These are the various books I’ve read and where I rank them in a list of best to worst.
There are some who say you shouldn’t review bad books, but I think thats unfair since fair warning is always appreciated (at least by me!). This list will continue to be updated.
Best Apocalyptic Fiction
- Earth Abides by George R. Stewart Plague – I read this book about four years ago and it has stuck with me since. If i think of Apocalyptic fiction, this is the book I think of above all others. See the wikipedia article on it for further information. I will eventually review this one, but it might not be for awhile.
- Swan Song by Robert McCammon Nuclear Disaster – I just finished reading this book this past week and will review it soon. This book took me a little bit to get into it, but once “in” I couldn’t put it down. Definitely worth reading. I think Earth Abides, Swan Song, and The Stand are all books that are equal, in a way, to each other, in the ability to really draw you into the characters lives and the world they live and die in.
- The Old Man and the Wasteland by Nick Cole Nuclear Disaster – This is a short story. I think the author definitely took his que from George Stewart from Earth Abides. It was a successful plot and you like the story and the main character.
- A Land of Ash by David Dalglish Natural Disaster – Land of Ash Book Review - I reviewed this one on this website, follow the link for more info.
- Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer - Natural Disaster (Moon related) – Three book series. The first one is the best, but the other two are worth checking out if you like this author’s writing style. The second book in the series was alright, but the third was the weakest of the bunch and probably should have just been omitted.
- The Stand by Stephen King- Plague – I read this book about 15 years ago after I watched the tv mini-series. I love this book and this was my introduction to post-apocalyptic fiction. Will review this at a later date.
- Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse -Various “apocalypse” scenarios – Various Authors – This is a fantastic book of short stories. I’d say about 90% of the stories are worth reading with the remaining 10% not being anywhere near as bad as the books listed below.
- Summer of the Apocalypse by James Van Pelt - Plague – This book is haunting and disturbing, in a lot of ways. It doesn’t focus on the “plague” but rather jumps between a kids memory of the event and the elderly version of himself travelling across the country to look for a solution to a dying “colony” or “village”
- American Apocalypse: The Collapse Begins by Nova - Economic Collapse - Reviewed on this website here.
- Collapse (New America) by Richard Stephenson - Economic/Societal/Nuclear – Collapse Review - Good book, part of a trilogy that hasn’t been written yet. It’s a pretty good book and ranks pretty high on the charts for worthwhile reading.
- What Came After by Sam Winston - Economic/Societal Collapse – This isn’t a bad book and it’s not a fantastic book (i.e. the definition of mediocre). It’s better than American Apocalypse, but it never really made me go “ahhhh.” It was a light read and rather forgettable. I had to go look it up on amazon in order to remember what it was about.
- Breakdown by Katherine Amt Hanna - Plague/Technology Collapse - Breakdown Review - Reviewed in full on this website. Follow the link for more info.
- The Children of Men by PD James - Infertilty – Children of Men Review -Reviewed in full on this website. Follow link for more info.
Not Recommended Apocalyptic Fiction
- 12/21/12 by Larry Enright – Everyone disappears – Short story that was so awful..don’t bother. Cliche’, Boring, disjointed. However, at least it was grammatically correct, unlike most of the books I’ll be listing here
- Lights Out by David Crawford – EMP – Bad grammar, stereotypical, cliche’, repetitive use of character names, aggravating to read due to sentences like this “Yeah, Lucky me! I bought this diesel Rabbit for the gas mileage, not because it was EMP proof. Look, Mark, I’ve got to get home. I think I’m just going to bug out right now.”
- The Survivors: Book One by Angela White – I don’t even know what this book was about. I read about 40 pages in when I gave up due to it being so bad. Grammar is okay, but it had way too much happening and too many stereotypes to be worth my time
- Dark Grid by David C Waldron- EMP – Same problem as Lights Out. In fact, I kept confusing them with each other. Another book I never made it very far into for the same reasons as the Lights Out book.