Everything's Coming Up Apocalypse

Now this is smart: a used books merchant doing read-alikes. A while ago, I got an e-mail from AbeBooks touting their “End of the World Literature – Post-Apocalyptic Fiction” list. While it includes many titles that I included on my “Core Collection: Before and after The Road,” there are titles that I either missed or chose not to include–some of them predating not only the Booklist Online database but even the invention of the machines we all assume will help hasten the apocalypse. Here’s the AbeBooks list, linked to Booklist reviews when applicable.

The Last Man, by Mary Shelley (1826)

After London, by Richard Jefferies (1885)

Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart (1949)

The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham (1951)

Daybreak – 2250 AD (Star Man’s Son), by Andre Norton (1952)

I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson (1954)

On the Beach, by Nevil Shute (1957)

Alas, Babylon, by Pat Frank (1959)

A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller Jr. (1961)

The Devil’s Children, by Peter Dickinson (1970)

Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1977)

The Stand, by Stephen King (1978)

The Postman, by David Brin (1985)

The Last Ship, by William Brinkley (1988)

A Gift Upon the Shore, by M. K. Wren (1990)

Blindness, by José Saramago (1995)

The Rift, by Walter J. Williams (1999)

The Slynx, by Tatyana Tolstaya (2000)

The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau (2003)

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

(Apocalypse Then: more helpful links.)



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

2 Comments on "Everything's Coming Up Apocalypse"

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  1. snagl@yahoo.com' Sarah says:

    A co-worker coined the term “Bummer Fiction” for this genre – much pithier!

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