The LURe of POST-apocalyptic novels
Every religion has a view of the end of the world and the images are stark on purpose. Instilling fear causes you to repent–perhaps. Besides horror, each legend gives us hope: those with moral standards and unwavering faith shall enter a new paradise.
That’s the message of many post-apocalyptic classics. Even if the world as we know it comes to an end, a group of strong, motivated characters cherishes the new setting. In The Walking Dead TV series, those best equipped to fight shall survive. But never underestimate humans: we’re pack animals, and we bond to become stronger as a tribe.
Even if Offred suffers in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s tale, there is an opposing force, hidden from view. Ways to resist present themselves. Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984 suffers one of the most iconic defeats at the end of the book. But hope never dies: even if it exists only inside your head.
Max Brook’s zombie apocalypse World War Z is told from the perspective of the survivors. It’s an excellent book with a unique take on the zombie pandemic theme. If you only saw the movie, it’s time to grab the book.
Decimate the world’s population and throw a handful of diverse survivors into a grim setting. That’s a recipe for book success if you do it right. Think of your favorite dystopian books/movies like The Hunger Games, for example. The main character is in the spotlight, but the supporting cast was crafted with care. The MC is the vessel for a reader to immerse herself into the book. If the hero/heroine sucks, you’ve lost your fight in the arena.
What makes an excellent post-apocalyptic main character?
Great reasons for the apocalypse
What would be a good reason for the apocalypse? During the COVID- pandemic, a deadly virus pops into my mind as the primary suspect. We’ve all read our share of zombie- epidemic-related post-apocalyptic books. That’s a fab that will never perish from the television or movies. If it did, I’d miss those rotting, feet-shuffling bastards.
Nuclear fallout books
For decades, a full-scale nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the USA was the stuff of nightmares. Cold War edition 2.0 is alive and kicking, but yet another radiation-related fear surfaces. A rogue state or terrorist group which possesses the a-bomb could wreak havoc on a deadly scale. Just the amount of ash in the atmosphere threatens farming, not to mention air traffic.
Post-nuclear war or EMP aftermath fiction will never go out of fashion (and that’s why I’ve chosen this niche for my books). You can’t see or smell gamma-radiation, and that kind of invisible threat offers a writer plenty of plotting possibilities.
Eco-apocalypse books: climate change
Who could forget The Road by Cormac McCarthy? Many modern authors have dealt with floods, drought, the end of bees, and global warming. This is a niche that will grow. If you’re pondering about becoming a post-apocalyptic author, climate change is a surefire choice as a theme.
Post-apocalyptic books with an ecological vibe: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/12/top-10-books-of-eco-fiction
Which apocalyptic dystopia do you think is most likely?
Lists of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction