The Best Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Books

No one wants the world to end, and many people want to live forever if given the chance. Nonetheless, the idea of humanity meeting its end, for whatever reason, is oddly satisfying for some fiction lovers. The best apocalypse books suggest humanity’s doom from one or more events. If you have a thing for post-apocalyptic science fiction books, we’ve got a fine reading list for you below featuring some of the best in the genre. 

We look at everything from the worries of the 1950s over nuclear war and communism ending the world. We dive into 1980s fiction which put an emphasis on the danger of space. Now, we are worried about everything from computers enslaving humans to global disasters, viruses, and more. 

Let’s dive into the top post-apocalyptic sci-fi novels.

best post-apocalyptic science fiction books

Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Books

One of the best things about science fiction is its ability to pose big scientific questions and explore possibilities.

Learning consists of various moving parts intricately designed to help students grow. In schools, teachers use relatable examples like sci-fi motion pictures and novels to engage students and pique their interest. For example, they assign movie essays, which require students to watch films and analyze them using various criteria. 

Educators give post-apocalyptic research paper assignments to encourage in-depth analysis. If you need inspiration, you can get free essay examples on Station Eleven or similar titles from Writingbros to explore different talking points and to help you create an A-grade essay. The samples discuss books from several angles and will help you format your discussion. In addition, students can find the best topics and avoid wasting time on topic selection.

Here are just 10 of the most critically-acclaimed books about the post-apocalyptic world:

  1. Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel (2014)
  2. The Dog Stars – Peter Heller (2012)
  3. Earth Abides – George R. Stewart (1949)
  4. I Am Legend – Richard Matheson (1954)
  5. The Road – Cormac McCarthy (2006)
  6. The Stand – Stephen King (1978)
  7. The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham (1951)
  8. The Girl with All the Gifts – M.R. Carey (2014)
  9. A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter Miller Jr. (1959) 
  10. Blindness – Jose Saramago (1995)

Let’s dive a little deeper. 

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel (2014)

The story is set shortly after the devastating Georgia Flu wipes out most of humanity. A traveling Shakespearean theater troupe navigates what’s left. Hence, the book explores human resilience, the power of art and culture, and civilization’s fragility. 

The Dog Stars – Peter Heller (2012)

After a devastating flu pandemic wipes out a large portion of the population, the story’s protagonist finds himself living alone with his dog. But his yearning for survival propels him on a treacherous journey where he encounters hostile and unexpected individuals. 

Earth Abides – George R. Stewart (1949)

Ish witnessed civilization collapse after a pandemic wiped out most of the human population. In the wake, he struggles to grapple with the challenges of living in a world without modern society’s conveniences and structures. 

I Am Legend – Richard Matheson (1954)

Vampire bacteria obliterate the entire world. But a man named Robert Neville survives. While making sense of the occurrence, he must learn to protect himself against vampires that hunt him at night. 

The Road – Cormac McCarthy (2006)

The award-winning The Road tells the story of a father and son journeying through a barren landscape for survival. The story is set in a future world after an unspecified cataclysmic event. It explores love, family, and humanity in extreme adversity. 

The Stand – Stephen King (1978)

A weaponized influenza strain kills 99% of the earth’s population. However, the survivors band together to battle the forces of good and evil. 

The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham (1951)

The book tells the story of blindness resulting from witnessing a dazzling meteor shower. With the majority of the population blind, society collapses, and chaos breaks out. 

The Girl with All the Gifts – M.R. Carey (2014)

A fungal infection turns humans into mindless, flesh-craving creatures. Melanie, a young girl who appears to be normal but infected, is kept in a lab with other children for experiments to find a cure. 

A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter Miller Jr. (1959) 

A global nuclear war called the “Flame Deluge” wiped out most of the world. The remnants struggle to rebuild civilization and preserve knowledge in a desolate landscape.

Blindness – Jose Saramago (1995)

An unexplained epidemic caused sudden blindness to spread through the city without warning. As people lose sight, the world plunges into darkness, and the fabric of society unravels quickly. 

Reflections On Science-Fiction Books

There is an inexhaustible list of post-apocalyptic novels you can read. The books are available in different genres and are set in various timelines. Beyond focusing on science, the books incorporate survival, adventure, and horror. They offer diverse perspectives on post-apocalyptic worlds and provide an opportunity to discuss resilience, ethics, and technological impacts.

To learn more about karma and fate in science fiction and fantasy books, head here. You can learn all about their inerwoven relationship and how different elements of a world can clash with them both.

For more advice on the best post-apocalyptic science fiction books, please get in touch.


1 thought on “The Best Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Books”

  1. I love p/a novels and have read several of those in this post. Like ‘On The Beach’, ‘The Road’ was bleak and devoid of hope were it not for The Boy, symbolism incarnate.

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