Post-Apocalyptic books

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by TamaNeko, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. monsharen

    monsharen Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 2, 2005
    Shouldn't threads like this be sticky? They do hold some valuable info

    Add: And maybe moving it to General discussion while at it.

    Gladly sharing
  2. BayArea

    BayArea First time out of the vault

    Apr 12, 2007
    try "Earth Abides".....takes place in my hometown the Bay Area and is a really good post-apoc read.
  3. El RadEscorpio

    El RadEscorpio First time out of the vault

    May 11, 2007
    The Stand was a great book, I can see some of it rubbed off onto fallout.
  4. Pajari

    Pajari Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jun 7, 2005
    It's probably too late, but stay the hell away from Folk of the Fringe- I saw it mentioned a few pages back in this thread. It's preachy, poorly written sentimental garbage. It remains to this day the only book I've thrown away.
  5. requiem_for_a_starfury

    requiem_for_a_starfury So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 3, 2003
    It's been a long time since I read Folk of the Fringe but I don't remember it being that bad.
  6. Vault Maker

    Vault Maker Vault-Tec Cartographer

    Jun 27, 2006
    Risking the eternal opprobrium of a gravedig, I'd like to add two "books about books".

    Probably hard to find, but Rumours of War and Infernal Machines: Technomilitary Agenda Setting in American and British Speculative Fiction, by Charles Gannon (2003, Liverpool: Liverpool, University Press) is a review of future-war fiction and the feedback between it and actual weapons and warfare. It covers fiction from the Victorian period (The Battle of Dorking) through the end of the 20th century. It describes the works in some detail, the context in which they were published, and any effect they had on military developments or politics.

    The other is one of the only general references on nuclear war fiction I've come across. It summarizes a few hundred fiction books that relate to nuclear war. It is Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction by Paul Brians (Professor of English, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington). It was published in 1985, I think, but the author has a revised version in the works on his website:
    He may have some other goodies of interest on the site.
  7. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Jul 26, 2003
    Petition to have this thread stickied.

    (Or, rather, second Monsharen's eight-month-old quasi-petition.)
  8. hologram

    hologram First time out of the vault

    Jan 17, 2008
    Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse.

    This is a collection of novels from many known and less known authors, all set in post-apocalyptic world in a way or another. Released this january (2008) so it's fresh.

    Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today’s most renowned authors of speculative fiction — including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King — Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon. Whether the end of the world comes through nuclear war, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm, these are tales of survivors, in some cases struggling to rebuild the society that was, in others, merely surviving, scrounging for food in depopulated ruins and defending themselves against monsters, mutants, and marauders.

    Got mine from Amazon, highly recommended.
  9. Vault Maker

    Vault Maker Vault-Tec Cartographer

    Jun 27, 2006
    AHA! Thank you Holo, I saw a story on this a few months back and kept meaning to get it, but couldn't recall the title.

    I thought I had found it the other day, so I bought what I found. It's another collection of short stories from 2007. I'm halfway through it so far, and all the material is interesting at least, some a bit creepy.

    The Apocalypse Reader
    by Justin Taylor

    These are the ways the world ends.

    Thirty-four new and selected Doomsday scenarios: an enthralling collection of work by canonical literary figures, contemporary masters, and a few rising stars, all of whom have looked into the future and found it missing. Across boundaries of place and time, these writers celebrate the variety and vitality of the short story as a form by writing their own conclusions to the story of the world. Obliteration has never hurt so good.

    Grace Aguilar, Steve Aylett, Robert Bradley, Dennis Cooper, Lucy Corin, Elliott David, Matthew Derby, Carol Emshwiller, Brian Evenson, Neil Gaiman, Jeff Goldberg, Theodora Goss, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jared Hohl, Shelley Jackson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stacey Levine, Tao Lin, Kelly Link, H.P. Lovecraft, Gary Lutz, Rick Moody, Michael Moorcock, Adam Nemett, Josip Novakovich, Joyce Carol Oates, Colette Phair, Edgar Allan Poe, Terese Svoboda, Justin Taylor, Lynne Tillman, Deb Olin Unferth, H.G. Wells, Allison Whittenberg, Diane Williams.

    About the Author
    Justin Taylor is the Books Editor for His writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications, including American Book Review, Rain Taxi, Punk Planet, The Brooklyn Rail, and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He earned his MFA in fiction from The New School and lives in Brooklyn. Visit him online at

    I bought mine from somewhere else, but I imagine those other guys have it too.

    A couple of other recent reads with apocalyptic overtones:

    "Youth Without Youth" by Mircea Eliade (1969), source of the new Coppola film. I saw the film first, then picked up the book. It's interesting how closely the film manages to hold to the novella, managing to capture most of the dialogue as well as much of the inner thoughts of the protagonist. The story is about an old man hit by lightning, who physically is rejuvenated but enjoys enhanced mental powers. There is eventually discussion of him being a mutant, somehow equipped to show the survivors of an (inevitable) nuclear war a "way forward" to becoming "post-historic man".

    "On the Natural History of Destruction" by W G Sebald. Nonfiction, btw. The first half or so is about the lack of overt impact of the bombing of Germany in WW2 on postwar German culture or literature (ignoring the "ruins films" made right after the war, mainly by the Germans, I believe...the closest most of us will have seen to these are "The Third Man" or "The Good German"). Apparently it's a conspicuous silence that he felt worth probing. He has some interesting passages describing the effects of the bombing on real people and fictional characters that do crop up in literature.
  10. Tyshalle

    Tyshalle First time out of the vault

    Oct 4, 2005
    I actually liked The Postman movie, and thought the book was only so-so. In both cases, the endings sucked hard core. In the book it sucked pretty bad, but the ending to the movie was bad enough to completely ruin the entire movie.
  11. .ICBM.

    .ICBM. First time out of the vault

    May 7, 2006
    Cormac Mccarthy's - The Road //-BIG SPOILER WARNING, read the book first-//

    I have just finished reading Cormac Mccarthy's - The Road, and what a fantastic book it was. The only setback was the rather quick ending, but hey there had to be at least óne glimmer of light at the end of the gray, gray tunnel.

    The general atmosphere was awesome, while most post-apoc stories are about the short aftermath of a nuclear/younameit apocalypse, this one plays in an unknown timeframe after the bombs (10 years?). I think this is equally interesting then reading about the actual bombs falling. I mean, we could perhaps all survive the aftermath for about 2 years, but then the food supplies in the stores and malls are running out due to constant looting and fires. Soon after all the animal live will be hunted to extinction as well, taking a part of the ecosystem with it. After that the real shit is yet to begin when crops are failing due to radiation (no pollination) and ash/dust which block the sunlight, wrecking the last remnants of the ecosystem. Man, what the hell would YOU do when the only relative stable option to stay alive is eating humans? Will you still try your luck like the father and son in the book, or just slit your wrists and get it over with? When reading the book that last option is almost a welcome, the only right and certainty's you have left is that you can kill yourself.

    And man like the examples above, this book is DARK and devoid of any hope for the human race! I've recently read 'brain keene - City Of The Dead and The Rising' which is about a zombie apocalypse and describes the death of individuals in very nasty details, but somehow it stays superficial for some reason. Perhaps because of the detail you block some stuff out?

    Not with 'The Road'.. The gore and atrocities are always 'just out of view' so your imagination has to kick in...which makes it all the more freaky. I mean, the part when the man and boy notice pursuers which consists of a few men, and a pregnant women. When they decide to check them out they find a recently born baby being roasted on a fire.. I mean like, daaaamn what the hell man.. That one made me yell out in disbelief. Despite the lack of detail it is way more nasty then Brain Keene's vivid descriptions. I've already read how humans resorted to cannibalism and ragtag bands of armed humans have hordes of slaves and women to consume and rape, but then he throws the unthinkable in your face. That was the point where for me where all hope for a better future for that world snapped.

    Reading this I think that Fallout's world is way, way to positive (which does not mean anything about the awesomeness of the game, let that be clear). Without factories and facilities all supplies would run out in less then 10 years. And without maintenance buildings and usable stuff like cars or parts are destroyed in 20 years. Cormac's vision of a post apoc world where the human race is slowly fading out in a destroyed world which cannot sustain the species, or any species for that matter for the next few hundred years, feels quite realistic. Literally shot back into the stone age.

    Never the less, I will reinstall Fallout 1 and 2 once more to prowl the wasteland and exterminate every slaver/highwaymen/raider which newly found ferocity..
  12. TheBadDoctor

    TheBadDoctor First time out of the vault

    Feb 7, 2008
    I've got to put in a recommendation for Nick Mamatas' Move Under Ground.

    It's not traditional post-apocalyptic fiction, involving no nuclear war, but here's the basic plot.

    The rise of Cthulhu and R'lyeh, as told from the perspective of Jack fucking Kerouac.

    That's right.

    It's a bit of a road novel, with Jack teaming up with Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs to drive from Big Sur to New York in an attempt to halt the world-ending conflict between Azathoth and old tentacle-face.

    It's insanely well-written, though short, and it's exactly what a bastardization of Lovecraftion mythos and Beat style should be. Mugwumps, freakish zombies, and Burroughs pulling multiple William Tell stunts.

    Best book I read all year.
  13. vetrox

    vetrox First time out of the vault

    Feb 17, 2008
    Surprisingly, the first Anarchy Online book is a very good read with a lot of the content you seek.
  14. Ureshi

    Ureshi It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Aug 23, 2007
    The name of the book please :P the screen is broken :P

    Another one: Roadside Picnic is a nice book
  15. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
  16. .ICBM.

    .ICBM. First time out of the vault

    May 7, 2006
    ^^ Fixed the link.
  17. Physics

    Physics First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2007
    Amazing book, Z for Zachariah. I read it when i was 12 i guess. Loved it...

    very good from Robert C O' Brien
  18. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    A few chapters from Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles.

    Also, St. Vonnegut's Slapstick.
  19. NeVeRLiFt

    NeVeRLiFt First time out of the vault

    Jan 7, 2004
  20. Dal1as

    Dal1as First time out of the vault

    Apr 8, 2008