Post-Apocalyptic Books You Need to Read

Share this Page
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on facebook
Earth Abides

Earth Abides

When a plague of unprecedented virulence sweeps the globe, the human race is all but wiped out. In the aftermath, as the great machine of civilization slowly and inexorably breaks down, only a few shattered survivors remain to struggle against the slide into barbarism . . . or extinction.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Alas, Babylon

Alas, Babylon

When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
One Second After

One Second After

one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
The Big Empty

The Big Empty

One year ago, a devastating plague called Strain 7 killed three quarters of the human race. Around the world, power systems failed and supply chains screeched to a halt. The surviving population of the United States has been relocated to the coasts; the heartland is now a wasteland called The Big Empty. But seven teens trying to put their lives back together will learn that the abandoned zone holds danger, secrets, and above all, hope.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
Memory Boy

Memory Boy

Ash is still falling from the sky two years after a series of globally devastating volcanic eruptions. Sunlight is as scarce as food, and cities are becoming increasingly violent as people loot and kill in order to maintain their existence. Sixteen-year-old Miles Newell knows that the only chance his family has of surviving is to escape from their Minneapolis suburban home to their cabin in the woods, As the Newells travel the highways on Miles' supreme invention, the Ali Princess, they have high hopes for safety and peace. But as they venture deeper into the wilderness, they begin to realize that it's not only city folk who have changed for the worse.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
The Stand

The Stand

Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published. Soon to be a television series

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Audible.com
Station Eleven

Station Eleven

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
The Road

The Road

America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon
Swan Song

Swan Song

In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, Earth's last survivors have been drawn into a final battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of humanity. There's Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets...Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station...and Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with her gifts. But the ancient force behind earth's devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army...beginning with Swan herself.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
World War Z

World War Z

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. "World War Z" is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
Devolution

Devolution

The author of zombie fictionf avorite World War Z returns with a fresh take on the bigfoot mystery. In an epistolary style, Brooks shares the remnants of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre in a way that blends fact with fiction and reminds us of our own more rugged truths.

More info →
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Book Depository
I Am Legend

I Am Legend

The population of the entire world has been obliterated by a pandemic of vampire bacteria. Yet somehow, Robert Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of what happened and learn to protect himself against the vampires who hunt him nightly.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon Kindle
The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars

Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley. But when a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return and follows its static-broken trail, only to find something that is both better and worse than anything he could ever hope for.
More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
Bird Box

Bird Box

Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world--a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

More info →
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Book Depository
The City of Ember

The City of Ember

Ember is the only light in a dark world. But when its lamps begin to flicker, two friends must race to escape the dark. This highly acclaimed adventure series is a modern-day classic—with over 4 MILLION copies sold! 

More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
The Girl With All The Gifts

The Girl With All The Gifts

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Book Depository
On the Beach

On the Beach

Set in Melbourne following a catastrophic war in the northern hemisphere, Nevil Shute’s classic is the story of a handful of survivors in the terrifying aftermath of nuclear apocalypse. First published in 1957―and famously adapted for the screen soon after by Stanley Kramer, in a film starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner―On the Beach is the perhaps the greatest work of popular fiction about the end of the world.

More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon
The Passage

The Passage

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy - abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions.

More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Book Depository
The End We Start From

The End We Start From

As London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous country seeking refuge from place to place, shelter to shelter, to a desolate island and back again. The story traces fear and wonder, as the baby’s small fists grasp at the first colors he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.

More info →
Buy from Book Depository
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Book Depository

 

What is Post Apocalyptic Fiction?

Post-apocalyptic fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction. It portrays the death of civilization and the birth of chaos which must be navigated by the story’s reluctant characters.

Apocalyptic fiction most often associates with the horror and thriller genres, though it has also been successfully written with more literary acclaim.

The Origin of Post-Apocalyptic Stories

The obsession with these grim tales of pandemonium may seem a modern invention. However, these types of stories are the result of a more timeless human fixation. Recall the corruption of Eden or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Post-apocalyptic stories like these are evident in some of the most ancient texts we possess, including those from the major religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

While post-apocalyptic stories have long been popular, there was a rise in their publication in the twentieth century after the cultural influences of World War I and World War II brought humanity once again too close to this precipice.

Post-Apocalyptic Themes

Most post-apocalyptic books surround one of the following themes:

  • global pandemics (including zombie and vampiric diseases)
  • mass destruction due to war (including nuclear fallout and EMP attacks)
  • artificial intelligence holding too much power
  • nature wreaking havoc on the human animal
  • a fascist or dystopian government.

 

Thanks for Reading

This book recommendation list will continue to grow. Check back for more titles and even submit one you feel should be included in our next update to our editor at bex@outofthebex.com

 

Share This Post
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on facebook
Bex Skoog

Bex Skoog

Bex Skoog is the creator of the 'Out of the Bex' website, a guide to a more thoughtful life through books and simple living. If she had three wishes they would be for teacups to never empty, to possess an unending supply of classic films, and have access to the world's greatest libraries. Bex lives in Virginia outside of Washington D.C. with her husband and hundreds of stray books.

Read Next:

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Join Our Mailing List

Join the Out of the Bex community 
for reviews, book recommendations, and giveaways.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.