Stirling is horrid in many, many ways; but something about that whole "rebuilding civilization" thing hits my brain just right, and he does it as well as anyone.
I don't think anyone's mentioned Richard Matheson's I Am Legend yet. Vastly superior to the film adaptations.
I read the three Tripod books by John Christopher recently and liked them a lot. Especially the first book.
In the Stirling books I have read he is very good at setting up a situation and then advancing it.......but like Stephen King I guess (I have never read any of his stuff due to this popular lament) his endings tend to leave something missing. He never seems to "finish" his books well.
Conquistadors is another interesting book that just leaves you shaking your head. It is a stand alone but does not fit in the "apocalyptic" subject matter of this thread.
The Death of Grass, aka No Blade of Grass- John Christopher
That's my first recommendation to anyone interested in this genre. First off, it's sci-fi, not supernatural. So it should be easier to relate to, as opposed to a zombie apocalypse.
It's about a family, so there's another easy to relate to hook.
Finally, there's plenty of action. Earth Abides was great, but it's more meditative. If you took all the supernatural action out of The Stand you'd have Earth Abides. No Blade of Grass could make a pretty good action movie. There was a movie version made but I have not seen it.
The only downside is that it is somewhat dated. You have to be able to put yourself in a mindset of not only 'what if' but 'what if back then'.
That is so odd. I was just thinking about starting a thread asking for recommendations similar to Lucifer's Hammer, Swan Song or The Stand since I hadn't read any books set in the post-apocalyptic (or close) world for a couple of decades or so.
Keep up ideas; I'm hoping I can pull out something new from this thread.
One more Wyndham (and my favorite): The Kraken Wakes. It has the relatively unusual apocalypse of a global sea level rise that just...keeps going.
Ariel and Elegy Beach by Steven R. Boyett
Jack McDevitt's Eternity Road isn't too bad of an apoc novel, though I don't think it brings anything new to the field. And it does suffer, like just about all McDevitt books of having some interesting ideas that are marred by his love of random events.
Recommendations so far:
- Golding, William - Lord of the Flies (PA)
- McCarthy,Cormac - The Road (PA)
- Atwood, Margaret - Oryx and Crake (dystopian)
- Atwood, Margaret - The Year of the Flood (dystopian)
- Harkaway, Nick - The Gone-Away world
- M. Miller Jr., Walter - A Cantical for Leibowitz
- Niven, Larry - Lucifer's Hammer
- R. Forstchen, William - One Second After
- Lanier, Sterling - Heiro's Journey
- King, Stephen - The Stand
- McIntyre, Vonda - Dreamsnake
- M. Miller Jr., Walter - Beyond Armageddon
- Bradbury, Ray - There Will Come Soft Rains
- Frank, Pat - Alas, Babylon
- Frank, Pat - On the Beach
- Grant, Mira - Deadline
- Grant, Mira - Feed
- R. Stewart, George - Earth Abides
- King, Stephen - The Dark Tower
- Strieber, Whitley - Warday
- Adam, John Joseph - Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
- Poeltl, Michael - The Judas Syndrome
- Brin, David - The Postman
- Daniel, Tony - Earthling
- McCammon, Robert - Swan Song
- Baxter, Stephen - Evolution
- Brinkley, William - The Last Ship
- Bourne, JL - Day by Day Armageddon (Zombie)
- Brooks, Max - World War Z (zombie)
- Kirkman, Robert - The Walking Dead (zombie....obviously)
- R. Palmer, David - Emergence
- Stirling, S. M. - Dies The Fire (probably shit)
- Bear, Greg - Eon
- Wolfe, Gene - The Book of the New Sun
- Niven, Larry - Inconstant Moon
- Zelazny, Roger - This Immortal
- Varley, John - Steel Beach
- Wyndham, John - Day of the Triffids
- Wyndham, John - The Chrysalids
- Matheson, Richard - I Am Legend
- Christopher, John - The Tripods
- Christopher, John - The Death of Grass
- Wyndham, John - The Kraken Wakes
- R. Boyett, Steffen - Elegy Beach
- R. Boyett, Steffen - Ariel
- McDevitt, Jack - Eternity Road
Please let me know if I missed something or if certain works should be labeled in case they are not really post-apocalyptic stuff. Comics have not been included.
The Mira Grant books also deserve the "zombie" and "probably shit" tags. I mean, they're definitely shit in my book, but maybe other people don't think so.
I Am Legend needs a "coolest zombie story ever" tag.
... except that it's vampires.
Potato, Clamato - a vampire is just a thirsty zombie. EVERYBODY knows that.
It's both, really.
The one series I don't think have been mentioned in the various threads we've had:
The Amtrak Wars by Patrick Tilley.
It's a world far past the apocalypse and it also suffers from the 'no proper ending'-syndrome... but I remember liking all six books.
I never considered comics, but there's a bunch out there. Metal Hurlant/Heavy Metal had it's share of post apocalyptic fiction, not that i could name any of the top of my head.
Jerimiah by Belgian author Hermann is really good and a sort of western set in a post apocalyptic US. It even spawned a shortlived tv-series, that I haven't seen.
There's also Therefor Repent! and the upcoming sequel set in a post rapture Detroit - the first book is available as a free download.
Another vote for Warday, one of the best books of this type ive ever read.
There's a fair bit of the post-apocalyptic in Howard Waldrop's fiction. Novel-length, there's The Texas-Israeli War. in his shorter fiction. "Heirs of the Perisphere" is the most heartbreaking story you'll ever read about animatronic Disney characters making their way across a scorched and desolate landscape.
I seem to recall some mention of Zelazny earlier, which means Damnation Alley. If it hasn't been acknowledged as one of the grandaddies of the Max Max-style vision, it needs to be.
I just came back after suddenly remembering it and wanting to add it. Its one of the first SF books I read and its a great piece of work. I didn't know there was a movie.
A canticle for Leibowitz is also very good.