Post-apocalypse is a classic theme of science fiction, where mankind is knocked back into oblivion after something really, really bad happens. Of course, after the dropping of atomic bombs, people for the first time realized that mankind possessed the power to bring about its own apocalypse. However, nuclear holocaust is not the only way catastrophe can strip the thin veneer of civilization of mankind. In the distant, mythical past, the Great Flood almost brought about apocalypse, leaving Noah and his family in a post-apocalyptic scenario. Many such possibilities as to how mankind would respond to overwhelming devastation have been presented to us in science fiction post-apocalyptic books, such as the ones listed below.
1. The Road
An arid world in the aftermath of an unknown severely destructive event is introduced in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. The dreary landscape now has only a few remaining survivors who are looking for food and warmth. An unnamed father and son are followed in the book as they make their way across the destruction. People in this book’s post-apocalyptic world are turning into savage cannibals and the father is afraid of leaving his son alone because he is certain that he is dying. Nonetheless, the father and son plod on. According to The New York Times, McCarthy’s has always had high standards for despair and yet, the imagery in this book is far more brutal. The Road is probably one of the most gut-wrenching post-apocalyptic books.
2. Dream Caster
Memories of his slaughtered settlement haunt sixteen year old Weaver, who is seeking cover among the remains of a ruined Toronto in a hidden refuge. Amidst build a new life, Weaver discovers he possesses the strangle ability to cast dreams into reality. Weaver ignores it believing it is just an abnormality. He later discovers that his world was actually ruined by a mysterious man who possesses a similar ability of animating nightmares into reality. Chaos starts invading the peaceful life that Weave was hoping to begin. While racing against time, Weaver must learn to accept that he is a dream catcher and master the ability he possesses, before the mysterious man destroys his new home too. The original story idea and unique combination of genres is the best feature of Dream Caster.
3. The Stand
The Stand is perhaps the most popular book by Stephen King and it is also probably one of the most popular post-apocalyptic books too. The worst is imagined in the book, i.e. a superflu’ is unleashed into the world because of a computer error in a Defense Department lab as a result of which 99% of the population is wiped out. Thus, the path for a post-apocalyptic clash between good and evil is paved. While commenting on his own book, King exclaimed that he got the opportunity to scrub the entire human race and that he really enjoyed that.
4. The Drowned World
In his 1962 science-fiction novel, J.G. Ballard tells the story of Robert Kerans, a biologist whose team is sent to survey the cities of American and northern Europe. The regions have been turned into tropical lagoons with the absence of human life as a result of the melting of the polar ice caps and radiation. Kerans and his teammates, among the few survivors, marvel in this new post-apocalyptical state of the world. As written in TIME, the book is cool even though it is kind of too much. The book even has an interesting twist as well and spoiling it would not be fair.
5. The Passage
The Passage is a highly-anticipated book by author Justin Cronin and it hit shelves not so long ago. In fact, even before Cronin even completed the manuscript, he sold the film rights. All the fuss about this 766-page book is that it revolves around bloodthirsty creatures that are somewhat like vampires, but also somewhat like zombies, and these creatures are killing off Americans one by one. However, it is the engrossing sense and style of story that has been hailed by critics.
There is something intriguing about imagining the end of the world. Have you ever imagined the end of the world? These five post-apocalyptic books seem to imagine the end of the world quite uniquely. So which one do you think you will read?