fiction. However, a great deal of it falls into horror as well. What could be scarier than a young girl who's murdered her mother and is having visions of major disasters that come true and is now predicting the end of the world?

Blindness by Jose Saramago is really borderline in a lot of ways. It only seems like an end-of-the-world scenario. The horror comes completely from the inhumanity humans show towards their fellow humans and what fear drives people to do. It's one of the most horrifying books I've read, yet it's capital-L literature.

That's all I can think of for now that I would put into the horror category. Most of the other post-apocalyptic fiction I've read is strictly science fiction.


Barks & Bites (BarkLessWagMore) | 535 comments I second Swan Song by Robert McCammon.


Tom Mueller | 69 comments Earth Abides is an older post apocalypse tome, written in the early 1950s. Parts are very similar to King's _The Stand_. Highly recommended for those who are into this genre.
An even older read is a little known book by Mary Shelley, The Last Man. That one is a Classic of gothic fiction.


William (Acknud) | 398 comments The Day of the Triffids
Into the Forest
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Z for Zachariah
Lucifer's Hammer
Damnation Alley

I could go on!!! I have a shelf under my book section on just this topic. It has a lot I haven't read yet but have grouped together for easy reference. Check it out.


Sandi (Sandikal) Tom wrote: "Earth Abides is an older post apocalypse tome, written in the early 1950s. Parts are very similar to King's _The Stand_. Highly recommended for those who are into this genre.
An even ..."



Earth Abides is absolutely my favorite post-apocalyptic novel. I just would never consider it as a horror novel. It just has too much hope.

A Canticle for Leibowitz would be my second favorite. It's so thought-provoking. I also wouldn't classify it as horror.

I just thought of another. I just finished Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout. It's a fantasy based on Norse mythology, but the Vikings had some really horrific ideas in their myths. This book is about Ragnarok, the end of the world. It features a trip to Helheim and a ship made out of human bones and skin. There's lots of blood and gore.

William, I'm off to check your post-apocalyptic shelf.


Emma Audsley (EmmaAudsley) | 47 comments Try 'On the Beach' & 'The Stand'.



Kevin Gallan (gallan1) "the last gasp" by trevor hoyle
"the last canadian" by william c. heine


Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23255 comments Just found out about a book called One Second After. I put it on my TBR list.


Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Jerrod wrote: "One by Conrad Williams is an end-of-world book, many who've read The Road say that it's very similar, but as I have not, I cannot say."

Thanks Jerrod! I haven't read The Road yet, but I will add One to my TBR...


Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Marge wrote: "Swan Song by Robert McCammon is one of the best end-of-the world novels I have ever read and I've read both The Stand and The Road. Swan Song is fabulous!"

Thanks Marge! I had just mentioned in another thread that I intend to give McCammon a try...



Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Sandi wrote: "Post-apocalyptic fiction is one of my favorite sub-genres. Although most of what I've read is classified as science fiction, I think that the end of the world falls into horror just as well. It's..."

I will try The Rapture Sandi, thanks! I have World War Z on m TBR pile already and I've read Blindness. I wouldn't have thought to include it, but you're right... it totally fits!


Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Tom wrote: "Earth Abides is an older post apocalypse tome, written in the early 1950s. Parts are very similar to King's _The Stand_. Highly recommended for those who are into this genre.
An even ..."


Thanks Tom! I will look out for these titles...


message 18: by Amy (last edited Dec 26, 2009 06:38PM) (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments William wrote: "The Day of the Triffids
Into the Forest
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Z for Zachariah
Lucifer's Hammer
Damnation Alley

..."


Oh, but please do go on William! Thanks for the list... I will look for them.




Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Thanks for the recommendations everyone! Keep them coming...


message 20: by Scott (last edited Dec 26, 2009 09:05PM) (new)


Brett (battlinjack) | 839 comments I've been on a apocalypse kick for a while too. The books listed are all pretty good.

One Second After is very good.

On The Beach is a classic and well written. There have been 2 films made of it. The 1st one with Gregory Peck (1959) is the best.
Population Doomsday (1970) - Don Pendleton. Just found this and haven't read it yet.

The War After Armageddon (2009) - Ralph Peters. I'm reading this now. It's very similar to what many think will really happen. The Mideast boils over and draws the world in. Israel gets nuked along with over a dozen cities in Europe and 2 in the US.
(This isn't spoiler, it's listed on the flyleaf and happens before the beginning of the story.)

Star Man's Son (AKA, Daybreak 2250) - Andre Norton
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood


Most novels of this type are Sci-Fi, but there are some very, VERY good horror novels too.

City of the Dead - Brian Keene
Dead Sea - Brian Keene
The Rising - Brian Keene
The Vanishing - Bentley Little
The Walking - Bentley Little
Monster Island, Monster Nation and Monster Planet - David Wellington

The Devil’s Children - Peter Dickinson
A Gift Upon the Shore - M.K. Wren
The Slynx - Tatyana Tolstaya
The Scarlet Plague - Jack London

Here is a long list;

* A Boy and His Dog (by Harlan Ellison)
* A Canticle for Leibowitz (by Walter Miller)
* After London (by Richard Jefferies)
* After Worlds Collide (by Edwin Balmer & Philip Wylie)
* Alas Babylon (by Pat Frank)

* Burning World, The (by J G Ballard)

* Chrysalids, The (by John Wyndham)

* Damnation Alley (by Roger Zelazny)
* Day of the Triffids, The (by John Wyndham)
* Deluge (by S Fowler Wright)
* Dies The Fire (by S M Stirling)
* Drought, The (by J G Ballard)
* Drowned World, The (by J G Ballard)

* Earth Abides (by George R Stewart)
* Earthblood Series (by James Axler)
* Emergence (by David Palmer)
* Empty World (by John Christopher)

* Famine (by Graham Masterton)

* I Am Legend (by Richard Matheson)

* Last Man, The (by Mary Shelley)
* Last Wave, The (by Petru Popescu)
* Long Loud Silence, The (by Wilson Tucker)
* Lucifers Hammer (by Larry Niven)

* Mop Up (by Richard Laymon)

* On the Beach (by Nevil Shute)

* Plague (by Graham Masterton)
* Postman, The (by David Brin)

* Some Will Not Die (by Algis Budrys)
* Stand, The (by Stephen King)
* Swan Song (by Robert R McCammon)

* Third World War, The (by Sir John Hackett)
* This Immortal (by Roger Zelazny)
* Thunder and Roses (by Theodore Sturgeon)
* Through Darkest America (by Neal Barrett Jr)

* Warday (by Whitley Streiber and James Kuselka)
* When Worlds Collide (by Edwin Balmer & Philip Wylie)
* Winter of the World, The (by Poul Anderson)
* World In Winter, The (by John Christopher)


Finally, go to this webpage and you will find a list that will take until the end of the world to read. -grin-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Bibliocrates wrote: "Please share any good books you've read with an apocalypse/end of the world theme in the horror genre.

I've read The Stand by Stephen King, of course, as well as Cell.

Many apocalypse/end of the ..."


Since it's the end of the year, this year I chose to read SWAN SONG by Robert McCammon & you can't get anymore End Of The World than that; IMO.... WoW... It's totally freaky.. This Guy Can Write!




Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23255 comments I can't wait to read Swan Song. Will start it soon. Thanks again, William.


Rachel | 2496 comments If short apocalyptic stories are your thing, I recommend Wastelands Stories of the Apocalypse, pretty solid collection


Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Brett wrote: " I've been on a apocalypse kick for a while too. The books listed are all pretty good.

One Second After is very good.

On The Beach is a classic and well written. There have been 2 films made of ..."


That's quite a list! Thanks!



Shawn | 822 comments On that long list above "The Burning World" and "The Drought" by J.G. Ballard are the same book - they are the "fire" installment of his "earth dies by the four elements" books that start with "The Wind From Nowhere" (which he's since disowned and is probably the least successful book he's written, so easily miss-ible), "Burning/Drought" which is pretty good, "The Drowned World" (also on that list) which is quite good, and finally "The Crystal World" which is excellent.


Jerrod (LiquidAzrael) | 894 comments Sandi wrote: "Tom wrote: "Earth Abides is an older post apocalypse tome, written in the early 1950s. Parts are very similar to King's _The Stand_. Highly recommended for those who are into this genr..."

Earth Abides is a great post apocalyptic novel, but it's very much a gentle apocalypse with more focus on the world changing as man is withdrawn and how man literally restarts society. Definitely have to keep in mind when it was written as it does have racial elements from the time written without pause.



Brett (battlinjack) | 839 comments Shawn wrote: "On that long list above "The Burning World" and "The Drought" by J.G. Ballard are the same book - they are the "fire" installment of his "earth dies by the four elements" books that start with "Th..."

Oops. Thought I caught the dupes. Oh well. I got carried away anyhow.

I know this isn't a horror novel, but I recently read one by Robin Parrish titled 'Offworld' that isn't exactly an apocalypse story, although It starts out like one and is a pretty cool mystery as the only people left try to figure out what happened. They happened to have been on the way back from Mars when the Earth went silent.
I thought it was an interesting take on this sort of story.

Most of this style of books I have read are Science Fiction or Fantasy (repeating myself) and the ones that are Horror related mostly seem to be either Zombie tales or demons from hell stuff. Not all by any means of course, but it IS the prevailing trend at the moment.
One that could truly be both is 'Day of the Triffids'. I saw the film as a kid with a very vivid imagination and it scared the pants off me! I mean nightmare scared. To this day it remains one of my favorite stories.

Here is a short list of a few 'different' books.

The Damned by William Ollie.
Kind of like '28 Days After' but without the zombies. Psycho bikers instead. Pretty interesting.

Armageddon’s Children by Terry Brooks.
This 'could' also be called Fantasy, but it is basically a post-apocalyptic story. First in a trilogy. Excellent story.

Jesus Freaks by Andre Duza.
Adult zombie apocalyptic horror. Very twisted story and a lot of fun to read.

Skimming the Gumbo Nuclear by M.F. Korn.
Apocalyptic horror set in New Orleans. Pollution has begun to create uncontrollable mutations (nasty monster eels) and the ever lovely cannibalistic zombies.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Everyone knows about this extremely well written and extremely depressing post-apocalyptic saga of a man and his son.

The Bridge by John Skipp and Craig Spector.
Apocalyptic eco-horror. "It tells of a new vile entity which has been spawned from toxic waste dumped off of a local bridge, that seeks to end the world." Written by my favorite team of writers.

Skeletons by Al Sarrantonio.
This one is great!
"Skeletons is one of those books that might have ended up in the Zombie category but belongs here at the End of the World. In Skeletons, the Earth has fallen into the path of a galactic plane of space dust, this space dust causes skeletons of the dead both long past and recent to rise and kill the living. This book is different than the usual zombie attack book, because the skeletons don't just wipe out the living, they fight amongst themselves. Great leaders and warriors from the past such as Abe Lincoln, General Lee, Grant, and Khan return in skeletal form and fight amongst each other. Mean while the remaining pockets of humanity are left trying to survive in this new world overrun by the skeletons. This is a very imaginative story that makes a great read, the story flows well and Sarrantonio does a stellar job of flushing out his characters including the skeleton of Abe Lincoln."


Marisella (stregamari) "on the beach" by nevil shute is my favorite, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro wrote a great one called "False Dawn", that was great. I can't wait to get started on the rest of these, I had no idea there were so many!



Marisella (stregamari) I saw "mop up" by richard laymon on the list above, and can't find it anywhere. Was it put out under a different name at first?


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Marisella wrote: "I saw "mop up" by richard laymon on the list above, and can't find it anywhere. Was it put out under a different name at first?"

I've never even HearD of "Mop Up" by Laymon


Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23255 comments Me either.

Love that Fleetwood Mac album, Always.


Bookcrazywoman | 34 comments Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler


message 34: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 28, 2009 01:11PM) (new)

Tressa wrote: "Me either.

Love that Fleetwood Mac album, Always."


Yeah, that 1 & the other titled "Fleetwood Mac" Had some Great Times listening to that music :)


Patrik | 26 comments The listings are impressive. Thanks a lot - my to-read list is increasing dramatically!


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh Yeah, "Lucifer's Hammer" I've heard all Great Things about that book... I'm even going to read it... 1 day


William (Acknud) | 398 comments Always wrote: "Oh Yeah, "Lucifer's Hammer" I've heard all Great Things about that book... I'm even going to read it... 1 day"

I really liked Lucifer's Hammer. Lots of action, interesting story line, all to real possibility.


Scott Pre-apocalyptic, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic...

The Earth Strikes Back by Richard T. Chizmar


message 39: by Amy (last edited Dec 31, 2009 04:19PM) (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments Well... I just had to ask, didn't I? My TBR list is mighty long! I'm excited to read these books if I can got my hands on cheap used copies. If anyone wanted to trade privately via this group, or borrow from each other, I'd be interested...


Joel (JoelArnold) | 35 comments My faves are The Stand, Swan Song, I Am Legend, and The Road.

And I apologize in advance for putting out a little plug for my own short story collection, Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse, available in print and ebook format.


Brainycat | 525 comments Joel, I'm glad you did. I've put the amazon page in my TBP (2B Purchased) folder and will get it next time I have a book budget.


Melissa (DarlingHush) | 14 comments Tressa wrote: "Just found out about a book called One Second After. I put it on my TBR list."

I JUST finished reading One Second After and it was absolutely terrifying. I wouldn't consider it horror but darn, it is so very realistic. Wow...scared the sh@t out of me!

My favorite post-apocalyptic novels are The Stand, The Road, The Rising, City Of The Dead, Swan Song, I Am Legend and On the Beach. By the way, I think the newer movie was the better of the two "On the Beach" films -- but both were great. OH -- you also have "The Left Behind" series by Timothy LeHane and Jerry Jenkins (is the second author correct -- been a long time since I've read these!) which are religious but extremely addictive and so well written.

By the way, thanks Amy for asking for book suggestions on this topic. I'm currently going through a post apocalyptic phase myself. I started with Oryx and Crake -- which I was sadly disappointed in (so rare for me to NOT like her books) but the rest I've read so far have been really good. I'll go through my novels later tonight to see I can find any that haven't already been recommended.

Melissa


message 43: by Brainycat (last edited Jul 19, 2010 10:20PM) (new)

Brainycat | 525 comments Thanks for the recommendations, I'll check those out. I'm into apocalyptic stories as well.

I am all about The Second Coming. It takes place about 500 after the apocalypse starts, and it's still grinding away as the story unfolds. It's a BOM in the Fantasy Book Club group.

It's been many years since I read it, and it would be more of a thriller than a horror story, but have you read Warday?


Jerrod (LiquidAzrael) | 894 comments Melissa wrote: "I JUST finished reading One Second After and it was absolutely terrifying. I wouldn't consider it horror but darn, it is so very realistic. Wow...scared the sh@t out of me!"

Because it's a real phenomenon and out of all the apocalyptic stories out there, it's the most plausible, IMO anyway. Not necessarily a great story, but a fantastic cautionary tale how technology has made our modern life so much more fragile than we realize.

Also, another apocalyptic story is One by Conrad Williams, I enjoyed it.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Rapture (other topics)
Blindness (other topics)
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (other topics)
The Last Man (other topics)
Earth Abides (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Mary Shelley (other topics)