It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Let’s face it: the world’s a mess. Who doesn’t need a good laugh in the face of the apocalypse? (You know, laugh to keep from crying and all that jazz.) And Good Omens, a product of the combined genius of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, has had us giggling over the threat of doomsday since the ’90s (1990 to be exact!). The recent miniseries adaption, starring cult favorite actors Michael Sheen and David Tennant, released on Amazon Prime Video this May. Since then, the infectious fantasy has spawned a plethora of fan art and headcanons. Below, we showcase five more stories that flout end-of-the-world doom and gloom—and embrace humor instead.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, by Shaun David Hutchinson

While for Good Omens protagonists, Aziraphale and Crowley, the apocalypse is set to start after teatime, for Elena Mendoza, it begins at Starbucks. She just wanted to talk to her crush, Freddie. But then the siren from the Starbucks logo starts speaking to Elena, and Elena saves Freddie from a gunshot wound, and before you know it, Elena is a certified miracle worker. In fact, the voices she hears want her to work more miracles, and they want her to ignore the fact that when she does, people disappear in a beam of golden light. It would be really nice if the troll dolls—and the bossy voices that appear in a variety of other objects—would just stop talking to her. But what if the disappearances tied to Elena’s miracles have the power to save people from a terrible future?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

The Vogons, an alien race, are bulldozing Earth to make way for an intergalactic highway. Luckily, earthling Arthur Dent is saved by his friend Ford Prefect, researcher for the eponymous travel book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Adams’s droll sf novel, originally published in 1979, is considered a classic for a reason. Like the Good Omens miniseries, many HG2G adaptations employ the voice-over to maintain the original work’s bookish humor. In the 2005 film, for example, actor and comedian Stephen Fry gives voice to the fictional Guide, packing the narrative with witty turns of phrase. So grab your towel—or nearest spacecraft—and begin this stellar adventure! Who knows . . . maybe you’ll even solve the mysteries of life, the universe, and everything else while you’re at it.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore

You may think you know the story of Christ. But do you know the real story, as written by Jesus’s best pal, Biff? If you somehow haven’t already stumbled on Moore’s crass, irreverent take on the life of Christ, now is the perfect time to start reading. And for those of you who (unlike over 20,000 protesters) thought “not enough blasphemy” while watching Good Omens, Moore’s humor (a little cruder and a little ruder)—and absurdist reimaginings of scripture—will be just the thing.

Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente

Think Eurovision, but in space. Aliens have come to Earth to gather contestants for a galactic musical competition, with nothing but the survival of our species at stake. Who will be chosen to represent and save humankind? Well, if humankind had their say, it wouldn’t be one-hit wonder glam-rock band Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros . . . but the surviving members of the band have other ideas. Good Omens fans will quickly recognize that Valente’s hopeful sf, filled with spectacular world building and uproarious humor, has enough strut and flare to rival Crowley himself.

Vivian Apple at the End of the World, by Katie Coyle

For 17-year-old Vivian Apple, the apocalypse comes in the form of the Rapture. Vivian is not a follower of the Church of America like her parents, so come Judgement Day, when Vivian’s parents seem to ascend through two holes in the roof, Vivian wants answers. Seeking the truth, she and her best friend, Harp, embark on a road trip across America, ready to face down the end of the world. Besties + taking on the apocalypse? If you like Good Omens, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.



About the Author:

Melody’s love of words has taken her on a variety of adventures, beyond the adventures on the page, including librarian, bookseller, literary intern, dramaturg, and script reader. Reading hundreds of books a year, she's constantly seeking that next literary fix.

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