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  1. #1
    Unreasonable reasoner
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    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.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User mylinar's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    I think the Wool stories by Hugh Howey fit into your description.

  4. #4
    Edgar Pangborn: Davy (novel) & Still I Persist in Wondering (collection of short stories set in same world as Davy)


    Randy M.

  5. #5
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    sf-icionado / horr-orator Andrew Leon Hudson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsw13 View Post
    I think the Wool stories by Hugh Howey fit into your description.
    I am reading the final part of the 1-5 anthology right now, and finding it a very engaging piece of work.

  7. #7
    Riddley Walker Russell Hoban
    City Cliiford Simak
    The Shadow of the Torturer Gene Wolfe
    Last and First Men Olaf Stapledon

  8. #8
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    A few.

    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.

  9. #9
    Orthodox Herbertian Omphalos's Avatar
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    One of my favorites is a novelette by William Tenn called Eastward Ho!

    James Tiptree, Jr/Racoona Sheldon has several, including Houston, Houston, Do You Read?

    The Great Bay, by Dale Pendell

    Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow

    Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm goes over several generations, IIRC.

    I see that they were listed prior to my post, but Davy, Russel Hoban and City are fantastic books. Just wanted to say that.

    SK's Gunslinger books have this element to it, if that's your thing.
    Last edited by Omphalos; September 7th, 2012 at 12:29 PM.

  10. #10
    http://tinyurl.com/363ogv DurzoBlint's Avatar
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    Not sure if it fits your definition of over time but the classic A Canticle for Leibowitz by Miller might fit the bill.

  11. #11
    Sounds like you are describing Viriconium by M John Harrison. Beware if you are afraid of extremely complex prose, Harrison writes sentences that flow like mathematical proofs: precise, wildly complex and beautiful.

  12. #12
    Registered User Raule's Avatar
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    The second half of Stephen Baxter's "Evolution" depicts man's de-evolution into the far-flung future, though it probably only partially qualifies as what you're looking for as we devovle into separate species until faced with extinction as Earth dies..

    The classic I always think of for this type of book, though, is the short story, "By the Waters of Babylon".
    Last edited by Raule; September 8th, 2012 at 10:03 AM.

  13. #13
    Registered User HeclaBull's Avatar
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    Fitzpatrick's War by Theodore Judson fits your requirements. It's a novel that takes place in a post apocalyptic world hundreds of years after society collapsed in the twenty first century due to technology and governments being wiped out during world wars. It contains many references to the history of events that led to the world's collapse and is told in the form of a memoir of a high-up officer in one of the militaries that is now vying for dominance in the rebuilt world.

  14. #14
    Unreasonable reasoner
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    "Engine Summer" looks to be the best example of what I'm looking for, but it also looks like it's difficult to find. Also have had "Viriconium" sitting on my shelf for a while but haven't ever had the nerve to try it. And I have read both "A Canticle for Lebowitz" and "The Book of the New Sun."

    Looks like there's a lot more of this theme than I thought. May take a while to sift through all these, but thanks for all the sugestions.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by chokipokilo View Post
    "Engine Summer" looks to be the best example of what I'm looking for, but it also looks like it's difficult to find. Also have had "Viriconium" sitting on my shelf for a while but haven't ever had the nerve to try it. And I have read both "A Canticle for Lebowitz" and "The Book of the New Sun."

    Looks like there's a lot more of this theme than I thought. May take a while to sift through all these, but thanks for all the sugestions.

    Engine Summer
    is published as part of a 3 novel compendium called Otherwise. Available on Amazon etc.

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