Check out the prologue to "Alone In The Light" by clicking here

An excerpt from: Alone In The Light

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Apocalypse WOW!!! A Post-Apocalyptic Literature Post.

I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories. I have read dozens of books with the same premise - The world has ended, people are trying to still be people.

And I love them. All Most of them.

I don't mean Dystopian novels like The Hunger Games or The Handmaid's Tale - Which I also love - I mean straight-up world-ending, 50% or more of the people in the world are gone and we're watching the last of humanity try to survive just ONE. MORE. DAY...  And it's fucking glorious. I don't often feel the same about PA movies. They're usually good, but trying to depict truly Post-Apocalyptic life on screen is a far more challenging task than in print. There are a few exceptions though.

I just finished HELL DIVERS by Nicholas Sansbury Smith from Audible (Read by the AMAZING R.C. Bray). It's about a group of WWIII survivors living aboard an airship 250 years following the near-complete destruction of the human race. The 2 ships - Aries and The Hive - float above radioactive superstorms trying to stay alive. When they need supplies or parts to fix the ship they send their Hell Divers to the ground to find what they need. It's a very bleak and depressing world... and I picked up Hell Divers II as SOON as I finished the first one. Pick it up - you'll like it. Hell Divers III is available for pre-order too now!!  I think this book could make a fantastic TV series or Movie... I don't like saying "I'd love to see this as a movie" because I feel books are 99% of the time WAY better as a book. But this one has a lot of cinematic themes that could be done well on the screen...

Reading this book has me thinking about some of my favorite reads in the Post Apocalypse genre... there are a TON of them. But I thought I'd share my thoughts on a few of them...

Some of my favorites in the genre are as follows (in no particular order) -
Lucifer's Hammer by: Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven is one of the first PA books I read. It was amazing. Post-comet impact story of people coming together, or falling apart, in the aftermath. It opened my eyes to a lot of new ideas about what life would/could be after such an event. The book is dated, taking place in the early 80s... but it still holds true. I could not put it down.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is something that will make you want to keep reading... and then hug your children and never let go of them as you sob uncontrollably into your beer while drink away the crushing sadness. IT WAS SO GOOD. Father and son road trip survival trek across the barren wastelands trying to find food and shelter while avoiding the whole "get caught, eaten and raped" thing. And if the book isn't enough to give you issues - try the movie. SOOO well done. It has the same bleak, hopelessness in every scene. It's great.

On The Beach by Nevil Shute was a different book in the genre for me... The apocalypse has happened and this is the story of a group of people basically awaiting their demise from the radioactive fallout headed their way. Just a great story. Much like Lucifer's Hammer - this book is dated but still holds up for being written in 1957.

Earth Abides by George R. Stewart was my first PA audiobook. And, much like the others on this list, I couldn't stop reading/listening. A disease spreads across the world in a rush, killing off most of the population. A man wakes to find himself in a seemingly empty world and slowly finds others. They come together as a community.... sort of. There's a dog and kids, and death... What's not to like? Originally published in 1949 - it still holds up. And better than a lot of the new stuff.

The Postman by David Brin gets a lot of flak for the movie adaptation... and I don't get that. I love the movie too. It's a nice Sunday afternoon matinee kind of movie. The book, however, is about 100 times better than the movie. It gives everyone and everything so much depth. One man tells a lie to save his life... and accidentally rekindles the American spirit of a dead nation following the "Doomwar". Totally excellent read. Don't let the movie make you think otherwise.

Wool by Hugh Howey was recommended to me by my friend John... And, man, what a surprise. It's a story about a girl who lives in a giant silo underground to escape the horrible, toxic conditions of life outside... The two follow-up books tell the tale of how they came to be in the silos, and what happens next. Really great world-building of life in a giant, underground tube. And a very scary, mostly plausible reason as to why the world went to shit.

The Stand by Stephen King is the one King book that I've read - that I love. I don't need to recap the book - you've either read it already or seen the mini-series from the 90s with Molly Ringwald and Gary Sinise. If you haven't - you should.

New Additions since this was originally made:

The Post Apocalyptic Nomadic Warrior by Benjamin Wallace is something I stumbled upon through a Facebook ad of all places and absolutely LOVED it. Aside from just being funny - it's a great story! I absolutely loved this book. I recommend this to anyone who wants a good PA book without wanting to cut themselves afterwards... looking at you "The Road"!!

The Hell Divers Series by Nicholas Sansbury Smith is phenomenal. Full of action and tension - this book kept me going until the last. It's a dark, gritty world where humans fight to stay alive and the Hell Divers make that possible. I picked this books up on a whim during the "Editors' Pick Sale"... and was so glad I did. By the time I finished the first one, I'd already purchased books 2 and 3 - and am now waiting on book 4: Wolves.

Bonus mention - 
One Second After by William E. Forstchen... I am torn on this. I think Matherson does a fantastic job of depicting a PA United States. It's very realistic and very plausible.. BUT... the book reads like a "Worst Case Scenario" handbook for Preppers and Survivalists. That's not a bad thing - but it is a bit alarmist and a bit "If only we'd been a little less nice" at times. And I'm not really huge on those themes. Maybe I'll need to re-visit it and see if my opinion has changed. It has been several years since I read it.

Honorable Mentions although not technically PA -  
World War Z by Max Brooks is the best zombie book I've ever read. The movie is absolutely awful in my opinion... but the book. Oh man... What a fantastic work. It's not technically PA since the majority of the book is the re-telling of the actual apocalypse through historical accounts. Which he did... PERFECTLY. If you want a really good read and haven't yet picked this up for some unconscionable reason - go do it. You'll thank me later.

Children of Men by P.D. James is technically a dystopian novel... but also a Pre-Apocalypse story? Not sure which - but HOLY CRAP what a ride. The movie version is ALSO top-notch. They are both Pretty excellent and I recommend them to you all.

So, there you have it. A collection of Post-Apocalyptic stories to keep you entertained and potentially depressed AND uplifted all at the same time!

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