With much of the country experiencing some sort of severe weather right now, many of us will turn to reading to wile away the hours until the snow and ice stop falling.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic (PA) fiction. I have been since I was a little kid. Over the years, I’ve amassed a very large library of both PA fiction as well as survival texts. Today though, let’s focus on the fiction side of the fence.
Here are just a few of my favorite PA reads. By no means is this list complete. Rather, it is just a few titles I’d recommend to folks who are into these sorts of stories.
Empty World by John Christopher. This was the first PA book I ever read, way back in fifth grade. The premise is a plague kills off all adults in the UK, possibly the world. Neil Miller is a young lad who, at the time the plague hits, is living with his grandparents. They succumb to the illness and when food begins to run low in the house, Neil begins traveling throughout the countryside, looking for other survivors. No blazing gun battles, no outlandish survival retreats. Just one young man, scared and mostly alone, making his way across the country. Very, very well done. Side note: one of my most treasured possessions is a bookplate signed by John Christopher (real name Sam Youd) he mailed to me after exchanging some correspondence. Most of his books, this one included, are geared for the “young adult” crowd but all of them are well worth the time to track down and read.
The Survivalist series by Jerry and Sharon Ahern. Yes, the series is long (29 books or so). Yes, parts of them read like the Aherns were getting kickbacks from some manufacturers. Yes, the retreat described in these books is like something out of a prepper’s wet dream. But, y’know what? They are entertaining and that’s the whole point. They are fun, quick reads and well worth picking up when you can find them secondhand. For the uninitiated, the series follows the adventures of John Thomas Rourke. Survivalist, doctor, genius, expert in both armed and unarmed combat. Following a nuclear exchange with the USSR, he travels the remains of the United States, desperately trying to find his wife Sarah, and his children Michael and Annie. Along the way, he becomes involved in all sorts of adventures with Russian troops, brigands, and spooky small towns with suicide pacts.
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. A meteor strikes the moon, driving it closer to Earth. This causes all sorts of disasters, with massive tsunamis taking out much of the coastlines around the world. Miranda is a high school sophomore and this book is her diary, beginning just before the moon is struck. We follow as Miranda describes how life changes for those around her. Volcanic eruptions shoot so much debris into the air that winter arrives early and with extremely bitter cold. A deadly flu virus sweeps the area, adding bodies to those who have already starved to death. I’m not a big fan of books written as diaries but in this case, it worked very well. There are two sequels to this book as well.
Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines. Ok, admittedly this one isn’t for everyone but I really enjoyed it. Imagine your favorite super heroes dealing with a zombie apocalypse and its aftermath. ‘Nuff said.
What are YOUR favorite PA reads?