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The Best Post Apocalyptic Books: Some Of Which You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of
There are many ways that the world could end, and I’m personally prepping for a few of them. This post is meant to be a “fun” guide, allowing you a brief respite to open up an entertaining read.
This list consists of some of the best post apocalyptic books that I’ve personally read. FYI, this list is a mix of the classics and some lesser known Indie authors…
In a steel-and-lead-encased bunker 20 feet below the basement level of his house, a soldier waits for his final orders. On the surface, a plague ravages the planet, infecting over 90% of the populace. The bacterium burrows through the brain, destroying all signs of humanity and leaving behind little more than base, prehistoric instincts.
The infected turn into hyper-aggressive predators, with an insatiable desire to kill and feed. Someday soon, the soldier will have to open the hatch to his bunker, and step out into this new wasteland, to complete his mission: Subvenire refectus.
To rescue and rebuild.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there.
They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love.
Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
This first book of the Holding Their Own series, A Story of Survival, is set in the year 2015, when the world is burdened by the second Great Depression. The United States, already weakened by internal strife, becomes the target of an international terror plot.
A series of attacks results in thousands of casualties and disables the country’s core infrastructure. The combination of economic hardship and the staggering blow of the terror attacks results in a collapse of the government.
This is a realistic story of how an average, middle class couple survives the cascading events brought on by international politics, high tech military actions and the eventual downfall of society.
All of their survival skills are tested during the action packed expedition in a world that resembles the American West of 200 years past.
This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people.
A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.
In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript. Now Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety.
An epidemic has killed off most humans, turning the rest into beasts with sharp nails, keen senses and an insatiable hunger. Now, years later, a solitary survivor hides in a trailer above a dead city. This is life with the door and windows taped shut, where survival comes down to two, simple rules: stay quiet, and protect the air.
One day, a visitor comes up the mountain. It’s a meeting that leads to a fateful decision, and a sacrifice that will change everything.
Collected here for the first time, The Mountain and The City is a post-apocalyptic serial that has kept its faithful readers on the edge of their seats time and time again.
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.
He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years. Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event.
Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”
Five ordinary people must pay the price of survival at the end of the world. A mysterious virus suddenly strikes down millions. Three days later, its victims awake with a single purpose: spread the Infection. As the world lurches toward the apocalypse, some of the Infected continue to change, transforming into horrific monsters.
In one American city, a small group struggles to survive. Sarge, a tank commander hardened by years of fighting in Afghanistan. Wendy, a cop still fighting for law and order in a lawless land. Ethan, a teacher searching for his lost family. Todd, a high school student who sees second chances in the end of the world. Paul, a minister who wonders why God has forsaken his children.
And Anne, their mysterious leader, who holds an almost fanatical hatred for the Infected.Together, they fight their way to a massive refugee camp where thousands have made a stand. There, what’s left of the government will ask them to accept a mission that will determine the survival of them all–a dangerous journey back onto the open road and into the very heart of Infection.
Part Hemingway, part Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, a suspenseful odyssey into the dark heart of the post-apocalyptic American Southwest.
Forty years after the destruction of civilization, human beings are reduced to salvaging the ruins of a broken world. One survivor’s most prized possession is Hemingway’s classic The Old Man and the Sea.
With the words of the novel echoing across the wasteland, a living victim of the Nuclear Holocaust journeys into the unknown to break a curse.
There is no sanctuary. That was taken away in the blink of an eye. Humanity went out not with a whimper, but a bang. Jack, a sometimes humorous, sometimes philosophical ex-special operations pilot and soldier is one of the few left to struggle through the desolation left in the aftermath; seeking to survive as a new ferocious species emerges from the rubble, hungry and unrelenting.
Will his special forces training be enough? Will he be able to keep his children safe and guide the few survivors through perils that now roam the world they once knew?
Or will the hordes that now own the night prevail, forever removing the last of mankind from existence?
America faces a full-scale socioeconomic collapse—the stock market plummets, hyperinflation cripples commerce and the mounting crisis passes the tipping point. Practically overnight, the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure fall, and wholesale rioting and looting grip every major city.
As hordes of refugees and looters pour out of the cities, a small group of friends living in the Midwest desperately tries to make their way to a safe-haven ranch in northern Idaho. The journey requires all their skill and training since communication, commerce, transportation and law enforcement have all disappeared.
Once at the ranch, the group fends off vicious attacks from outsiders and then looks to join other groups that are trying to restore true Constitutional law to the country.
If society collapsed, could you survive?
When Morgan Carter’s car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country’s power grid has collapsed.
There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored—if it ever will be. An avid survivalist, Morgan takes to the road with his prepper pack on his back.
During the grueling trek from Tallahassee to his home in Lake County, chaos threatens his every step but Morgan is hell-bent on getting home to his wife and daughters—and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.
For most of the long, cold winter, Antarctica is a frozen wasteland. Now, the ice is melting and the zombies are thawing.
Arctic explorers Val Marino and Elliot Anson race against time and death to reach Australia, but the Demise has preceded them and zombies stalk the streets of Adelaide and Coober Pedy.
Young Gordon Van Zandt valued duty and loyalty to country above all, so after 9/11, he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This idealism vanished one fateful day in a war-torn city in Iraq.
Ten years later, he is still struggling with the ghosts of his past when a new reality is thrust upon him and his family: North America, Europe and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack, which causes catastrophic damage to the nation’s power grid and essential infrastructures.
Everything from cell phones to cars to computers cease to function, putting society at a standstill. With civilization in chaos, Gordon must fight for the limited and fast dwindling resources. He knows survival requires action and cooperation with his neighbors, but as the days wear on, so does all sense of civility within his community—and so he must make some of the most difficult decisions of his life in order to ensure his family’s safety.
The Sixty Minute War brought humanity to the brink of annihilation. Billions perished. The planet Earth was turned into a virtual graveyard, with the shattered, burned-out skeletons of great cities serving as tombstones marking Mankind’s demise. But in the United States, one final outpost remains.
Ten years have passed, and Harmony Base, a subterranean U.S. Army installation that survived the nuclear inferno, has yet to receive any response to its continual radio transmissions. Long-range surface reconnaissance missions fail to locate any other survivors. Harmony’s personnel, a mix of military and civilian specialists, wonder if they are the only living beings left on the planet. Earthquake damage to the base’s vital power plant necessitates a different type of mission: the retrieval of spare parts from a storage depot in San Jose, 1,600 miles distant.
Captain Mike Andrews and his crew set out across a Giger-inspired landscape blighted by lightning storms and deadly hazards that could swallow their all-terrain vehicles whole. The last thing Andrews expects to encounter in the nuked ruins of San Jose are survivors led by a twisted freak with mental powers off the scale… Harmony is America’s last chance to rise up from the ashes of the nuclear holocaust and help restore civilization. But only if Andrews and his crew can escape San Jose…and the madman who calls himself: The Law.
Once on the fringes of horror, the “zombie apocalypse,” has become one of the most buzzworthy genres in popular culture. Now, in Day by Day Armageddon, J.L. Bourne delivers an intelligent, gripping thriller that will leave both new and die-hard zombie fans breathless. Sporadic news reports indicate chaos and violence spreading through U.S. cities. An unknown evil is sweeping the planet.
The dead are rising to claim the Earth as the new dominant species in the food chain.This is the handwritten journal depicting one man’s struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them.
Enter if you will into his world. The world of the undead.
This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden.
But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism.
Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.
In this bestselling novel by the authors of THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE, a massive comet breaks apart and bombards the Earth, with catastrophic results: worldwide earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, thousand-foot tidal waves and seemingly endless rain.
With civilization in ruins, individuals band together to survive and to build a new society.
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half.
Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.