37 Responses

  1. marc at |

    can’t we get over zombies? Please? It’s an absolutely retarded apocalypse story. It can and will never happen. It just doesn’t work for many simple biological reasons. Nuclear war, disease, asteroid strike, they can all actually happen. Zombies are just lazy and boring.

    Reply
    1. Capnsaveemm at |

      @Marc – You don’t know what is and is not possible. Shut up and sit down you clown.

      Reply
  2. darkknight9761 at |

    Very good list, but you omitted one of my favorites; “Childhood’s End” by Arthur C. Clarke. If you’re going to include “The Stand”, and “World War Z” both of which are highly unlikely, what about “Childhood’s End”?

    Reply
    1. bnrtn at |

      Something like “Childhood’s End” would be a great way to go. Likelyhood? I take the JBS Haldane approach: “The universe is stranger than we can imagine”.

      Reply
    2. ian at |

      absolutely, Childhood’s end is quite brilliant, the end scene when the super beings dance into the sky as Earth dies is astonishing

      Reply
    3. Nicholas at |

      I agree, Childhood’s End is a great story! I would also include the following novels – some of which have been made into films – and skip all those Zombie and Vampire crappy stories:
      Armageddon (yes, it’s also a book)
      Pandemic (yes, it’s also a book)
      Knowing (yes, it’s also a book)
      Deep Impact (yes, it’s also a book)

      Reply
  3. Christopher R. Vesely at |

    What about LUCIFER’S HAMMER, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle?

    Reply
  4. Steve T at |

    I would add another Larry Niven short story called “Inconstant Moon” which was also done on TV as an episode of Outer Limits in 1996, which was probably the best episode of that run of the series.

    Reply
    1. Hugo-Arild Madtzog at |

      Check out “Down to a sunless sea” by David Graham, it’s a really harrowing end-of-the-world story. It came out in the 1970s, I think.

      Reply
  5. Stick at |

    How about my favourite book of all-time, “Swan Song” by Robert R. McCammon? I’ve read my copy so many times that it’s falling apart.

    Reply
  6. William Hicks at |

    Hey guys. I’m the author of the piece. I really liked “Swan Song,” “Lucifer’s Hammer,” and “Childhood’s End” as well. And “Inconstant Moon” is an awesome short story.

    Unfortunately, there were only 10 spots on the list. :)

    Reply
    1. Capnsaveemm at |

      @ William I don’t think you know what you are talking about. You dismiss zombies as well as saying that supernatural confrontation would not happen. Where is your proof these things could not happen?

      Reply
      1. Jizzamie at |

        Jeez. Some people are never satisfied.

        Reply
  7. Peter Boucher at |

    “Alas Babylon” or “War With The Newts” ??

    Reply
  8. Kym R at |

    James Van Pelt is my AP Lit teacher. I sent him this list because he will really find it cool that he was listed.

    Reply
    1. William Hicks at |

      Cool! When I posted an earlier version of the list on my own blog, he sent me a thank you note. A very gracious man, indeed! :)

      Reply
  9. Rob at |

    I love The Stand and as a single novel I understand its inclusion here. However, I would argue that its status as King’s magnum opus was taken away by The Dark Tower series. Indeed, not only is that series an end-of-the-world story, it’s actually an end-of-many-parallel-worlds story.

    Reply
  10. LMG at |

    I’m very pleased to see Stephen King’s “The Stand” in top place as it’s been my favorite novel of any genre since I read it in the early 80′s. However, I do agree with Rob that it isn’t necessarily King’s magnum opus. I was completely blown away by King’s new book “11/22/63″ and, even though it is not a typical King novel (not a horror story) or anything like “The Stand,” it may be his best work yet. I can’t comment on the Dark Tower series as it is the only thing of King’s that I haven’t read in it’s entirety. He has threatened retirement so many times I want to save something of his should that sad day ever come to pass.

    By the way, I loved this article and plan on checking out all the books on the list that I haven’t read. Great job! Thank you.

    Reply
  11. SOAB at |

    While i can agree with most of this list, i think “War of the Worlds” should of been put on it over several otheres but ofcoarse that is only my opinion and who knows, it could happen. As for your comment that vampires aren’t real well that depends on how you view them, in terms of how they are portrayed in movies, sure they aren’t in that sense but they are real(look up emotional vampires etc)which is seen as a mental health problem and no matter how much anyone tries to makeout they aren’t, facts speak for themself, it’s the movies that twisted the view on them.

    Reply
  12. Lucky at |

    “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, by Walter M. Miller Jr. is a very good apocalyptic novel too.

    Reply
  13. Stu at |

    I also loved Swan Song, and have read it oh so many times. Robert McCammon was always one of my favourite authors. Footfall & Lucifers Hammer were also good books.

    Reply
  14. Kristin at |

    Thank you so much for having Sleepless on here by Charlie Huston. He is an absolutely amazing author and he’s far too little known. This book is also a big step up from all of the previous books, which I already loved.

    Reply
  15. Jordan at |

    tease book should be in the list “The death of grass” the melting of the civilization by the end of its major food source by a virus.

    what would happen in the world with out grass? no rice ,wheat, maize, sorghum, barley, grass for cattle.

    Reply
  16. TV-replay at |

    I loved I am Legend. It is by far better than the movie.

    Reply
  17. Bob at |

    Regrettably Will Smith? -.- What is wrong with him?

    Reply
  18. jennifer stewart at |

    man you hit the nail right on the head with this list see ya bye

    Reply
  19. WEZTWOOD at |

    I’m not sure you’re summing up of Will Smith in I am Legend is fair, it’s a great film

    Reply
  20. Someguy at |

    FYI: Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” never specifies what caused the apocalypse beyond it being somehow fire-related. You can make a very good case that the supervolcano under Yellowstone caused a global catastrophe. Not to mention, he never mentions radiation.

    Reply
  21. fisheatppl at |

    I am a little late posting on this topic, but if I could add one of my (new) favorites, The Passage by Justin Cronin, is a fantastic post-apocolyptic novel, however since it is (I believe) a trilogy, and only the first part is out, I can’t comment on if it ends well. But if you haven’t read it you should check it out.

    Reply
  22. Braden at |

    How can you have a list of top end of the world novels without mentioning anything from Orson Welles like 1984 or anything from H.G Wells like War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. Also how come none of the Left Behind books were mentioned? They give the most plausible scenario for end of the world out of any of the books mentioned.

    Reply
  23. Randy at |

    Greg Bears The Forge Of God is as good as the end of the world gets. We get very intelligent, unemotional visitors. One set says they are our friends, another has some bad news: the world is going to get obliterated. This book will knock you on your rear and break your earth loving human heart.

    Reply
  24. Aminah at |

    Recently-released Night of the Transition gives a religious twist to the topic.

    Reply
  25. jennifer stewart at |

    well i think a nuclear war is more plausible than a zombie out break i also think a pandemic is more plausible than say something super natural bye

    Reply
  26. Erik Turner at |

    I would like to submit S.M. Stirling’s “Dies The Fire” as one of the better post-apocalyptic novels. The cause of the “Apocalypse” is a bit far-fetched (fast combustion is somehow suppressed) but the description of a society in a fast collapse scenario seems chillingly plausible.

    It’s a good read and the first of 6 books in the Emberverse series. In my opinion, the later books in the series get more and more “fantasy-oriented” and don’t have the same impact as the first novel.

    Reply
  27. TYLER at |

    1984 OR TIME MACHINE

    Reply

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