Good Post Apocalyptic Books Wanted

Discussion in 'Classic SF&F' started by Clangador, Dec 5, 2004.

  1.  
    Clangador

    Clangador Lord of Dunroamin

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
    20
    I've recently read Day of the Triffids, The Postman, Greybeard, and Earth Abides. I'm looking for some more good post apocalyptic scifi to read. Anyone got any suggestions?
  2.  
    Leto

    Leto Outside

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,070
    Dr Bloodmoney by Philip K Dick
    Deus Irae by K Dick and Zelazny.
  3.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Messages:
    11,357
    Hi Clangador, and welcome to the chronicles-network. :)
  4.  
    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,959
    Yes, welcome to this hotpot of sadness and frustration... :)
  5.  
    Foxbat

    Foxbat I am a number

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,832
    Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazney is a particular favourite of mine (it was also made into a particularly poor film in 1977) :)
  6.  
    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    4,075
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson certainly qualifies, although it is as much horror as sf. If you like Wyndham's books, it seems you'd like the Matheson one too. Through Darkest America by Neal Barrett, Jr is another good post-apocalyptic novel. Walter M Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true gem of its kind and essential sf reading in general, too.
  7.  
    polymorphikos

    polymorphikos Scrofulous Fig-Merchant

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,117
    The Kraken Wakes, also by Wyndham, '48 by James Herbert (bearing interesting parallels to others, but a good thriller), Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence, The Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boule. Through Darkest America sounds worth it for the title alone.
  8.  
    Diatomite

    Diatomite New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    9
    Earth Abides, George R Stewart. A favourite of mine, also reccomended by Brian Aldiss and Jimi Hendrix.
  9.  
    hazelnut

    hazelnut vizsla vizsla

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    4
    Harlan Ellison's novella A Boy and his Dog, is a particular favorite of mine.
  10.  
    Diatomite

    Diatomite New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    9
    Yes, "A Boy And His Dog" is very good. There is a film of it also.
    Greybeard, Brian Aldiss
    The Drowned world, J G Ballard (also The Crystal World)
  11.  
    chartreuse

    chartreuse Those damn slithy toves!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    15
    The Last Gasp by Trevor Hoyle
    Swan Song by Robert McCammon
    On the Beach by Nevil Shute (dated, but still worthwhile)
    The Stand by Stephen King
    Rebirth by John Wyndham
    The Genocides by Thomas Disch
    The Children of Men by P.D. James
    Lucifer's Hammer by Niven & Pournelle - one of my personal favorites!

    Has anyone read Wrath of God by Ralph Gleason? It's next on my list, but I want to make sure it's good first.
  12.  
    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,543
    "Farnham's Freehold" by Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1964. BUT...I recommend this one with reservations. It is an effective novel - however it has been interpreted by some as being both racist and fascist, and it carries on with Heinlein's rather retro (for us) attitudes toward women.

    On the other hand, I read it for a college course in popular literature. The course was taught by a pretty politically correct professor, and he didn't seem to have a particular problem with it.
  13.  
    The Master™

    The Master™ Science fiction fantasy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,555
    Z for Zachariah by Robert O'Brien

    I saw the film or tv show with Anthony Andrews... Very interesting idea...

    ***SPOILER ALERT***

    This is information from memory of reading the book and watching the tv... So apologies if some information is wrong

    The people on a farm, that is situated in a valley, see a flash in the sky one night and then all the tv and radio signals go dead...

    Several days later, they realise that no post has been delivered and there is no phone line... So a couple of them go out of the valley, leaving one or two kids behind...

    Some time goes by and the girl, left behind, gets a little worried but carries on caring for the animals...

    A little while longer, and a stranger in a contamination suit appears in the valley...
  14.  
    chartreuse

    chartreuse Those damn slithy toves!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    15
    Hey, I forgot a couple!

    Them Bones by Howard Waldrop - this book is so good, I can't believe I didn't mention it.
    Some feminist post-apocalypse:
    A Gift Upon the Shore by M.K. Wren
    Children of the Light by Susan Weston
    Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm - this one is really well-done, about cloning and its effects on a pseudo-utopian post-apocalyptic society.
  15.  
    Neil040

    Neil040 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    93
  16.  
    ykb

    ykb New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    My friend also read Earth Abides and he enjoyed it. I am legend is a great book. Short and sweet. My version is only 170 pages, and it has large print. Think Night of the Living Dead, but with the protagonist investigating the cause of the cause of the worlds vampirism.
  17.  
    Winters_Sorrow

    Winters_Sorrow Unreg. Mutant Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,960
    yeah, Earth Abides was brilliant, I just discovered it by accident in a second hand book shop - it had a really good way of thinking things through to a logical conclusion. :)

    I recommend Battle Circle by Piers Anthony (although it is set several hundred years after an apocalypse - not sure if you mean a more "immediate after-effects" kind of novel)
    I also liked the Amtrack Wars series by Patrick Tilley - but, again, it maily deals with what sort of interesting societies crop up after such an event

    Also check out Nightfall by Isaac Asimov for an alien version of apocalypse tales! :)
  18.  
    merritt

    merritt olaf capek

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    120
    <H1 align=left>Ice Prophet William R. Forstchen </H1>



    ICE PROPHET #1

    Synopsis

    The last great hope.

    For millennia after the Accident, Earth lay cold and still, its small population punished by the dismal climate, harried by plague, and impoverished by frequent bloody wars.

    Then, unexpectedly, the oppressed had reason to hope, for a leader stalked the frozen seas with great ice fleets and new ideas... In terrible battles he vanquished the forces of tyranny and brought the promise of renewal to an otherwise miserable world.

    But nothing was quite as it seemed - either to Michael Ormson or to his followers... Pretty Good, almost a juvie though.



  19.  
    Shoegaze99

    Shoegaze99 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    341
    I just finished Earth Abides and loved it. Very thoughtful, more somber than expected, and often very melancholy. A very deliberate pace. There is no “Mad Max” to speak of; this is a book that seeks to grapple with the fundamental issues of what makes a civilization.

    There are really two major themes. First, it is a look at how man's conquering of Mother Nature is temporary at best. Take away man, and Earth’s memory of man will be soon forgotten. There are superb passages describing how various things – animals, farms, cities, roads – mankind has influenced and/or created would be impacted by our disappearance. At the same time, the book deals with civilization. What are the fundamentals of civilization? What keeps people together? What prompted the creation of tribes, religion, superstition, and war? There are few clear-cut answers, which makes for compelling thinking material. Worth reading.

    I’ve read Brin’s The Postman and think it is full of missed potential. Very unfortunate. The post-apocalypse society painted by David Brin is well-constructed and believable. There are lots of little details scattered here and there that hint at the larger world of turmoil beyond the confines of the story. The first third of this book was great reading. Unfortunately, is leaps into a side story regarding a town with some AI computer (or so it seems), and again into a story about augmented super soldiers. The final stages of this book read like action movie rubbish. What began as a book with a great setting and fantastic premise lost its focus halfway through and never really recovered. I didn’t hate this, but I wanted to like it a lot more than I did.

    King’s The Stand might be the most popular post-apocalypse book out there. It’s long. Arguably too long. Thankfully, the sheer bulk of this book does not detract from King's surprisingly good characterization and the compelling plot hook - a virus that wipes out just about the whole world save a small percentage of the population. Both are handled well, with believable people and graphic depictions of the aftershocks of such a virus.

    But in the end, when metaphysical religious mumbo jumbo takes over, the epic falters.

    The depictions of the virus' impact on the world are scary and well portrayed. The first half, maybe two-thirds, of the book sail along briskly despite the time King takes to dwell in insignificant character details. The latter portions of the book, however, are a disappointment. This strong tale of survival ultimately turns into a hokey quasi-religious showdown. By this point, you're turning pages not because you want to see the story, but because you have already read 700 pages. A very poor end to an otherwise good book.

    If you’re going to read The Stand, try to find the originally released “cut” version, because the uncut version now on the shelves simply has too much filler.

    I also recently read Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold, the first half of which is essentially a post-apocalypse book (with a twist). I wholly dismiss the naysayers who claim the latter portions of this book are racist … they clearly miss the point. But that’s not relevant to the “apocalypse” part. This begins as the story of a small group of people who survive a nuclear war, and what they do to survive on their own without technology and the civilization they knew to aid them. I enjoyed this a lot.

    Lucifer's Hammer and Damnation Alley are both on my "near future" to-be-read list.
  20.  
    merritt

    merritt olaf capek

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    120
    I just found a site that has some good lists. Its a personal site " armchair armegeddon" search on google.:)

Share This Page