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My favorite end-of-the-world books

May 20th, 2011

As we all know, the world is coming to an end tomorrow (and if you’re reading this after May 21, then you obviously weren’t good enough to make the Rapture), so why not kick back and spend the last few hours on the earth reading a good post-apocalyptic disaster novel? I’m a fan of the genre, and these are a few of my favorites, organizaed by the means to mankind’s demise….

Flood and Ark by Stephen Baxter.

Water wells up from below the oceans, inundating the world.

The Stand by Stephen King

Bio-engineered flu wips out humanity.

Blood Music by Greg Bear

The original “grey goo” novel.

The Rift by Walter Williams

The Big One hits – at the New Madrid fault, tearing America in two.

Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Purnelle

Big meteor. Bigger bang.

Nuclear War
The Last Ship

There are tons of great post-nuke books, but this unique one, from the perspective of a Navy ship at sea, is an underrated gem.

Out of the Dark by David Weber

A nice solid, fun alien invasion set in the Internet era.

World War Z by Max Brooks

Hungry zombies. Lots of guns.

Peak Oil
World Made by Hand by James Kunstler

Life in small town after a sudden decline in the world’s oil

Economic Collapse
Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh

There’s nothing Great about this Depression, but the book is stunning.

Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling

The laws of physics change with devastating consequences to civilization

Children of Men by P. D. James

No more babies.

Evolution by Stephen Baxter

Life evolves. Humans do not (at least not anything like what we would expect). And yeah, Baxter’s on here twice. He’s that good.

Aftermath by Charles Sheffield

When a nearby star goes supernova, things do not look good for little old Earth

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  1. May 20th, 2011 at 19:25 | #1

    I find it awesome that you can come up with such a wide and varied list of disaster books.

  2. June 16th, 2011 at 08:14 | #2

    I love a great post-apocalyptic novel and will check these out.

    I’d recommend Earth Abides (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Abides) and Oryx and Crake/Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, if you haven’t read them.

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