What to Read: End of the World Edition

I rather like Abe Books’ End of the World Literature – Post-Apocalyptic Fiction list (surprised I’d read more of these books than I thought) —

Noah’s ark and the flood that wiped earth clean of wicked mankind is an early example of post-apocalyptic writing but the modern genre of end of the world literature can be traced back two centuries to Mary Shelley’s The Last Man published in 1826.

Even though Shelley, famous for Frankenstein, and a few other writers were able to imagine doomsday scenarios in Victorian times, the genre blossomed – if that’s the right word and it probably isn’t – after World War II. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed humanity had the tools for global self-destruction. The 1950s was a decade where the end of world could be found on the end of our bookshelves.

Also worth a look: Powell’s Books “Apocalypse Alley.”

Has anyone read The Day of the Triffids?


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