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September 6th, 2012, 05:56 AM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
- Abilene, Tx.
Long term post-apocalyptic novels
Was just wondering if anyone could recommend some post-apocalyptic novels dealing with very long term effects of some massive catastrophy. Basically where humans have already gone back to the dark ages and are many generations into a rebuilt society where the modern world is only myth and legend.
Only thing I know of even approaching that topic is "A Canticle for Lebowitz" and "Book of the New Sun" to a certain extent.
September 6th, 2012, 07:19 AM #2
There was an old book by Andre Norton, called 'Daybreak: 2250 AD' which was written in the early 1950's. It takes place in and around the ruins of New York City if I recall correctly. I bet it is kind of data, but then again Ms. Norton was never much on detailed science so maybe not.
September 6th, 2012, 09:05 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
I think the Wool stories by Hugh Howey fit into your description.
September 6th, 2012, 09:09 AM #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Edgar Pangborn: Davy (novel) & Still I Persist in Wondering (collection of short stories set in same world as Davy)
September 6th, 2012, 11:32 AM #5
The last SF book I read might fint: Engine Summer by John Crowley presents the remnant population of earth about a millenia after the cataclysm, reverted to tribal communities, forestland covering all but the highways, myths and legends and rare artifacts all that remained of the techological heydays.
Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt. from the blurb:
A post-apocalyptic novel follows a small band of survivors--a scholar, a soldier, and a healer--led by a young woman as they journey through the fantastic, ruined America of the Roadmakers, a land both prehistoric and computerized.
September 6th, 2012, 12:26 PM #6
September 6th, 2012, 05:06 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
Riddley Walker Russell Hoban
City Cliiford Simak
The Shadow of the Torturer Gene Wolfe
Last and First Men Olaf Stapledon
September 7th, 2012, 06:13 AM #8
The star in that field was the late Keith Roberts. His works in that vein include the classic Pavanne; The Chalk Giants; and Kiteworld.
(The rest of these are alphabetical by author.)
David Gemmell's extensive "Drenai" series is usually accepted as fantasy, but in fact there is a definite sf underlay (only brought out near the end of the series) putting it into a far-future setting. His "Sipstrassi" ("Stones of Power") series also fits that pattern.
Mark S. Geston has several tales set in a far future that has largely forgotten our age; most are extraordinarily dark and gloomy, though powerfully written, and include Lords of the Starship and Out of the Mouth of the Dragon; a kindlier tale is The Day Star. (If you don't know Geston, you should; his oeuvre is small but top-notch.)
Richard Grant's Saraband of Lost Time is another eminently readable post-apocalypse novel. Two of his other novels, Rumors of Spring and Through the Heart, are also post-apocalyptic (all three may, or may not, be the same world.)
M. John Harrison's early novel The Committed Men is also post-apocalyptic, but may not fit your criteria being set only shortly after things fell apart; but it's a terrific book. Then, of course, there is his four-book work, the "Viriconium" cycle, a landmark in modern sf.
William Hope Hodgson's peculiar (and massive) work The Night Land is a remarkable exercise: the prose is universally recognized as flat-out awful, and yet the work as a whole is equally universally recognized as immensely powerful: a portrait of a dark, vastly far-future world, wherein the sun is guttering out and the land is held by Lovecraftian monstrosities save for a last small colony of humans. It's close to fantasy, but still nominally sf.
A YA series along these lines is Diana Wynn Jones's "Dalemark Quartet".
The redoubtable Damon Knight wrote a charming novel titled The World and Thorinn, about which almost anything said would be spoilers.
Tanith Lee wrote mostly fantasy, but her novel Days of Grass is suitably post-apocalyptic with only dim memories of the world before.
Eric Van Lustbader's "Sunset Warrior" quintet (of which the last book is unreadable) starts out as sf then sort of blends into fantasy. I reckon you could count it as sf all the way if you're broadminded. And it, too, has a far-future world with its past forgotten.
Then there's Vonda N. MacIntyre's classic Dreamsnake.
One might also mention Michael Moorcock's bizarre tales of the "Dancers at the End of Time". Unique.
A romance-heavy YA series that sounds and reads like fantasy but is ultimately far-future sf is Meredith Ann Pierce's "Darkangel" trilogy.
Sort of along the specified lines is Doris Piserchia's A Billion Days of Earth, set (DTM) about 3 million years in the future. It's not really post-apocalyptic, but things sure have changed--in some ways, but not others. Deeply quirky, but many (including Ted Sturgeon) have thought it a work of genius. Another of her far-future post-apocalypse novels, Doomtime, is equally quirky, if in different ways; it's one of the few things I know of that sound like Jack Vance's style. Piserchia's works typically seem almost comic in telling, but often have deep cores of serious thought (Days does, Doomtime doesn't).
Sharon Shinn's somewhat romance-tinged "Samaria" series is close, though not right on: it's a colony world that has forgotten its real status; it's almost fantasy, but with enough hard sf to count as that.
Robert Silverberg's three-part novel Nightwings is also a far-future world; it retains some dim connections with ours (the great cities--"great" being a few thousand population--of Roum, Jorslem, and Perris), and is post a certain apocalypse; good, thoughtful reading.
The excellent Brian Stableford has also produced some works that fit this category, including his very first published novel Cradle of the Sun, and his second The Blind Worm; another, also fairly early in his career, is Firefly (subtitled "A novel of the far future").
Yet another entry is Martha Wells' City of Bones.
Then there's Michael Williams' "Hawken Family" duology.
And to wrap it, there's gene Wolfe's titanic "Solar Cycle", which subsumes several rather long subseries.
All told, there's quite a lot more than I thought there'd be when I started looking at my lists. It seems a popular theme for authors of good quality.
September 11th, 2012, 08:49 AM #9
September 23rd, 2012, 08:41 PM #10
another vote for the Wool series.
September 24th, 2012, 11:52 AM #11
It is especially interesting considering it is from 1952.
Last edited by psikeyhackr; September 26th, 2012 at 12:38 PM.