This is one of those subjects I’m sure has been done a hundred times on at least a hundred blogs, so before you jump all up in my business let me say this: I searched SHTFblog and didn’t see it here anywhere; therefore, I’m looking to right this injustice with a fun post .
The burning question is: What are the top ten books about the the end of the world?
This turned out to be a lot harder than I thought because there are so many good books out there. But here’s what I came up with…
Rules for this list:
- It must be about the end of the world as we know it.
- A series can be counted as one book. (Hey, I’m making the rules here!)
Related: Complete List of Post-Apocalyptic Books
10 Best TEOTWAWKI Books
Earth Abides – George Stewart – 1949
A disease wipes out a good bit of the population.
Alas Babylon – Pat Frank 1959
An old classic. Nuclear war at it’s worst (or best.)
The Forge of God – Greg Bear 1986
The Earth is destroyed by an alien race, but some are rescued. Chilling depiction of the end of the Earth.
Footfall – Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
An alien race lands and takes over.
The Road – Cormac McCarthy 2006
Father and son team hit the road looking for a better place to live after TEOTWAWKI.
The Dark Tower Series – Stephen King
Stephen King is a SHTF genius. I love the Gun Slinger and all the rest as they walk through a world that has “moved on.” No happy endings here folks.
Swan Song – Robert R. McCAmmon
Another nuclear war story. This one has forces of good and evil that battle on after the attack. Awesome book.
Hiero Desteen – Hiero’s Journey – Sterling Lanier
Thousands of years after a nuclear war Per Hiero Desteen is tasked with finding a computer to help the good guys overcome the bad. Evil telepaths, intelligent animals, nasty Leemutes and plenty of action. This story rocks.
The Stand – Stephen King 1978
Another one from the twisted genius of Stephen King. Captain Trips is accidentally unleashed on the world and this shifting antigen flu kills 99% of the population. Then it gets interesting…
And my all time favorite TEOTWAWKI book….
Drum Roll Please!
Lucifer’s Hammer – Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle 1977
A Hot Fudge Sundae that falls on a Tuesdae. A comet strikes the Earth and seriously messes stuff up. How will human kind survive? If you’ve never read Lucifer’s Hammer I feel sorry for you. Go to the Amazon link on the left side of this page and order a copy right now. You’re welcome.
Honorable mention. For those of you who may have read the Sword of Shanarra series I give you The Gypsy Morph – Genesis of Shanarra series. These three books are about how the world of Shannara got it’s start. Excellent reading.
BTW: Now I’m sure there are going to be howls of outrage about why I didn’t put in <name your book>. Ok, here’s your chance. In the comments section below name your book and why you think it deserves a spot on the list!
On The Beach by Nevil Shute
Nuclear War destroys the Northern Hemisphere life goes on for a while in the southern, most oil and products come from the Northern. Takes place in the late 50’s early 60’s…
Agreed. Great book. Nevil Shute is one of my favorite authors.
I absolutely agree with Lucifers Hammer, My copy is taped together from re-reading so much. I have an original 1977 paperback.
BUT what about Atlas Shrugged? The world as we know it ends, good, smart, principled and decent people flurish. I also have an original 1958 hard bound copy that I found in a used book store. I treasure this book because Ayn Rand most accurately predicts the logical conclution of liberalist communism that we have in US now.
Atlas Shrugged should be #1. Ayn Rand is a great writer/philosopher that writes a classic SHTF novel. She’s in a league of her own. I would put Lucifer’s Hammer in the Top 10, but it’s no comparison to Atlas Shrugged. The second half of Lucifer’s Hammer is good, but the first half is a snoozer. It’s a good story, but the author isn’t a writer, not like Rand.
Atlas Shrugged is good, but she’s so verbose and goes on and on and on. Cut out about half of the talking and it’s a good novel. I tried to re-read it last year and just couldn’t get past the monotony. Lots of good quotes though, 🙂
I’m with you Jack!
Ayn was an atheist. Big point in her favor regarding rational thinking.
My opinion of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged is that she never uses one word where 15 will suffice…
Hmm;Interesting……..I dont read fiction. Interesting none the less.
I have to agree with your #1, Lucifer’s Hammer, but I’m surprised there is no mention of One Second After, which I thought was quite good.
I have to agree with Carl about Atlas Shrugged. Very prophetic. Also, not meaning to plug someone else’s blog, but Patriots, James Rawles, was the one that started me on the right path.
Fully agree. It’s fiction, but liberally sprinkled with real life tips and ideas.
While not necessarily about earth the second trilogy by Melanie Rawn is definitely a TEOTWAWKI book. I won’t ruin the story but it’s got some pretty brutal stuff. It also has dragons, magic and of course large scale battles. It also has some of the more messed up things that can happen during any war that’s there to destroy everything that you know.
It’s the Dragon Star Trilogy, and follows up after the Dragon Prince Trilogy which is a much “happier” sounding group of books. I haven’t read these since I was in like the 8th grade so I could just be recalling what I thought was brutal back then 😉
Metro 2033 Is an Odd Russian Survival Book
On the Beach was one of the First Survival Fiction Books I read
Natures End & Warday By whitley Shrieber & James Kunetka
Down to A Sunless sea By David Graham
Lights Out is definitely in my top 10. Plague year was pretty decent, too. I reviewed it a while back. https://theurbansurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/01/book-review.html. There are also two sequels that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet.
“One Second After” would have to be on my list. Its the book the changed my thinking, because it presented a very real scenario that could happen at any time. Before I read that book I definitely lived in a world of presumed unending stability.
The Last Centurion has been my favorite TEOTWAWKI. Written by John Ringo and published by Baen Press, I must have read it three times since I bought the paperback version last year. I read a lot.
Its written in “blog style” format so it might appeal to all the readers here. It follows the life and career of “Bandit Six” and how he deals with a mini-ice age and a “Captain Tripps” type plague. Like military history novels? Its got it. Action? Yup its there. Not to mention Crichton-esque explanations of flu vaccines and organic farming. I absolutely love this book.
The Last Canadian
Loved this list I’ve read half the books on it, the balance, plus several mentions in the comment section are going on my reading list.
I got to Footfall and my first thought was, ‘Niven and Pournelle had a much better TEOTWAWKI book than that’ so I was very pleased to see Lucifer’s Hammer as #1. I will always have the image of a surfer being smashed against a high rise building after riding the tidal wave.
How can you leave out “The Last Ship” or “The Rift” ??? “Black Monday”, or even “Last of the Breed” (individual end of the world in a roundabout way)… even “Lights Out”….
Granted there are many fewer books of this genre than others… but more than 10, that’s for sure!
Book Of Eli
Man on a quest travels in post apocalyptic world
My favorite post-apocalyptic novels, in order, are:
#1 – Alas, Babylon
#2 – One Second After
#3 – World Made by Hand
#4 – Lights Out
#5 – Lucifer’s Hammer
#6 – Patriots
#7 – The Stand
#8 – Earth Abides
The Forge of God – Greg Bear 1986
Footfall – Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
The Dark Tower Series – Stephen King
Swan Song – Robert R. McCAmmon
Hiero Desteen – Hiero’s Journey – Sterling Lanier
Worst Survival Book:
#1 – The Road
Don’t know why this post came out here, it should have been down at the bottom.
Top 10 reads….lights out !…by David Crawford
over 500 pages of fun…thanks.
I agree with your assesments as well
Not going to say they are the best, but some very different ones that you will not see very often on the usual lists. Some of them have actually had some success within main stream fiction. I suspect that most of them would be far too chatty for most people who are not used to more literary works.
Three Monks East by Philip Revene is set after the post-apocalyptic period has somewhat stabilized into a neo-victorian society. A fun read.
The Far North by Marcel Theroux is far more apocalyptic. It is set in Russia although the protagonist has an American background. This one is one of my favorites.
Super Sad Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart is a satire. I suspect the typical post-apocalyptic reader will probably not like it. The “hero” is a serious wimp. The author does hit a lot of buttons with regard to modern urban culture, and he has disguised references to other post apocalyptic genre within the story.
Things We didn’t see coming, by Steven Amsterdam also does not have a ton of action in the shoot-em-up sense, but is pretty interesting as it is a collection of short stories where the protagonist is not always a “good guy”.
Dorris Lessing in Memoirs of a Survivor has an older, slightly nutty British Lady surviving in urban England. Rather interesting. I did a (sort of) review of it
“But Not for Long” by Michelle Widgen is an odd one. It is set during in the center of Madison Wisconsin and has a very slow motion collapse from a combination of peak oil, and global warming. It is a very different, and truthfully a bit more adult take on collapse. The people have very real jobs, and even keep trying to get to their jobs while the world is falling apart.
William Johnston’s books , the Ashes series. The first few are really good.
I agree 100% the ashes series especially the first few.Plus it covers the rebuilding as much as the actual event and subsequent reactions
Lights Out by Crawford has got to be one of the best.
Patriots by Rawles is also tops on my list, as well as One Second After.
“One Second After” still haunts me. It will never win a prize for high-brow literary value, but it is very thought-provoking. And I was able to get my non-prepper husband to read it, which is a bonus!
First, what about I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, nobody seems to have mentioned that. A story so good it was made into three separate film versions, all of which were popular (Vincent Price’s “Last Man On Earth”, Charleton Heston’s “Omega Man”, and Will Smith’s “I Am Legend”. Then there are three lesser known books which are also quite good…
The Aftermath-Samuel C. Florman
Several hundred engineers are at a seminar in South Africa when a comet strikes the other side of the globe, and they attempt to rebuild society. Written by an actual civil engineer, the science is there making this an almost realistic look at restarting after TEOTWAWKI.
Solar Flare-Larry Burkett
A solar scientist makes a bad prediction which makes him a laughingstock, only to find out that his next prediction is right on the money. But can he get those who now doubt him to listen? Electronic breakdown and societal collapse ensue.
Life As We Knew It-Sue Beth Pfeffer
A young adult/teen book written in diary format by a high school sophomore, she spends the entire book discussing TEOTWAWKI caused by a meteor striking the moon and hurtling the earth violently off axis. If you have middle school/high school kids that you are trying to teach preparedness to, have them read this one.
Of course I could list a ton of others like Children Of The Dust by Louise Lawrence (another ya/teen book, this time about a nuke attack). The World Ends In Hickory Hollow by Ardath Mayhar (often compared, even on the cover, to Earth Abides). James Howard’s novel, What So Proudly We Hailed (another nuke strike). American Apocalypse series by Nova (3 books so far and well reviewed). One by Conrad Williams (think The Road only in Great Britain). Like I said, I could go on and on (this makes me look like a nerd who reads WAY to much).
No no! keep going!
Life as we knew it is a three part series: The first two have very different take on reality. There is a little hope in them, but a lot of realistic cynicism as well. The only problem as an intro to prepping is that the cataclysm is a pretty unlikely one.
I agree it is an unlikely event russel, but I was really impressed at how the diary format moved the story along and drew you in because you were technically reliving what she had gone through. A very effective method which not many folks have attempted.
Hello. Thanks for the opportunity to contribute. This is a great site. Over the next few weeks, I plan to sprinkle comments and questions on several of the articles. The most important thing we can do is share our ideas.
Anyway, back to business here. Add Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler to the list.
Even better than reading it by itself, read it and Patriots (Rawles) at the same time. Everything about them is opposite…race, social status, education, abruptness of the “crunch,” level of preparedness, hawk vs. dove, etc. The one thing that is the same in both are those moments where leading characters needed to demonstrate incredible will.
Once again, thanks for the site. It is a true catalyst for thought, as you can see from this list of books that sprang from your original list.
Parable of the Sower is great.
Good list, let me give a few extra thoughts.
War of the Worlds HG Wells. Martians invade and we’re on the wrong end of better technology. You say cannons, they say heat ray. Perhaps the original end of the world book. Written over 100 years ago and still a great read. For extra atmosphere read it while listening to the classic Jeff Wayne LP.
Day of the Triffids. When Plants attack! You can still see references in other films like 28 days later, where the hero wakes to a world gone wrong but this is the original. Deadly plants, blind people and great characters.
Wolf and Iron. One man crossing america, with a strange companion and the people he meets. A hardcore survival novel for those who think ‘I could do that’.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy. LOL. Well, it is the only book which features the real destruction of the Earth (to make way for a hyperspace bypass). Strictly for keeping morale high.
LOL: yes I forgot about Hitchhiker. and the earth ends in the first to make way for a intergalactic freeway as I recall.
The first EOTWAWKI book is probably Mary Shelley (authress of Frankenstein) who also wrote The Last Man. It should be free on the web somewhere. But I have been reading it and it is very tough going. She is not known for her smooth writing style. It makes H.P. Lovecraft look terse.
I was assigned The Last Man in college.
I am glad to see Wolf and Iron on someone’s list other than mine…LOL. It was one of my first TEOTWAWKI novels that got me thinking about what if…
Rebel, thanks for mentioning Wolf And Iron as I totally forgot that one. Have you read In Iron Years, which was the short story that introduced the characters for Wolf And Iron?
Wow, Thanks guys and gals, great list, looks like I found a few new books to read!
Dang, everybody got my list ahead of me, and added some must reads to my list. —
Into The Forest by Jean Hegland
Last Light by Alex Scarrow
The Walk by Lee Goldberg
The Folk Of The Fringe by Orson Scott Card
Could go on and on but besides the ones already mentioned these are but of a few of my favorites.
I loved Into the Forest! I thought her discriptive writing was absolutely beautiful. I am starting The Walk next.
Good choices. I’d’ve been disappointed if The Stand wasn’t on the list. You could be more liberal with the “as we know it” part and include many other good SHTF fiction books. Any of the Brian books, like Hatchet could be in there. Now, when are we going to do a list of SHTF or TEOTWAWKI MOVIES?! I can think of dozens right now. Most of them are great movies. Some of them are based on books in this list.
Wow! There are many great comments and suggestions that I don’t even know where to start. Some of these books I haven’t read, but they are definitely going on my reading list. Others didn’t quite meet the criteria – “Last of the Breed” for example. AWESOME survival story by Louis Lamour. I LOVED that book, but don’t feel like it meets the criteria I set out earlier – not TEOTWAWKI – and some mentioned here I didn’t even think of (War of the Worlds, I am Legend, Hitch Hiker’s Guide, for starters.) All fantastic books.
And one book I expected, but didn’t see mentioned here: A Canticle for Leibowitz. (Good book, but it just didn’t light my fire for some reason.)
NoMePreppy – you are a genius my friend. Stand by next Friday for a TEOTWAWKI top ten movie list!
But now, back to the books!
If you enjoyed Patriots by James Wesley Rawles, he is currently under contract with Simon and Schuster for 2 sequels. Try as I might, I can’t find any info on expected publication dates.
I loved Patriots, Lights Out and One Second After as my favorites and they even got my hubby prepping now….he’s over protection, I’m over food/household supplies, yet we do it together most of the time. Thanks for all the new books I can add to my read next list!
I don’t get to do as much “fun reading” as I would like to these days since I am in school at the moment and the required reading is pretty intense.
However I did read a pretty good series a few years ago that I didn’t see mentioned. The “Left behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, granted it’s not for everyone. Basically, the “rapture” takes place and millions of Christians are suddenly gone. Formerly occupied vehicles (cars, planes, ships, ect.) are suddenly out of control, scientist, police officers, military personnel, world leaders…. all gone leaving only their clothes where they were. A new leader comes to the spotlight (from eastern Europe if I remember right) and starts changing economic systems, strikes peace in the middle east and imposes religious restrictions. Most people see him as a savior, but the folks who were “asleep at the wheel” with their faith see him as the Anti-Christ. Suddenly biblical prophecy is becoming real, and Christians are considered terrorists and criminals. Again, not for everyone but I really enjoyed it, and the scary part is that a lot of what happens in the books are reflections of current events. My grandfather was Tim Lahaye’s roommate in seminary school so I have signed copies of each, and I have even had the chance to read a few short stories that were never published. I have not seen a single book by either author that did not completely fascinate me. I grew up in a Baptist family, my favorite stories (besides David and Goliath/Ruth… I want a woman like that!) came from Revelations which is the basis of the entire series.
Thanks guys, I am gonna have to get a few of these books yall mentioned for spring break! Hopefully I will be reading while sitting on a beach drinkin’ a vodka & tonic with my girl while I am reading ’em!
I forgot to mention that the Christians have to start an “underground” society. Later in the series they are forced to either take “the mark of the beast” on their hand or forehead to be able to buy and sell goods or even to travel. A huge dent is put in the population and they end up experiencing several disasters including a meteor named “wormwood”, the sun and moon darkening by 1/3, insect devastation of crops, fish die because water turns to blood non Christians can’t even take a sip of water without it turning to blood (even the bottled stuff, this part was REALLY cool!!) and earthquakes. It doesn’t get to much more TEOTWAWKI than that!
Robert A. Heinlein’s “Farnham’s Freehold”. Politically Incorrect, stuck in the Cold War, yet it shows how even with the best of intentions, the people you allow in your Bunker may not be up to surviving TEOTWAWKI, no matter how much you love them. Love the scenes where he goes “Damn, I wish I had that tool!”
I haven’t read some of those yet. I also like free books.
Jarhead, I loved the Shanarra series. Thanks for the heads up!We could use Allanon’s help now!
Almost forgot “World War Z, the oral history of the zombie war”. This is another must read. Look at it from a TEOTWAWKI stand point. AWESOME. read it mutiple times.
Semper- Fi Jarhead Survivor,
My Uncle gave me a very well worn copy of Lucifer’s Hammer back in 1994.
Funny how I am new to your site I have often thought of that book over the years. I will also say that I am a hugh fan of anything by Terry Brooks.
I will have to get another copy on Lucifers Hammer…it would have made a WEST-PAC classic.
Former Corporal of MArines
48 comments and not one mention of World made by hand by
James Howard Kunstler. Any perticular reason no one mentioned it yet ? Got the book a while back but havent read it yet. Most of the revues I found were positives tough.
Actually ‘World Made by Hand” is my #3 up towards the top of the comments. I really liked it. I’m reading ‘Witch of Hebron’ now, the sequel. Not quite as good, and more supernatural, but OK.
I’ve seen “Light’s Out” mentioned here a couple of times and it was a good book. If I’d been thinking it might have mades its way onto the list. With all these comments and good books mentioned here it would have been tough doing a top 25 list!
Robert Heinlein is one of my favorite authors from the old days, but Farnham’s Freehold is one of those books I never managed to get my hands on! Guess I’m going ot have to look it up.
@Chinasyndrome – if you liked the Shannara series you’ll like the Gypsy Morph books. The story starts out with a guy walking around in a missle bunker thinking about all the bad stuff that’s happened, then it gets interesting!
Hey Mark – Semper Fi, buddy!
Pat – I haven’t read that book yet either. Wow! Something else to add to the list.
Russel1200 said more more so I looked over my book shelves and came up with another list of ones I haven’t seen mentioned yet (told you I read a lot!)
Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny
Made into a silly (but entertaining) 1977 film, a nuke attack changes the axis of the Earth causing all sorts of chaos, leaving one man to journey across the US to deliver a serum which will possibly save mankind.
The Furies by Keith Roberts
Nuclear testing cracks the Earth’s crust, starting a domino effect of natural disasters…and the giant wasps attack. Sure it’s kind of goofy, but it’s a lot of fun.
The Survivalist series by Jerry Ahern
Global thermonuclear war, invading forces, and a story that spans something like 20 books as a CIA operative battles to cross the country to find his wife and child. They recently released all of them as full cast & sound effect audiobooks (I know where you can download all of them for free if anyone is interested).
The Day After Tomorrow by Whitley Streiber
Everyone has probably seen the film, winter hell is unleashed on the northern hemisphere.
Cell by Stephen King
A signal sent out across cell phones causes people to turn into zombie like creatures as a man flees towards a safe haven.
The Postman by David Brin
a man who survived the third world war, which has destroyed the world, searches for a beacon of hope and becomes what he seeks by becoming The Postman.
Survivors by Terry Nation
a plague wipes out 95% of the world leaving the survivors to attempt to rebuild. Made into a BBC television series in the 70’s and then again, updated, in the 00’s
The Last Ship by William Brinkley
Nuclear war strikes leaving a Navy vessel to roam the seas searching for a safe haven.
Wastelands: Stories Of The Apocalypse
John Joseph Adams collected short stories about various apocalypse scenarios from Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, George RR Martin and a load of other notable authors.
The Mist by Stephen King
a novella that was made into a great film. Army experiments unleash weird happenings on a Maine town.
After London by Richard Jefferies
an 1885 novel in which an apocalypse event leaves survivors to return to the dark ages
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison
a short story from ’67 where a military super computer becomes self aware, destroying the world and leaves five people to survive. Not in print anymore but the pdf can be found here
This is probably way to long of a list when added to my other list/post, but before I go I will also mention the book Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War In Fiction by Paul Brians. It is a non fiction book that traces the evolution of apocalypse fiction within this field.
A million thanks for all of the titles and suggestions. I’m saving this article to my PC for later reading enjoyment.
It’s a total coincidence, but I just finished reading “Atlas Shrugged” for the first time this afternoon. It took me close to a month off and on. Some of the things those socialists blathered were almost carbon copy word-for-word what the current crop of control freaks in Washington are saying. Damn creepy!
I also wanted to add that the book is being made into 3 movies, the first of which opens in theaters on tax day (April 15). You can check it out on IMDB. I believe that they are an independent production company that claims they are trying to hold true to Ayn Rand’s story, while modernizing the setting for the present day. I do hope this is true and that they don’t blow it. I really felt that hers was a powerful message that needs to be presented to folks who otherwise might not read an 1100 plus page novel. Hopefully the movie will open some eyes of the slumbering “sheeple” out there!
the earths children series by jean m auel was fantastic but its not really teotwawki themed its more the beginning of the world as we know it but its filled with heavy dose of primitive survival skills & survival situations
How about a work of non-fiction that display’s the depths to which humanity can sink, the lengths to which a person will go to survive the unsurvivable, and a true-to-life testament to what a human can endure after suffering the loss of hope, direction, resources, faith in God, faith in man, etc…. – Elie Wiesel’s Night. A tue story of survival by a person who actually lived through what became the end of the world as he knew it.
The Deep Winter series by Tom Sherry
Grid Down by Buckshot (e-novel)
Lights Out by Halffast
Wolf and Iron
I can’t believe no one said “World War Z” by Max Brooks. Unless I missed something or have bad taste but I’ve read it 3 times now. Had to go by the hard cover cause my paperback was falling apart. It is by far one of the greatest disaster books ever written. Even if you take the zombies out it still hits hard on political, social, and personal survival. Buy it trust me you will read it from cover to cover without being able to put it down.
My top ten.
1> Death of Grass – John Cristopher
2> A Gift upon the Shore- M K Wren. In Oregon 2 women survive nuclear war and a killer virus, and decide to pledge their lives to saving books and knowledge, only to be found by an evangelical Christian group who believe only one book should survive-the Bible.
3> Lucifers Hammer.
4> Day of the Triffids. John Wyndham
5> Wolf and Iron- Gordon R Dickson
6> The Road – Cormac McCarthy
7> Final Blackout-L Ron Hubbard (yes, That L Ron Hubbard!) World war 2 never ended- one of the last armies is commanded by a Lieutenant.
8>The Postman- David Brin
9> Ice Quake- Crawford Killian , a bunch of scientists, engineers and pilots from many nations are stuck in Antarctica by solar flares, ice sheet surge, and massive vulcanism, and try to rebuild a broken down Hercules and escape to a world only minorly less in crisis.
10> Year of the Quiet Sun- Wilson Tucker
Glad to see someone else loved the Deep Winter series by T. Sherry!
A good book for young adults (or any adult) is Summer of the Apocalypse https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Apocalypse-James-Van-Pelt/dp/0974657387/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1296757497&sr=1-1
When a plague wipes out most of humanity, fifteen-year-old Eric sets out to find his father. Sixty years later, Eric starts another long journey in an America that has long since quit resembling our own, but there are shadows everywhere. Shadows of what the world once was, and shadows from Eric’s past. Blood bandits, wolves, fire, feral children, and an insane militia are only a few of the problems Eric faces.
I agree with Brian in the above comments, “One Second After”.
I think World War Z was a good book. Many will disagree because a zombie apocalypse is very unlikely, but it does have good information. Such as an honest depiction of humans in a world of chaos.(how people acted when they are TERRIFIED!) Cautions about preparations, and gear choice. The most important is that it makes you think. No matter how old or young you are thoughts of prepping and strategies will come to mind. GREAT for young readers. Give it to a younger sibling or offspring. It helps to break the ice and get them interested in survival. (author Max Brooks)
I may have missed it, but anything by Dean Ing is a must-read!
His “Pulling Through” and “The Chernobyl Syndrome (And How To Avoid It)” should be on everyone’s list.
Life as We Knew It (series) was great. I read it before I became a prepper, and I have thought often of those characters and what their lives were like in my own preps, and I think it has and is helping shape some of my prepping plans.
Also really enjoyed The Hunger Games series – it is somewhat TEOTWOAWKI, but there is no description as to how the world as it was fell, just the rebuilt society afterwards. Great read though.
The Passage by Justin Cronin. Great book.
Here are a few I did not see listed above:
1 Shiva Descending, by Gregory Benford & William Rotsler, 1980
Another great novel in the tradition of Lucifer’s Hammer, except this story uses a cloud of meteors and asteroids 50,000 miles across, containing a 30 billion-ton comet at its center.
2 Survival 2000, by James McPhee, 1991
Once again it is raining asteroids. There are three books so far in this series. I didn’t think it was as well written as Lucifer’s Hammer, but it had its moments.
3 When Worlds Collide, by Edwin Balmer & Philip Wylie, 1939
An early SF classic. Once again matter falls toward Earth (one of my favorite themes, as you can see!), but this time it is an entire planet! After Worlds Collide is the sequel.
4 Dust, by Charles Pellegrino
Shifting gears, this novel deals with the naturally occuring cycle of mass extinctions that seem to have plagued earth, and gives a scenereo as to how one might occur again and how it would affect humanity and all life. The late Arthur C. Clarke’s comment on it was “At last, a novel even scarier than Jaws.”
5 The White Plague, By Frank Herbert, 1982
The man who gave us the Dune series tells the story of a genetic scientist who loses his wife and children to a terrorist attack. In response to his grief, he attempts to obtain as much money as he can, go into hiding, and develop a means to his single goal: to cause all the other men on earth to lose thier women also. A fantastic novel which, in my opinion, has elements of a scenario that is just as likely as nuclear weapons to someday cause mass destruction of humanity.
6 Tunnel in the Sky, by Robert Heinlein, 1955
I saved the best for last. I was glad to see Farnham’s Freehold on the list, but my favorite author wrote an even better survival novel. It tells of high school students in an advanced survival class who, in order to complete their “final”, must prepare for the ultimate survival challenge. Their instructor will be opening a “gate” to another planet, and they will have to step thru and survive on their own for several days. They will not know in advance if the weather where they are going is freezing or tropical, what the terrain is like, what kind of plant and animal life exist there, or what is edible. Shouldn’t be to difficult, since the students can take anything they can carry and can even team up with other students. But something goes very, very wrong.
Oh my goodness, what a great list! Okay, please forgive me for plugging my own book but if you like a novel about the end times you might enjoy SCARS: An End Times Prophecy Novel. It is a bestseller on Amazon~ 29 five star reviews and #2 Top Rated in Biblical Fiction.
Revelation comes to life in this adrenaline-fueled Christian thriller weaved with End Times prophecy. A heart-wrenching story of a young girl set during the Tribulation, SCARS chronicles the beginning of the End of the World, as earth-shattering events lead up to the Apocalypse as foretold in the Bible.
You probably can’t find it, but “Malevil” by Robert Merle. There is a Wiki page….
What would I say… Interesting weather for this weekend. I didn’t think that way before.
One Second After – by Willian Forstchen
This is a really good read. Various areas of the world are hit by EMP’s generated by the detonation of nuclear warheads at high altitude. The story is told from the perspective of a former military man who is now a history professor. The book charts one small towns attempts to pull together, organise, and make it through the collapse of modern society and the breakdown of law and order. I won’t go into detail because I wouldn’t want to give the story away. This is a well written page turner & I’d recommend you check it out.
“One Second After” The United States after a couple of high altitude nuklear blasts rendering (almost) ALL electronics unusable… Including the main persons refrigerator needed to keep his daughters insulin cool… Eye opening read….
One second after was good but a royal screw up writing. They are all out of food but right by a huge water reservoir which are always loaded with millions of fish but if you can get by that it is interesting read. Patriots was enjoyable. I have changed to audio books. I would love to see a new list of top 25 updated as of 2019. Thanks to all for more books to read.
Ill Wind by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason
Down to a Sunless Sea by David Graham
The best EOWAWKI by far is Swan Song.