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  #51  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:42 AM
Lucky Mike Lucky Mike is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
If you don't mind a somewhat older suggestion (from 1994) check out The Harvest by Robert Charles Wilson. It's a well-written end of the world novel and it's unusual in that mankind ends in a way that's not necessarily bad.
Is that the one with the big plants and it turns out the earth is a giant interplanetary farm?
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  #52  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:45 AM
Lucky Mike Lucky Mike is offline
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Originally Posted by standingwave View Post
Daybreak 2250 (AKA Star Manís Son) by Andre Norton
Probably the first post-apocalyptic story I ever read. Originally published in 1952, I picked up a paperback because the cover looked cool to my twelve-year-old eyes but it was pretty damn good, IIRC.

The Postman - David Brin
Oh sure, the movie was terrible, but the novel is pretty good.
Amazingly enough I was halfway through Daybreak 2250 when I picked up Plague Years. I concur it is an interesting read.
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  #53  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:51 AM
Lucky Mike Lucky Mike is offline
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Well, I apparently came to the right place. Thought I had read a lot, but I am seeing many I have not read, and I appreciate the references.

Some of these just did not come up when I would search under the genre and I may have never found them. I have about 7 on the pending reading now.
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  #54  
Old 04-10-2013, 09:29 AM
vontsira vontsira is offline
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Am maybe chiming in redundantly now; but, would somewhat echo BrainGlutton and Snowboarder Bo re S.M. Stirling's "Emberverse" series. I found that, to start off (with the first books in a long and still-continuing series) as a respectably gritty catastrophe-strikes-Earth-and-the great-majority-of-humankind-quickly-die narrative -- and at first, found it distressing but compulsive reading. Initially, it's basically "of this world and in terms of this world's science and technology"(the latter suddenly thrown a millennium back); but as the series goes on, it gets more and more into realms of the magical-mythological-mystical (as Snowboarder Bo implies). I could not take this change of tack, and abandoned the series after Book 5.
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  #55  
Old 04-10-2013, 10:23 AM
Quimby Quimby is online now
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I just wanted to say thanks. Even though I was not the OP I have picked up a couple of titles mentioned in this thread.

To add ti the thread I would recommend Swan Song. I read it many years ago but I remember enjoying it even if it was clear the author read The Stand and said, "I could do that too."
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  #56  
Old 04-10-2013, 11:23 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Originally Posted by Lucky Mike View Post
Is that the one with the big plants and it turns out the earth is a giant interplanetary farm?
No. It's about the arrival of an alien ship that collects human beings into a group mind.
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  #57  
Old 04-10-2013, 01:24 PM
Politzania Politzania is offline
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Here's a few of my recommendations - old and new - grouped by Pre/During - Mostly Post and Long-Past Apocalyptic, with some dystopian stuff thrown in for fun.

Pre/During Apocalypse

The Last Policeman - Winters, Ben H. - Technically pre-apocalyptic, as an asteroid is due to hit Earth in a matter of months - a detective story set in a society slowly breaking down. The ending felt a bit off, like Winters decided at some point to make it a series, but still enjoyable. (FYI - the Kindle version is currently available for cheap!)

Slow Apocalypse - John Varley. Mostly set during the apocalypse, it's not Varley's best, but still an interesting take on societal breakdown. Be prepared for a tour of the greater Los Angeles area...


Ashfall - Mike Mullin. The Yellowstone supervolcano goes kaboom & the teen protagonist crosses the midwest to find his family. Young-adult-ish, but still quite good.

Sleepless - Charlie Huston - Humans are suffering from a plague of insomnia and civilization is falling apart. A detective thriller, similar to The Last Policeman.

Mostly Post- Apocalypse

Boneshaker - Cherie Priest - Zombies & steampunk; perhaps more alt-history than post-apocalyptic, but - a fun read!

Zone One - Colson Whitehead. PA+zombies, which you might be a bit tired of, but it's the most literary example of the genre I've read.

Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion - mostly zombie (sentient - protagonist is a Zed), some PA - dry humour and a love story, but not too sappy.

World Made by Hand - James Howard Kunstler. About 1 generation after a slow decline of civilization - climate change/the end of oil. I could have done without the supernatural elements, but really enjoyed the world-building.

The Maze Runner series - James Dashner. A bit of a rip-off of The Hunger Games, (kids being manipulated with deadly results) but the first novel is more or less worth reading. Some interesting world building, but the characters are meh.

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi - First world vs third world in a hunt for foodstuffs; one of the main characters is an "engineered being" cast off by her owner & trying to survive. Bleak story, but fascinating world building. Some similarities to Oryx & Crake, I suppose.

Long Past Apocalypse

Eternity Road - Jack McDevitt. Rebuilt semi-primitive society; explorers go to find the secrets of their ancestors.

Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde. This one is really quirky - human society is hierarchical based on one's perception of color. Leans dystopian, but Something Happened to cause the color blindness, so am throwing it in here.
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  #58  
Old 04-10-2013, 02:15 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Originally Posted by Politzania View Post
Slow Apocalypse - John Varley. Mostly set during the apocalypse, it's not Varley's best, but still an interesting take on societal breakdown. Be prepared for a tour of the greater Los Angeles area...
Agreed. I'd also add that Varley threw several Deus ex Machinas into this book.

But you can get an interesting take on the dystopian/post apocalyptic genre from Varley's Eight World series. Varley portrays a society where things on the surface are so well run you don't notice the dystopian or post-apocalyptic elements in the background.
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  #59  
Old 04-10-2013, 02:18 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Another unusual post-apocalypse work: Saturn's Children by Charles Stross. It's about a robot civilization that's struggling to figure out a reason for its existence after the extinction of the human beings it was designed to serve.
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  #60  
Old 04-10-2013, 03:07 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Another YA title is "The City of Ember". It was made into a mediocre movie but the book is quite good. You can skip the sequels.
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  #61  
Old 04-10-2013, 04:16 PM
Meurglys Meurglys is online now
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Originally Posted by Lucky Mike View Post
Is that the one with the big plants and it turns out the earth is a giant interplanetary farm?
For the record, I guess this is Tom Disch's The Genocides.
Not a very upbeat ending though!
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  #62  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:44 PM
Lucky Mike Lucky Mike is offline
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Finished the Plague Years books. When I bought them, i got linked to

the end of all things , interesting book. Not a big romance fan, but it was pretty good.



Thanks for all the references.
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  #63  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:47 PM
Lucky Mike Lucky Mike is offline
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Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
Another YA title is "The City of Ember". It was made into a mediocre movie but the book is quite good. You can skip the sequels.
I really liked this book, definitely an example of anxiety over the atomic age and many other things.
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  #64  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:50 PM
Lucky Mike Lucky Mike is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Another unusual post-apocalypse work: Saturn's Children by Charles Stross. It's about a robot civilization that's struggling to figure out a reason for its existence after the extinction of the human beings it was designed to serve.
Looking at it now, is this really it, because it seems different from your description.
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  #65  
Old 04-13-2013, 12:03 AM
Erdosain Erdosain is offline
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I'll second "Far North" by Marcel Theroux. Set in the near future in Siberia which global warming has turned into viable farmland. Siberia has been colonized by American settlers before a total breakdown in society and technology lets loose roving bands of slavers who try to salvage what they can of dead technologies from deserted Russian cities. The summary sounds pulp-y but it's very well done.

Also, "The Dog Stars" by Peter Heller. Quiet and meditative interspersed with a LOT of sniper fire. After the usual population-decimating plague, one guy is holed up in a small Denver-area airport with his Cesna with a lone gun nut. They kill anyone who gets within sniper fire and the pilot goes up in his plane to patrol for intruders and ponders if it's worth it to survive this way. Literary and beautiful.

Last edited by Erdosain; 04-13-2013 at 12:06 AM..
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  #66  
Old 04-13-2013, 01:05 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Looking at it now, is this really it, because it seems different from your description.
That's it. It appears they played up the sex angle in the review to sell the book.
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  #67  
Old 04-13-2013, 08:11 PM
Lucky Mike Lucky Mike is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
That's it. It appears they played up the sex angle in the review to sell the book.
Cool, thanks.
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  #68  
Old 04-14-2013, 06:37 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Can anyone identify this post-apocalyptic story?

The protagonist is a woman alone in the nuclear winter. She encounters some aliens and it becomes clear that their arrival was the event that triggered a nuclear exchange. the aliens feel badly about this. They tell her she is the last person left alive but she resolves to drive across the frozen Atlantic, in search of others or just to die trying. She makes it half way and freezes to death. Her body, frozen in her snowcrawler, is preserved as a memorial to the aliens's terrible shame.

She may have started the story with a companion who died.
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  #69  
Old 04-15-2013, 04:28 AM
glaeken glaeken is offline
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Originally Posted by happycamper*5 View Post
I know you said that you've read many of the older books, but just in case it slipped under your radar (because I don't often see it mentioned in threads like this), I highly recommend The Death of Grass by John Christopher.
I would also recommend A Wrinkle in the Skin and World in Winter by John Christopher. The first deals with global earth quakes that cause massive amounts of destruction and the basic story follows a man and a boy on a trek through the apocalyptic landscape searching for the man’s daughter. The second deals with a new ice age that see's the western nations having to become refugee's to Africa.

Both books are a little dated in places but something I really like about Christopher is he does not gloss over the grim details of what people may become after a total breakdown in society.

Another possible good source for a post-apocalyptic author would be JG Ballard. The drowned world is fairly well know but he did a lot of post-apocalyptic type stories. I would recommend The Drought and Hello America as a couple worth checking out. Ballard does tend to get fairly surreal though so that may not be to everyone’s tastes.

Last edited by glaeken; 04-15-2013 at 04:30 AM..
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  #70  
Old 04-15-2013, 06:58 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Thanks, guys - I've got a nice long list of books to check into now, too.
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  #71  
Old 04-15-2013, 07:10 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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My recommendation - The Cell by Stephen King - not the best story ever, but I did enjoy it. Cell phones go wild! Everyone dies! Chaos ensues!
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  #72  
Old 04-15-2013, 09:05 PM
Zjestika Zjestika is offline
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Originally Posted by Politzania View Post
The Last Policeman - Winters, Ben H. - Technically pre-apocalyptic, as an asteroid is due to hit Earth in a matter of months - a detective story set in a society slowly breaking down. The ending felt a bit off, like Winters decided at some point to make it a series, but still enjoyable. (FYI - the Kindle version is currently available for cheap!)

I just finished this and I really, really liked it. I'm glad it's going to be a series, the next one is coming in July I think. I've been enjoying the recent trend of serials.
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  #73  
Old 04-15-2013, 09:25 PM
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine is offline
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I'm reading The Last Policeman now. So far it's pretty good.

Robert Charles Wilson's novel Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America was one of my favorite reads of last year. Itís set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian United States, but itís largely a cheerful story.

Another older suggestion is China Mountain Zhang, by Maureen F. McHugh. It's an elegant novel set in a future where China has become the dominant world power. It's a strongly character-driven story, only loosely plotted, and I found it mesmerizing.
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  #74  
Old 04-16-2013, 01:02 AM
Dave Hartwick Dave Hartwick is online now
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A couple more (terribly obvious) recommendations from me:

Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, a true dystopia.

Tiptree's "The Screwfly Solution", a science fiction short story about a biological apocalypse. Found it online: http://davidlavery.net/Courses/3840/.../screwfly.html
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  #75  
Old 04-16-2013, 04:02 AM
glaeken glaeken is offline
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One I forgot that I don't see anyone has mentioned yet is Mockingbird by Walter Tevis. I loved it. You could sort of see it as taking place in the same universe as Fahrenheit 451. It's a great book and much underappreciated. Set in the far future it's the story of a humanity that is slowly dying out due to a lack of impetus and a dumbing down of the population who seek nothing but personal pleasures.
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  #76  
Old 04-16-2013, 05:13 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Originally Posted by glaeken View Post
One I forgot that I don't see anyone has mentioned yet is Mockingbird by Walter Tevis. I loved it. You could sort of see it as taking place in the same universe as Fahrenheit 451. It's a great book and much underappreciated. Set in the far future it's the story of a humanity that is slowly dying out due to a lack of impetus and a dumbing down of the population who seek nothing but personal pleasures.
The book I was about to recommend. I stopped reading much SF in high school but read Walter Tevis because I really enjoyed his non-SF works. He was a great writer and I am constantly surprised that SF fans seem largely to have missed out on his works.
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  #77  
Old 04-16-2013, 04:04 PM
psiekier psiekier is offline
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For a more humourous post-apocalyptic tale, there's Will Self's The Book of Dave.

The book is partly flashbacks set in the present, where slightly unhinged cab driver Dave Rudman is suffering from a bad divorce, and puts his deranged thoughts to paper, so to speak. The rest of the book takes place 500 years in the future, after a great deluge reduces society to its primitive beginnings. Survivors find this "Book of Dave" and adopt it as their supreme religious text.
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  #78  
Old 04-17-2013, 12:18 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Originally Posted by glaeken View Post
One I forgot that I don't see anyone has mentioned yet is Mockingbird by Walter Tevis. I loved it. You could sort of see it as taking place in the same universe as Fahrenheit 451. It's a great book and much underappreciated. Set in the far future it's the story of a humanity that is slowly dying out due to a lack of impetus and a dumbing down of the population who seek nothing but personal pleasures.
That is a good one. I don't have it in my library yet, and I think it should be - it's definitely a re-read for me.
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  #79  
Old 04-20-2013, 06:02 AM
Lucky Mike Lucky Mike is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave Hartwick View Post
A couple more (terribly obvious) recommendations from me:

Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, a true dystopia.

Tiptree's "The Screwfly Solution", a science fiction short story about a biological apocalypse. Found it online: http://davidlavery.net/Courses/3840/.../screwfly.html
Handmaid's Tale is an awesome piece of literature in my humble opinion. A poignant statement about ex-post facto law in conjunction with a dystopian religious fascist state.
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  #80  
Old 04-20-2013, 10:37 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Tiptree's "The Screwfly Solution", a science fiction short story about a biological apocalypse.
Sort of.
SPOILER:
It's revealed at the end of the story that the disease that killed off humanity wasn't a random event. It was a carefully designed biological weapon used by aliens to eliminate humanity so they could occupy Earth.
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  #81  
Old 05-13-2013, 08:11 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Originally Posted by Renifer View Post
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. .
I just finished this after reading about it here. I'm not really a fan of the epistalatory format, but it was gripping. Really well done characters.

SPOILER:

I have have to say I was surprised the author went there with how Sammi ended up.

Last edited by Hello Again; 05-13-2013 at 08:12 PM..
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