10 Chilling Best Post Apocalyptic Books
Post-apocalyptic novels usually ask two questions: how does a civilization fall, and what happens afterward? The following novels provide unsettling answers to one or both of these questions.
1. The Stand
by Stephen King (Buy from Amazon)
This 1000+ page novel follows the survivors of a worldwide pandemic as they struggle to survive and find meaning. Quasi-religious overtones, a diverse cast of characters, and grim, gory details make this an unforgettable – and terrifying – vision of a world decimated by disease.
2. The Road
by Cormac McCarthy (Buy from Amazon)
A father and son travel though a gray land laid waste and depopulated by an unnamed disaster. Brutality and cannibalism are contrasted with love and the tiniest glimmer of hope for what remains of humanity.
3. Lucifer’s Hammer
by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (Buy from Amazon)
As the Hamner-Brown comet approaches Earth, few believe it will actually strike. When it does, Los Angeles, along with most coastal and river cities, is destroyed. This book follows several characters who survive the disaster and fight a battle that will determine the course of mankind’s future.
by José Saramago (Buy from Amazon)
A different kind of apocalypse befalls a city when almost all of its inhabits are afflicted with blindness. Led by the one person who can still see, a group struggles to survive in a collapsed and chaotic city.
5. I Am Legend
by Richard Matheson (Buy from Amazon)
One of the creepier novels on this list, I Am Legend is the story of a man who fights to maintain a semblance of normalcy when the rest of humanity has turned to vampires.
6. One Second After
by Wiliam R. Forstchen (Buy from Amazon)
After an electromagnetic pulse knocks out most modern technology in North America, the residents of Boone, North Carolina try to rebuild as best they can with what they have. Heartbreaking and terrifying, this plausible scenario depicts the fragility of our modern infrastructure.
7. On the Beach
by Nevil Shute (Buy from Amazon)
In one of the classics of the post-apocalyptic genre, nuclear fallout approaches Australia, bringing with it imminent death. On the Beach focuses on the ways different characters face the inevitable demise.
8. The Postman
by David Brin (Buy from Amazon)
After society collapses due to EMPs and bioweapons, a man discovers a postal worker’s uniform. He initially poses as an employee of the Restored United States in order to get food and shelter, but when he sees the hope he brings to other survivors, he realizes he might have a larger role to play.
9. Oryx and Crake
by Margaret Atwood (Buy from Amazon)
File this one under “mad scientist destroys the world.” This novel follows two friends as they take wildly divergent paths in a world already falling apart. Interwoven through the first-person narrative and flashbacks is a love triangle that ends with terrible consequences.
10. The Gunslinger
by Stephen King (Buy from Amazon)
A gunslinger named Roland pursues the Man in Black across the desert in a world that has “moved on.” This world is unsettlingly similar to our own, with references to ancient water pumps, abandoned railroads, and the Beatles tune Hey Jude. The Gunslinger is the first novel in the epic (and engrossing) Dark Tower series.
Those are the 10 Chilling Best Post Apocalyptic Books.
What would you add to this list?