Staff Picks Genre Study - It’s The End Of The World As We Know It!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022
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All good things must come to an end. Humans have always been fascinated by what the future holds and the futures in these books do not disappoint. Whether it is the disappearance of natural resources in Shusterman’s book Dry, a community learning to live without the comforts of 20th century life in Pat Frank’s Alas Babylon or Robert Neville’s attempt to hide from the night walkers in I am Legend, these books will leave you wondering how you would fare if the world as you knew it was suddenly turned on its head.

The Last Town on Earth: A Novel by Thomas Mullen

Set in the first World War and 1918 flu epidemic, the Pacific Northwest town of Commonwealth has quarantined itself from outsiders. Philip Worthy finds himself guarding the single road that leads into town when a tired, hungry--and apparently ill—soldier tries to enter. Based on actual quarantines enacted by towns in the historical period, this is a great debut novel.

Dry by Neal Shusterman

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless lists of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers. Until the taps run dry. Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she's going to survive. 

The Walk by Lee Goldberg

Marty crawls from beneath his Mercedes in downtown Los Angeles, minutes after the “big one” finally struck. He knows only one thing; he has to get back to his wife Beth. Not knowing what lies ahead and carrying only the small emergency kit he kept in his car, he begins the walk.

Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse by James Wesley Rawles

The America we are accustomed to is no more. Practically overnight the stock market has plummeted, hyperinflation has crippled commerce, and the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure have fallen. The power grids are down. Brutal rioting and looting grip every major city. The volatile era known as "the Crunch" has begun, and this new period in our history will leave no one untouched. In this unfamiliar environment, only a handful of individuals are equipped to survive.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food-and each other.

The Stand by Stephen King

After plague decimates the population, the survivors are summoned to either the kindly Mother Abigail or the demonic Randall Flagg. As much as it is a contest of good vs evil, this epic work by the king of suspense fiction is also a great example of character development and offers such a large cast of characters you can’t help but find someone to identify with.

Alas Babylon by Pat Frank

Written when fallout shelters were a big selling point for American homes, Alas Babylon depicts a fictional Florida community rebuilding after the country is devastated by a Soviet nuclear attack. Florida readers will recognize many of the actual cities named, some of which come to a bad end.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth... but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has succumbed to the vampire plague, and they are hungry for Neville's blood.

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

One man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Surviving a pandemic disease that has killed everyone he knows, a pilot establishes a shelter in an abandoned airport hangar before hearing a random radio transmission that compels him to risk his life to seek out other survivors.

The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch

In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet's now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.

Afterland by Lauren Beukes

Twelve-year-old Miles is one of the last boys alive, and his mother, Cole, will protect him at all costs. On the run after a horrific act of violence-and pursued by Cole's own ruthless sister, Billie -- all Cole wants is to raise her kid somewhere he won't be preyed on as a reproductive resource or a sex object or a stand-in son. Someplace like home.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

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