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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009 9:30 am
Everything’s Coming Up Apocalypse
Posted by: Keir Graff

Now this is smart: a used books merchant doing read-alikes. A while ago, I got an e-mail from AbeBooks touting their “End of the World Literature – Post-Apocalyptic Fiction” list. While it includes many titles that I included on my “Core Collection: Before and after The Road,” there are titles that I either missed or chose not to include–some of them predating not only the Booklist Online database but even the invention of the machines we all assume will help hasten the apocalypse. Here’s the AbeBooks list, linked to Booklist reviews when applicable.

The Last Man, by Mary Shelley (1826)

After London, by Richard Jefferies (1885)

Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart (1949)

The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham (1951)

Daybreak – 2250 AD (Star Man’s Son), by Andre Norton (1952)

I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson (1954)

On the Beach, by Nevil Shute (1957)

Alas, Babylon, by Pat Frank (1959)

A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller Jr. (1961)

The Devil’s Children, by Peter Dickinson (1970)

Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1977)

The Stand, by Stephen King (1978)

The Postman, by David Brin (1985)

The Last Ship, by William Brinkley (1988)

A Gift Upon the Shore, by M. K. Wren (1990)

Blindness, by José Saramago (1995)

The Rift, by Walter J. Williams (1999)

The Slynx, by Tatyana Tolstaya (2000)

The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau (2003)

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

(Apocalypse Then: more helpful links.)



2 Responses to “Everything’s Coming Up Apocalypse”
  1. Sarah Says:

    A co-worker coined the term “Bummer Fiction” for this genre – much pithier!

  2. Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » Pre-Atomic Post-Apocalypse Says:

    [...] Fiction” (via American Libraries Direct). It’s somewhat similar to the “End of the World Literature List” from AbeBooks, with the distinction that THESE post-apocalyptic works were all written [...]

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