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But her various assertions of the role of the detective also delineate what is at stake when an author inserts a detective into a post-apocalyptic tale. The authors who are creating this new genre are replacing the survival-despite-mass-chaos theme of other post-apocalyptic tales with individuals who assert the human intellect over the omnishambles into which they have been thrust. But what Moss and other time travelers discover, however, is that the earth will face complete destruction in several centuries.

Moss must solve the murders while also solving the problem of the encroaching apocalypse. Once again, the rational intellect of the detective is used as a tool, and in the depicted in The Gone World , law enforcement has already realized that the emotional chaos of murder can hinder an investigation. More evidence emerges in time, so why not solve a present-day crime by reading the files that will be held in NCIS offices decades in the future? But interfering with time has disastrous results. Each of these writers also recognize an aspect of the apocalypse that gets lost in the enormity of loss: the grief of individuals.

Detective Palace never loses sight of what a murderer takes away:. And all those possible futures, all the ways that life might have turned out. Past and future and present all burn up together like a bundle of sticks. Instead, the emphasis is on survival and determining how survivors might interact with one another. But in these novels, the detective emerges not only as the rational investigators of human behavior. Buried within feelings about the mass extinction that has taken place are reminders of those who were close to the detective who did not make it.

That same grief is acknowledged by Shannon Moss. Jon Keller somatizes his grief as nausea. Everyone they love is gone. For the post-apocalyptic detective, unable to bring their own loved ones back to life, crime investigation restores order to a world in shambles. Advertisers: Contact Us. Article continues after advertisement. A lifelong fan of Manchester City FC, she has also written about football soccer for a number of publications.

Her novel manuscript is nearly done. Previous Article Stasi Wolf. Find CrimeReads on Facebook. Read More. Twitter My Tweets. Things soon go awry when the father must leave to find a cure and the children are forced out of the bunker due to lack of food in search for their father. Mary Shelley 's The Last Man , published in , is set in the end of the twenty-first century. It chronicles a group of friends, based on Lord Byron , Percy Bysshe Shelley and others, moving through Europe as a plague kills most of the world's population. The Scarlet Plague by Jack London , published in , is set in San Francisco in the year , sixty years after a plague has largely depopulated the planet.


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Written in by George R. Stewart , Earth Abides is the story of a man who finds most of civilization has been destroyed by a disease. Slowly a small community forms around him as he struggles to start a new civilization and to preserve knowledge and learning. Empty World is a novel by John Christopher about an adolescent boy who survives a plague which has killed most of the world's population.

Originally published in , Stephen King 's The Stand follows the odyssey of a small number of survivors of a world-ending influenza pandemic, later revealed to be the man-made superflu "Captain Trips". It was eventually adapted for a miniseries of the same title starring Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald. Gore Vidal's novel Kalki also involves an apocalyptic event caused by a man-made pandemic.

Written in , the novel Emergence by David R. Palmer is set in a world where a man-made plague destroys the vast majority of the world's population. The novel was nominated for several awards and won the Compton Crook Award. It was adapted into the film Blindness in Published in by Margaret Atwood , Oryx and Crake is set after a genetically modified virus wipes out the entire population except for the protagonist and a small group of humans that were also genetically modified. A series of flashbacks depicting a world dominated by biocorporations explains the events leading up to the apocalypse.

This novel was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.


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A sequel, The Year of the Flood , was published in followed by MaddAddam , in , the trilogy's conclusion. Richard Matheson 's novel I Am Legend deals with the life of Robert Neville, the only unaffected survivor of a global pandemic that has turned the world's population into vampire zombie -like creatures. Its two sequels, Plague War and Plague Zone , deal with a cure that allows return to an environment that suffered ecological collapse due to massive increases in insects and reptiles.

The book is a collection of individual accounts of desperate struggle during and after a devastating global conflict against a zombie plague, narrated by an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission. It also describes the social, political, religious, and environmental changes that result from the plague. Emily St. John Mandel 's Station Eleven takes place in the Great Lakes region after a fictional swine flu pandemic , known as the "Georgia Flu", has devastated the world, killing most of the population.

The novel won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in May James Dashner 's The Maze Runner trilogy —11 takes place after sun flares have scorched the earth. As a result, the governments of the world released a virus to kill off some of the world's population to save resources. The virus turned out to be highly contagious, and it made you lose control of your mind until you were an animal inside your head.

This led to it being nicknamed, "The Flare". Abomination: The Nemesis Project takes place in after the United States has been almost wiped out by a deadly plague. The disease started on the east coast, and communication with the west coast ceased within 72 hours. The last few groups of survivors stopped broadcasting after six days, and the overwhelming majority of the country's population has been wiped out. The player leads a team of eight genetically altered supersoldiers to defeat an infestation of a global genetic plague which slowly turns into a superorganism.

The Left 4 Dead series first released in is set in the days after a pandemic outbreak of a viral strain transforms the majority of the population into zombie-like feral creatures. The games follow the adventures of four survivors attempting to reach safe houses and military rescue while fending off the attacking hordes.

The PlayStation 3 title The Last of Us revolves around the premise of a mutated cordyceps fungus spreading to humans, resulting in the deterioration of society within the United States. Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation is set during an ongoing Apocalypse, after a Hellgate opens on Earth and a host of demons enter the world. The player controls a group of survivors that found a base to fight back and find a way to repel the invasion. Metro is set in the ruins of Moscow following a nuclear war, where the survivors are forced to live in underground metro tunnels.

Players control Artyom, a man who must save his home station from the dangers lurking within the Metro. The Microsoft Windows exclusive real-time strategy game They Are Billions is also an example of a post-apocalyptic future, in which players must establish, manage and defend colonies amidst a zombie apocalypse. Tom Clancy's The Division takes place in a pandemic-ravaged New York City that's become overrun by escaped prisoners, gang-members and a faction of 'Cleaners' that are determined to end the epidemic by incinerating anything that might possibly be infected. Call of Duty: Ghosts is set in a near future that follows the nuclear destruction of the Middle East.

The oil-producing nations of South America form the "Federation of the Americas" in response to the ensuing global economic crisis and quickly grow into a global superpower, swiftly invading and conquering Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. In the movie, England is reduced to rubble by a prolonged conventional, chemical, and biological war. Survivors are depicted living under the rule of a local warlord who raids his neighbors in an attempt to get his fleet of rotting fighter planes in the air again. At the same time, surviving engineers create a technological utopia.

The film Panic in Year Zero! It was partially remade in in the film 12 Monkeys. In the BBC produced The War Game , but it was considered too graphic and disturbing to broadcast at the time; it was only in that it was shown. It portrays a nuclear attack on Great Britain and its after-effects, particularly the efforts of the Civil Defence system. Genesis II television film, created by Gene Roddenberry. Dylan Hunt, a NASA scientist, begins a multi-day suspended animation test right before an earthquake buries the underground laboratory. This television pilot, if picked up, would have followed Dylan and a PAX team as they reach out to the remains of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world by means of a long forgotten underground sub-shuttle rapid transit system that spanned the world right before the Great Conflict.

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A second pilot, Strange New World , also failed to be picked up as a television series. Testament is a drama film based on a three-page story "The Last Testament" by Carol Amen which tells the story of how one small suburban town near the San Francisco Bay Area slowly falls apart after a nuclear war destroys outside civilization. The BBC television film Threads depicts life before, during, and after the detonation of a Soviet nuclear bomb over Sheffield, England.

The Terminator film franchise first introduced in depicts an artificial intelligence called Skynet becoming self-aware in and trying to exterminate humanity by instigating nuclear war between the United States and Russia, which results in the death of three billion people.

Many of the survivors eventually band together to destroy Skynet and its army of robots called "terminators". The series follows resistance leader John Connor and his mother, Sarah Connor , and their adventures before and after the nuclear strike called "Judgment Day" in the film series. The Tribe is a television series that deals with a mysterious virus which wipes out the adult population, leaving the children of the world to fend for themselves. The kids are divided into different tribes and war against each other for their survival.

The show focuses on the tribe called the Mallrats, who take shelter in the city's mall to protect themselves from the dangers outside. Later in the series, the virus begins to infect the children and the Mallrats are forced to search for the rumoured antidote to virus that is hidden in government buildings.

CBS produced the TV series Jericho in —, which focused on the survival of the town after 23 American cities were destroyed by nuclear weapons. The Cartoon Network series Adventure Time which began airing in takes place a thousand years in a future after a nuclear war referred to as "The Great Mushroom War" where once existent but eventually forgotten magic is recreated and humans are nearly wiped out with all kinds of creatures that had taken their place.

Tom Hanks ' web series Electric City is a story based on a post-apocalyptic world. In this world, a group of matriarchs the "Knitting Society" impose an altruistic but oppressive society to counter the aftermath of a brutal war that brings down modern civilization. However, in time, even this new "utopian" order is ultimately called into question by the inhabitants of the new society. The CW Channel's The which began airing in is a television series based on a post-apocalyptic world.

After a nuclear war, Earth was uninhabitable and the only survivors were those on space stations which eventually came together to form the Ark; 97 years later on an undeterminable year the Ark is dying and prisoners under the age of 18 are sent to see if Earth is now survivable. There they are faced with the challenges Earth brings and those who survived the nuclear war.

The movie Zardoz is a surreal take on the genre, revolving around a post-apocalyptic future England where a warrior caste called Exterminators worship a giant, floating stone head known as Zardoz, which gives them weapons and ammunition. The movie The Book of Eli released in Starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman , a story of a lone wanderer trying to deliver a book through the wastelands after a nuclear apocalypse.

Oldman runs a town with access to water and supplies and tries to take the last copy of the Christian Bible, in braille, from Washington seeking its power. At the time he does not realize the Bible is in braille. According to some theorists, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in has influenced Japanese popular culture to include many apocalyptic themes. Much of Japan's manga and anime are filled with apocalyptic imagery. Judith Merril 's first novel Shadow on the Hearth is one of the earliest post-World War II novels to deal with a post-nuclear-holocaust world.

The novel recounts the ordeals of a young suburban housewife and mother of two children as she struggles to survive in a world forever changed by the horrors of a nuclear attack. Several of Ray Bradbury 's short stories of The Martian Chronicles take place before, during, and after a nuclear war on Earth. The people flee Earth and settle on Mars but have constant conflicts with the native Martians.

Several of these stories have been adapted to other media. Fors begins his Arthurian quest through a radiation-ravaged landscape with the aid of a telepathic mutant cat. He encounters mutated creatures called "the beast things", which are possibly a degenerate form of humans. Wilson Tucker 's novel The Long Loud Silence posits a post-nuclear holocaust America in which the eastern half of the country has been largely destroyed and its surviving inhabitants infected with a plague and barred from crossing the Mississippi River to try to find refuge in the unscathed western part of the country.

A nuclear war occurs at the end of Bradbury's dystopian futuristic novel Fahrenheit , with the outcasts who had fled an unidentified American city to escape a despotic government which burned books in order control the public by limiting knowledge left alive to re-establish society. John Wyndham 's novel The Chrysalids United States title: Re-Birth , set in a small community untold centuries after a nuclear holocaust not expressly told, but strongly hinted at with genetic mutations, glowing ruins, landscape baked to glass , tells the story of David, part of a small group of teens who share a limited form of telepathy that allows them to communicate with others who have the same talent.

However, the fundamentalist society they live in, regards the slightest difference from the norm as a blasphemy and affront to God. The group attempt to remain hidden, then failing that, survive during a war between mutants and the fundamentalists while waiting for members of a distant advanced telepathic human civilization to rescue them. In Walter M. Miller Jr. Poul Anderson 's Maurai series — takes place after a nuclear war, and his Hugo and Prometheus award-winning story " No Truce With Kings " takes place after a cataclysmic war.

Both show the interactions among various kinds of societies that have developed in the centuries of recovery. Robert Heinlein 's novel Farnham's Freehold follows the story of a group of people that have survived a nuclear explosion. The group survives the attack in a fallout shelter but are taken to a future in which Africans rule.

A film adaptation of the novel was released in It was adapted into a film of the same name as well as a companion graphic novel titled Vic and Blood. The weapons used were not nuclear, but ultra-magnetic that tore and submerged the continents. The story was adapted in the anime Future Boy Conan Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker , set in the English county of Kent around two thousand years after a nuclear war, also has religious or mystical themes and is written in a fictional future version of English.

William W. Johnstone wrote a series of books between and 35 books all containing the word "Ashes" in the title about the aftermath of worldwide nuclear and biological war. David Brin 's novel The Postman takes place in an America where some are trying to rebuild civilization after the "Doomwar". It was adapted into the film The Postman Paul Brians' Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction is a study that examines atomic war in short stories, novels, and films between and Since this measure of destruction was no longer imaginary, some of these new works, such as Nevil Shute 's On the Beach , which was subsequently twice adapted for film in and , Mordecai Roshwald 's Level 7 , Pat Frank 's Alas, Babylon , and Robert McCammon 's Swan Song , shun the imaginary science and technology that are the identifying traits of general science fiction.

Others include more fantastic elements, such as mutants, alien invaders , or exotic future weapons such as James Axler 's Deathlands Jeanne DuPrau 's children's novel The City of Ember was the first of four books in a post-apocalyptic series for young adults. In the computer game Wasteland , nuclear war occurred in leaving a wasteland in its wake. The game centers around a player-controlled party of Desert Rangers. Its sequel Wasteland 2 was released in Fallout , an ongoing series of post-apocalyptic role-playing games first published in , depicts a world after a series of resource wars that culminates in a massive nuclear exchange between the U.

S and China in The games revolve around "vaults," underground bunkers for long-term survival in reality social experiments created by the ruling elite of the pre-war United States , and exploring the outside wasteland, in locations such as California , Las Vegas , Washington D.

Fallout draws heavily from retro s sci-fi, and the setting combines elements of midth century technology, such as vacuum tubes and monochrome screens, with highly advanced artificial intelligences and energy weapons. In Metro , a nuclear war occurs in late Russia was targeted with atomic bombs, causing severe radiation across Moscow, forcing the rest of the people to live underground in the metro stations away from the deadly effects of radiation.

Many animals and humans left behind mutated into creatures known as the Dark Ones, who were left outside for the next 20 years. The game is played from the perspective of Artyom, a year-old male survivor and one of the first born in the metro. The story takes place in post-apocalyptic Moscow, mostly inside the metro system, but some missions have the player go to the surface which is severely irradiated and a gas mask must be worn at all times due to the toxic air. A sequel, Metro: Last Light was released in Nuclear apocalypse followed by a demon invasion is a recurring staple of the Shin Megami Tensei series.

The anime and manga X by Clamp features a supernatural apocalypse. In it there is a battle over the end of the world between the "Dragons of Heaven" who wish to save humanity, and the "Dragons of Earth" who wish to wipe out humanity. The manga began in and has been on hiatus since It has been adapted as an anime film in [ citation needed ] and an anime television series between — A "Toxic Jungle" threatens the last of humanity. In Neon Genesis Evangelion , the story takes place on an earth shattered by the Second Impact referring to the dinosaur-killing Yucatan meteoroid as the first impact in Antarctica, in which the security agency NERV tries to secure Neo Tokyo from a Third Impact , while holding back the real story of the Second Impact from the public and even the protagonists.

Uchuu no Stellvia describes an earth after being hit by a big electromagnetic wave from a supernova of a nearby star, where mankind needs to rescue the earth years after this impact from a second wave of matter coming towards the solar system. The anime shows a globalized society who have put together to fight this "enemy". Black Bullet 's earth was devastated by an alien race, spreading a virus that transforms humans into some kind of insect. Only the major cities holding back behind big walls of some fictitious material and are under constant threat to be invaded when this walls fail.

Attack on Titan showcases a similar story, but this time the society have fallen back into a medieval state, with humanity having taken refuge behind three massive stone walls that protect them from the Titans , massive naked humanoid creatures, who feed on humans. The main plot revolves around the mysterious origin of the Titans, and uncovering the forgotten history of humanity. Fist of the North Star is a story about Kenshiro the successor of the deadly ancient martial art, Hokuto Shinken in the world destroyed by a nuclear war. Battle Angel Alita is a cyberpunk manga about an amnesiac female cyborg, Alita.

In Ayn Rand 's novella Anthem , society has entered a near- medieval state after a new government forbids any kind of individual thought, even forbidding the words "I" and "me". In Arthur C. Clarke 's short story " The Nine Billion Names of God " , the universe ends when Tibetan monks making use of a specially-written computer program finish writing all of the nine billion possible names of God.

The story won a retrospective Hugo Award. The Day the Earth Caught Fire is a film by Val Guest about an Earth thrown out of its orbit around the sun by excessive nuclear testing. It paints a picture of a society ready to believe that humans could destroy the planet, hoping that science could fix what it has broken but resigned to the possibility of irreversible doom. Make Room! John Crowley 's novel Engine Summer takes place perhaps a thousand years after "the Storm" not described destroyed industrial civilization. Surviving cultures seem to be influenced by the s and s counterculture.

The Christian-themed Left Behind series of 16 novels published between and , and four film adaptions produced between and , posits a world in which the righteous believers have suddenly been raptured , en masse, up to Heaven , leaving behind an increasingly troubled and chaotic world in which the Antichrist , foretold in the Book of Revelation , arises to despotically rule over those unfortunate enough to have been "left behind". He is opposed by newly born-again Christians as the end of times Tribulation approaches.

Cormac McCarthy 's The Road takes place several years after an unspecified cataclysm that forces a father and son to perpetually search for survival. It was adapted into a film in Robert Reed 's short story "Pallbearer" deals with most of the developed world's population dying after a mass vaccination program in which the vaccines were purposefully tainted.

The survivors are those who were not vaccinated, often for religious reasons, and their descendants. Most of the developing world does not receive the vaccine, and decades later, large numbers of its refugees are arriving to America's shores. The protagonist survives the disaster as a young boy and has a chance encounter with an elderly scientist and her fanatical younger family members.

James Wesley Rawles' novel Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse addresses a contemporaneous global economic crash, and focuses on the struggles of a large cast of characters who struggle to survive after what is termed "The Crunch. A off the west coast. Robert Jordan's The Wheel Of Time is set in a fictional post-apocalyptic world, with a medieval society. In the world, a system of magic, known as the One Power, is divided into a male half saidin and a female half saidar.

When humanity tried to find a magic that both men and women could use, they encountered the Dark One, a Satan-like being able to corrupt human nature and the natural world. A war between the "Light" and the "Shadow" the Dark One and his followers ends with the Dark One being imprisoned with saidin. He corrupts it from within his prison, however, driving male users of the Power insane.

They use their power to destroy civilization and geography in what is known as the "Breaking of the World". The era before the Breaking is later remembered as the "Age of Legends", since much knowledge was lost, and many common feats of that time seemed miraculous to the characters of the series.

Many hard rock , heavy metal , and punk bands have post-apocalyptic themes and imagery in their lyrics. Their work includes various apocalyptic songs across genres.

List of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

For example, Muse 's album The 2nd Law was inspired by post-apocalyptic life in World War Z , and the event is referred to specifically in the song " Apocalypse Please " The music video for the song "Mankind Man" by the Barstool Prophets depicts various adults being dragged into a kangaroo court by several youths, before being tried and condemned, in a seemingly dystopian, post-apocalyptic world.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the genre of fiction dealing with cataclysm. For the genre of religious writings dealing with revelation, see Apocalyptic literature. For aftermath of the Holocaust , see Aftermath of the Holocaust. This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations.

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This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. March Main article: Alien invasion. See also: Extraterrestrials in fiction.

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Further information: Disease in fiction. The Science Fiction Handbook. John Wiley and Sons. Encyclopedia of Apocalyptic Literature. Archived from the original on 4 March Retrieved 3 March Archived from the original on The Guardian. The Princeton Buffer. Wipf and Stock Publishers. Ireland and Cinema.

Palgrave Macmillan UK: — Post Cinematic Affect. John Hunt Publishing. Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism. Lulu Press, Inc. University Press of New England. Retrieved September 30, Paley Autumn Keats-Shelley Review, 4. Retrieved October 1, Chrono Trigger. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Square Soft. Marle: Say, what does this button do? Visual record of The Day of Lavos IS that?

Is that what's destroying our world?! Billion year spree: the history of science fiction. Retrieved 6 July Clarke Award 1 May Arthur C. Clarke Award. Retrieved 20 July

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