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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Desire for the apocalypse part 3

By J. R. Wagner

The apocalypse in literature.

As far as I'm concerned, the apocalypse made its way into mainstream literature via the writing of one man.

That man is, of course, Mr. Stephen King. If you're a King fan, you've read The Stand. An amazing creation about the post-apocalyptic world once the super-flu has wiped out the majority of the population.

He's written other post-apocalyptic novels.  The Dark Tower Series is set in a post-apocalyptic world. It starts with The Gunslinger and culminates in book seven The Dark Tower (although he recently released an eight book relating to the series called The Wind Through The Keyhole, which I haven't read yet. The Dark Tower (or characters from the series) even shows up in a few of King's short story collections.

King recently delved into the pre-apocalypse world with Cell, one of my favorite King novels where the world falls apart right before the main character's eyes in a beautifully written, less cumbersome than The Stand, action filled zombie-esque journey of Graphic artist Clay Riddell who was in the heart of Boston on that brilliant autumn afternoon when hell was unleashed before his eyes. (thank you Amazon).

After The Stand was published in 1978, the market was flooded with apocalyptic novels of all kinds.

I've stumbled upon several top 10 greatest Apocalyptic novels of all times lists.
Here is one
Here is another

I've read several on these lists.  One, Z for Zachariah, I haven't though of for years and could very well be the catalyst of my obsession for the apocalypse.

Ann Burden is sixteen years old and completely alone. The world as she once knew it is gone, ravaged by a nuclear war that has taken everyone from her. For the past year, she has lived in a remote valley with no evidence of any other survivors.
But the smoke from a distant campfire shatters Ann's solitude. Someone else is still alive and making his way toward the valley. Who is this man? What does he want? Can he be trusted? Both excited and terrified, Ann soon realizes there may be worse things than being the last person on Earth.

Another (since turned into a major motion picture) I am Legend, is very, very good.

 The others, many of which overlap from list to list, are being added to my Goodreads To-read list as we speak.

  • The Postman (I've never seen the Kevin Costner film based on this book and have a feeling I don't want to ...at least until I read it)

Many of these were published before The Stand however in my small world, The Stand is king.

Some modern titles that may be more familiar...

And if you're looking to take the religious apocalypse route you can always try Left Behind

 The list could go on and on.  These novels are a good place to start.

Coming soon:
-an interview with a mental health professional -why do so many desire the end of times?
apocalyptic movies

As always, find interviews, writing samples, videos, contests and more on my website.

In bookstores now


  1. I think I like The Stand because there are no zombies, just humans gathering to restart. And it points out the duality of man, even in a post-apocalyptic world. Of course, one could argue that the zombies are an authors way to pretend that humans are not bad, the zombies are.
    Oh...and how about the vampire books...shoot...Del Toro...yeah, that series.

  2. Intentionally left out vampires...why? One word: Overexposure. I suppose the same could be said for zombies...but I just have a thing for zombies.