Post apocalyptic books are in a section of science fiction, that is definable as a genre of its own. Writers dream up different ways in which people can die and the survivors, survive. Some of our best known authors, have often gone off their usual output of crime novels or feminist literature, or thrillers, to try their hand at post apocalyptic literature. The following are a few examples, that ihave chosen, although I am sure there are many other good examples.
1) PD James, Children Of Men. The book has obviously been adapted into a film. PD James designs for readers a new order for Britain as the world is divided by age into classes, with some people exploited while others ‘Omega’s’ are spoiled, because they are young. The UK is run by a five member council and activists seeking to overthrow them, use the main protagonist with family ties to the leader of the council, to make their demands.
2) The Swarm by Frank Schatzing. This book is a heavy tome, of very well researched sci-fi, following the creature of the sea, attacking boats and people all over the world. The scientists are seeking are answers to this unusual phenomenon.
3) Richard Cowpers, Twightlight of Briareus. This odd little British sci-fi classic, follows the effects of a super novae on human life. The super novae prevents women getting pregnant, whilst sending the world into an ice age. I love post apocalyptic literature where the authors discuss the effects of disasters and celestial events which affect human history.
4) Robert J Sawyer’s, Flash Forward. This book is very different to the TV series, which in my view got very ridiculous, very quickly. However, this book follows the unintended consequences of switching on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
5) Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road. This is one which is challenging, a little depressing, but compelling. It follows another apocalyptic ending, where the world is consumed by fire. It was hailed by environmentalists as a take which illustrates what will happen to us if we don’t prevent climate change, although McCarthy never tells us what caused the disasters. Two survivors, a father and son, go off south in search of a warmer climate in order to survive, whilst avoiding gangs of cannibals and other threats.
Post apocalyptic books, don’t necessarily have to kill of billions of people to hit this niche genre. Sometimes, like in Flash Forward some people die. The mystery is why. It also shows the world blacking out for two minutes and what follows are car crashes, planes falling from the sky and thousands of deaths. Then the piecing together of what happened afterwards.
In Richard Cowpers book, he explores the presence of an alien lifeform, the effects of a super novae, which changes the Earth’s climate and the way in which humanity seeks answers to why women can no longer get pregnant, which is a subject covered in PD James book as well.
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