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The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time... (1 Viewer)

mon

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The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time

World War Z - Max Brooks

Blindness - Jose Saramago

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The Postman - David Brin

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon

On the Beach - Nevil Schute

Has anybody read any of these? Please post your opinions. Kind of surprised The Stand wasn't listed.

 
The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time

World War Z - Max Brooks

Blindness - Jose Saramago

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The Postman - David Brin

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon

On the Beach - Nevil Schute

Has anybody read any of these? Please post your opinions. Kind of surprised The Stand wasn't listed.
Blindness - Jose SaramagoVery good book. Like McCarthy with The Road, I think Saramago does a good job of capturing the true emotions of such an event. In most of these books, the characters shake off the tragedy within a chapter and carry on as if nothing ever happened.

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Phenomenal book. By far the best post-apocalyptic book I've ever read (and one of the best of any type). Though it's a gut punch of a book and will make those with kids (and probably plenty without) cry like a baby.

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

Another good book, though it's been too long since I read it for me to recall much more than that.

All in all, post-apocalyptic fiction might be my favorite sub-genre. I should probably check out some of the others on that list. And both Earth Abides and The Stand belong on the list.

 
The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time

World War Z - Max Brooks

Blindness - Jose Saramago

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The Postman - David Brin

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon

On the Beach - Nevil Schute

Has anybody read any of these? Please post your opinions. Kind of surprised The Stand wasn't listed.
swan song was great.
 
Blindness - Jose SaramagoVery good book. Like McCarthy with The Road, I think Saramago does a good job of capturing the true emotions of such an event. In most of these books, the characters shake off the tragedy within a chapter and carry on as if nothing ever happened.The Road - Cormac McCarthyPhenomenal book. By far the best post-apocalyptic book I've ever read (and one of the best of any type). Though it's a gut punch of a book and will make those with kids (and probably plenty without) cry like a baby.Oryx and Crake - Margaret AtwoodAnother good book, though it's been too long since I read it for me to recall much more than that.All in all, post-apocalyptic fiction might be my favorite sub-genre. I should probably check out some of the others on that list. And both Earth Abides and The Stand belong on the list.
Thanks. I've seen The Road and bought the book, but haven't read it yet.
 
your man KV's Cat's Cradle dont qualify, mon?

Mary Shelley's other big novel, The Last Man, aint half bad & is foundational of the genre. She never gets enough credit as a novelist, virtually birthing the Sci-fi, horror AND apopsiclysmic genres.

 
I hope they don't ruin the World War Z movie. It should be exactly like the book was written.

I saw "The Road" wow that was a depressing movie! From what I have heard, it was pretty much like the book.

I need to read "Swan Song" , I like Robert R. McCammon.

 
your man KV's Cat's Cradle dont qualify, mon?Mary Shelley's other big novel, The Last Man, aint half bad & is foundational of the genre. She never gets enough credit as a novelist, virtually birthing the Sci-fi, horror AND apopsiclysmic genres.
Good call on CC. I'll have to check out Last Man, thanks.
 
Big fan of the post-apocalyptic genre. Lucifer's Hammer is probably my favorite book in this class. Another Niven/Pournelle book, Footfall, is right up there with it.

WarDay and Nature's End by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka are another great pair of post-apocalypse novels.

Alas, Babylon, On The Beach, and A Canticle For Leibowitz were solid. I need to re-read Canticle because I was fairly young my first time through it, and it had quite a bit of depth. I have The Road but have not read it yet.

In the "don't let the movie ruin it for you" category, Battlefield: Earth (standard L. Ron Hubbard disclaimer applies) and The Postman were both excellent books.

Pound-for-pound, though, I think the best ever may be the Harlan Ellison short story, "A Boy And His Dog".

 
World War Z was a lot of fun, but it wasn't "great." I didn't know it was being made into a movie- I don't think they could screw it up. Personally, I think it'd make an awesome TV series, at about an hour per story, with a different director and style for each episode.

 
You guys that have read some of these, are they mostly pulp, or would you say they're literature? If you want a gauge, I'd say The Stand sits just on the inside line of pulp, so less or more pulp than The Stand?

 
S. M. Stirling has a series of books that take place right after the Apocalypse happens. Actually immediately before, during and after. In that world electronics and such just stop working. Steam engines, batteries, petroleum based flammable liquids etc... all don't work anymore. It starts out pretty good showing how survivors regroup and figure out how to even eat in the short and long term, much less survive at all. Stirling is a Wiccan so the books get way, way too "Wiccans are great" to be a great series but definitely interesting to give a shot. With as Wicca gung Ho that he is, I always pictured him as the guy throwing fireballs in the LARP video.
 
You guys that have read some of these, are they mostly pulp, or would you say they're literature? If you want a gauge, I'd say The Stand sits just on the inside line of pulp, so less or more pulp than The Stand?
Eh, kind of hard to define them that way. Do think most Science fiction is pulp, literature, or something in between? Lucifer's Hammer is probably my favorite from that list, and I wouldn't call it literature or pulp. The Road and On the Beach are probably books most would consider "literature". (Disclaimer, I haven't ever read On the Beach, but I have read other books by Schute.)
 
You guys that have read some of these, are they mostly pulp, or would you say they're literature? If you want a gauge, I'd say The Stand sits just on the inside line of pulp, so less or more pulp than The Stand?
Eh, kind of hard to define them that way. Do think most Science fiction is pulp, literature, or something in between? Lucifer's Hammer is probably my favorite from that list, and I wouldn't call it literature or pulp. The Road and On the Beach are probably books most would consider "literature". (Disclaimer, I haven't ever read On the Beach, but I have read other books by Schute.)
Yeah, good point. Sci-Fi is sort of it's own thing. However, I'd certainly say most of Ray Bradbury's work is worthy of being called literature. And I know McCarthy is highly acclaimed, as is Atwood.
 
You guys that have read some of these, are they mostly pulp, or would you say they're literature? If you want a gauge, I'd say The Stand sits just on the inside line of pulp, so less or more pulp than The Stand?
The Road, Oryx and Crake, and Blindness are all more literature than The Stand. Of course that doesn't make them better as The Road is the only one of those three that I would put above The Stand.
 
mon said:
The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time

World War Z - Max Brooks

Blindness - Jose Saramago

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The Postman - David Brin

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon

On the Beach - Nevil Schute

Has anybody read any of these? Please post your opinions. Kind of surprised The Stand wasn't listed.
Swan Song is one of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors. really like McCammon's work.That said, when I read Swan Song, I thought it was an imitation of The Stand....perhaps my favorite apocalyptic novel of all time.

 
Greg Bear - The Forge of God should be on the list.

 
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Great list of books. Swan song is a wonderful book.

Lucifer's Hammer and Mother of Storms are two other good ones.

 
cstu said:
mon said:
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller
Had to read this for a sci-fi class I took in college. Perfect cure for insomnia.
Heh, struggled through this recently. I understand why critics love it, but I didn't enjoy reading it. I'm also not very religious, so a lot of that went over my head.
 
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mon said:
You guys that have read some of these, are they mostly pulp, or would you say they're literature? If you want a gauge, I'd say The Stand sits just on the inside line of pulp, so less or more pulp than The Stand?
Most of the ones I've read have been fairly pulpy in the "accessible popular fiction" sense. Battlefield: Earth is pure pulp, for instance.The only ones I've read that I would say were significantly less pulpy than The Stand are A Canticle For Liebowitz and "A Boy And His Dog", But I like Harlan Ellison, so the latter one may be reflective of my bias.

 
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Arch Stanton said:
S. M. Stirling has a series of books that take place right after the Apocalypse happens. Actually immediately before, during and after. In that world electronics and such just stop working. Steam engines, batteries, petroleum based flammable liquids etc... all don't work anymore. It starts out pretty good showing how survivors regroup and figure out how to even eat in the short and long term, much less survive at all. Stirling is a Wiccan so the books get way, way too "Wiccans are great" to be a great series but definitely interesting to give a shot. With as Wicca gung Ho that he is, I always pictured him as the guy throwing fireballs in the LARP video.
Currently reading Sword of the Lady by Stirling. I didn't get the Wiccan thing as much in this series. But I started with Sunrise Lands and haven't read Dies the Fire or any of those yet.Rudi MacKenzie is a great character. Also really like Ingolf Vogeller and Lady D'Ath.

 
Atwood's new novel "The Year of the Flood" is a sequel to Oryx and Crake (or at least set at the same time with different characters). Haven't read it, but have heard good things.

 
mon said:
You guys that have read some of these, are they mostly pulp, or would you say they're literature? If you want a gauge, I'd say The Stand sits just on the inside line of pulp, so less or more pulp than The Stand?
World War Z is essentially a fictional remake of Studs Terkel's Depression Era interview book Hard Times. It's as series of interviews and recollections by people who lived through the zombie apocalypse. The author more or less says this in the books credits.
 
im a big brin fan. glad to see the postman listed here

the movie sucked but it was a great book

brins two uplift trilogies were top notch

 
The Road - Cormac McCarthy - better literature than PA scifi.

The Postman - David Brin - very very good, rousing tale

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller - a classic, but not very engaging and a fairly tough read not a lot of payoff

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank - meh. never finished. may revisit

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle - I really like this. THese guys can really craft a story.MF was on the money with his Footfall rec., I may ahve liked it better than LH

Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon - very good, may have been much better if I had not already read the Stand 2-3x already

On the Beach - Nevil Schute didn't work for me. may give it another shot

 
mon said:
The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time

World War Z - Max Brooks

Blindness - Jose Saramago

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The Postman - David Brin

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon

On the Beach - Nevil Schute

Has anybody read any of these? Please post your opinions. Kind of surprised The Stand wasn't listed.
I've read the bolded, all are good. World War Z is very entertaining. Lucifer's Hammer is an excellent "asteroid hits earth" book. Caticle for Leibowitz is the classic anti-nuke weapon story.
 
Anyone ever read "When Worlds Collide" and the sequel "After Worlds Collide"? The story is that two planets suddenly appear from way out there, these two planets circle each other. The bigger one is going to hit and destroy the Earth, but the smaller one will then assume Earth's orbit. Theya re discovered when they are out near Jupiter and we have a ct least a year to get ready. A bunch of scientists develop rockets ships to carry some humans to the surviving planet which was habitable and had cities on it although the people who lived there are long gone.

A far feteched premise, I'll grant you, but when I was a kid and read these two books they seemed very plausible. There was a real cheesy movie made of When World Collide back in the early 1950s.

 
mon said:
The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time

World War Z - Max Brooks

Blindness - Jose Saramago

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The Postman - David Brin

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon

On the Beach - Nevil Schute

Has anybody read any of these? Please post your opinions. Kind of surprised The Stand wasn't listed.
I've read the bolded, all are good. World War Z is very entertaining. Lucifer's Hammer is an excellent "asteroid hits earth" book. Caticle for Leibowitz is the classic anti-nuke weapon story.
So you never read The Postman? I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre.
 
I really liked Lucifer's Hammer and World War Z, both mostly about how people adapt to traumatic change. The Road was a little too hopeless in nature for me to really enjoy.

 
Never read "The Postman". The movie was one of the worst pieces of writing I've ever had to sit through. Maybe I'll try the book. I loved "The Stand", and World War Z is about the same level.

 
Dunno how it will rank or even how it'll end, but I'm a third of the way through the Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway and loving it. It's one of those that start in the present and then after 1 or 2 chapters setting up the current plotline they go back and show how it got to the apocalypse. great word play. Sort of reminds me of Catch-22 and Vonnegut and maybe even a bit of the first person mad inner dialogue of Beat the Reaper. Writer is the son of John LeCarre.

 
Never read "The Postman". The movie was one of the worst pieces of writing I've ever had to sit through. Maybe I'll try the book. I loved "The Stand", and World War Z is about the same level.
In general, making your literary selections based on how much you liked the movie is not +EV.
 
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mon said:
The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time

World War Z - Max Brooks

Blindness - Jose Saramago

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

The Postman - David Brin

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon

On the Beach - Nevil Schute

Has anybody read any of these? Please post your opinions. Kind of surprised The Stand wasn't listed.
I've read the bolded, all are good. World War Z is very entertaining. Lucifer's Hammer is an excellent "asteroid hits earth" book. Caticle for Leibowitz is the classic anti-nuke weapon story.
So you never read The Postman? I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre.
I haven't, and I haven't seen the movie. I've read a couple other David Brin books which were decent, maybe I'll check this one out. I didn't realize he wrote this.
 
Only one of those I ever read was On the Beach when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I still get depressed thinking about. Not exactly what I would consider proper for that age group but it certainly opened my eyes.

 
I read Alas Babylon in college. I remember liking it. I read the forever war in the same class. Really like that.

I have WW Z on stannza on my iPhone. It's free if anyone is intersted but I have not read it yet

 
When I was a child, my two favorite books were Andromeda Strain and Lucifer's Hammer. LH is a really fun one to read IMO

 
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mon said:
The 10 Greatest Apocalyptic Novels Of All Time

The Postman - David Brin

Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
I've read those.Postman was one I liked at the time, but thinking back, it probably wasn't great - there was some garbage about a genetically altered soldier or something that just didn't belong. The movie was an abomination.

Lucifer's Hammer was one I really liked. One of the cool things there was that they knew the possibility was there for awhile, and it explored how people would act leading up to the event - some would figure it was the end of the world so there were no consequences, some would try to preserve knowledge for the future... there was also an interesting component of it regarding the future after a collapse - after the initial survival was secured, what was needed to try to rebound? This book made me think a bunch. On the down side, as with most of Niven's stories, there was too much focus on dull relationships. He's a great world inventer, but I don't care for the soap operas he sets in those worlds.

 

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