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When times are rough.

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posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 11:03 PM
I've always been drawn to post-apocalyptic science fiction. Unfortunately, I've found there are a limited number of quality novels that fit in this genre. A number of these were written some time ago, yet they hold up well, and bear re-reading on occasion. Perhaps it is the lack of technology available to the survivors in these types of novels that allows the older books to hold their own, where older novels about space exploration and the like, have trouble standing up to more recently written works that have the advantage of incorporating real life technological advances and theories into their creation.

I want to offer a short list of post-apocalyptic novels that are my favorites, and welcome any comments on them by those reading this thread. If anybody has suggestions of other books they may have read in the genre, I would love to see them.

Malevil by Robert Merle
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
The Postman by David Brin
The Last Ship by William Brinkley
The Three Californias Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
A Gift Upon the Shore by M.K. Wren

I have also just finished a book titled The Road. This book was just published. The author is Cormac McCarthy, arguably one of the finest American authors of the 20th and early 21st centuries. It is far different than any he has previously written. This sparse novel tells the story of a father and son making there way through a desolate and charred landscape, and focuses on their reliance on each other not just for physical well being, but emotional as well. Absolutely brutal, stunning, and touching. It blew me away.

This is my first thread on this web site. I joined today.

I tried to edit after I figured out after the post how to underline the book titles. Maybe next time. LOL

[edit on 20-10-2006 by Musky]

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 10:08 PM
I've only read 'Canticle for Leibowitz' on your list, but that was an excellent book. 'Alas, Babylon' I have not read, but I am told it bears many similarities to the John Titor hoax.

There was a book I read several years ago called 'Farnham's Freehold." I forget who wrote it, but it was one of the big names in sci-fi a few decades back. I think you might like that one if you are into this sort of stuff.

While not post-apocalyptic, most of William Gibson's sci-fi is quite bleak, and portrays most of its characters living in really crappy slum-like conditions. He's got a lot of weird biotech ideas and stuff like that in his novels, too.

The book I am actually reading right now, called 'Aftermath' by Levar Burton (who was Geordi on Stark Trek TNG :p) takes place about 15 years in the future. It doesn't take place after any kind of apocalypse, but it does occur right after a bunch of civil war in the States caused by the first black president being assassinated. (you learn that on about page 2, so no spoiler)

I also really liked '1984' by George Orwell and 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley, although, like Gibson, those aren't post-apocalyptic, but they do paint a very dreary and dismal view of the future, and it's rather scary how some of the stuff in those books can be seen today in real life.

posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 11:21 PM
Thanks for replying. I googled Farnham's Freehold, and it looks to be an interesting read. You're right, it's by a big name, Robert Heinlein.

I have read All Tomorrow's Parties and Virtual Light by Gibson, and they are indeed excellent books. I have less interest in the whole cyber-punk genre, however. Of course, Huxley and Orwell wrote timeless classics.

Alas, Babylon was written and is set in the 1950's after a U.S.-Soviet nuclear exchange. I don't know much about John Titor, but I see Wikipedia says he may have used some of the ideas to describe the nuclear disaster scarred world he visited in his time travels. I'm not big believer in that type of thing. The book is fun as it was written during the duck and cover period of the Cold War. It's similar in tone to Fail Safe and On the Beach, but more hopeful than both.

It's funny, I read a book titled Aftermath, by Chalres Sheffield, not long ago. Set on an Earth decimated by super nova radition. Kind of a weak effort from an author who is generally well thought of.


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