After London by Richard Jeffries.
Just checked to see if it's the first (1885), and saw that
wikipedia has an entry for the whole genre.
― woofwoofwoof, Friday, 8 February 2008 14:22 (ten years ago) Permalink
Posted this on another thread which I now can't find, but here's my list...
The really good ones marked with an *, the really depressing with an #
*#Ian Macpherson: Wild Harbour – a married couple try to stay alive and unnoticed in Highland Scotland as the world falls to pieces through war
*Russell Hoban: Riddley Walker – life in post-holocaust UK, wonderfully written in its own invented pidgin English
*#John Christopher: Death of Grass / No Blade of Grass – global crop failure, society collapses
John Christopher: The World in Winter – sudden new ice age, society collapses
*John Christopher: A Wrinkle in the Skin – sudden global tectonic disaster, society annihilated overnight
Jack London: The Scarlet Plague – travels of a boy and his grandfather in plague-obliterated America
*Walter M Miller Jr: A Canticle for Liebowitz – post-nuclear-war Catholic Church tries to save civilisation, among their holy relics a shopping list belonging to one St Liebowitz
#Neville Shute: On the Beach – military and civilian survivors of nuclear war wait in Australia for the inevitable deadly fallout that will kill everyone else
*Graham Greene: ‘A Discovery in the Woods’ (short story in ‘A Sense of Reality’) – explorations of a group of children born several generations after nuclear war
*John Wyndham: Day of the Triffids – sudden global blindness plus genetically engineered killer plants, society collapses
*John Wyndham: The Chrysalids – post-nuclear-war puritan village society in Canada, kids with special telepathic powers living in hiding
*George R Stewart: Earth Abides – life of a survivor of plague which kills almost everyone else
Mary Shelley: The Last Man – also the life of a survivor of plague which kills almost everyone else (see also the excellent poem of the same name by Thomas Hood at http://www.rc.umd.edu/editions/mws/lastman/hood.htm)
*#William Golding: Lord of the Flies – isolated society of children goes berserk after crashing on isolated island fleeing nuclear war
Jean Hegland: Into the Forest – non-specific societal collapse, two sisters living alone in a house in the forest try to survive
#Aldous Huxley: Ape and Essence – New Zealand documentary crew investigates the nuclear war that ended most of civilisation
*#Cormac McCarthy: The Road – father and son try to survive in aftermath of total nuclear war
*#Wilson Tucker: The Long, Loud Silence – a man living in biowarfare-ruined America tries to get to the “normal”, uncontaminated part of the country
*#Robert O’Brien: Z for Zachariah – excellent YA novel about young girl living alone in isolated valley after a nuclear war, until a stranger arrives…
*#Robert Swindells: Brother in the Land – another fine YA novel, this one from the point of view of a boy who survives the war and tries to survive the aftermath
HRF Keating: A Long Walk to Wimbledon – a man travels through ruined London to find his ex-wife
Richard Jefferies: After London – pastoral-ish novel of life in post-collapse UK (available at www.gutenberg.org/etext/13944)
Luke Rhinehart: Long Voyage Back – people who survived a nuclear war by being in an offshore boat desperately search for safe place to land
*JG Ballard: The Drowned World – early disastrous global warming novel – a few survivors surrender to their reptile brains in tropical, submerged London
JG Ballard: The Drought – massive fresh water shortage, society collapses
Doris Lessing: Memoirs of a Survivor – general societal collapse, annoyingly pretentious
#Mordecai Roshwald: Level 7 – increasingly insane existence of the only survivors of a nuclear war, the people living in bunkers in charge of the remaining weapons
*Nadine Gordimer: July’s People – (written pre the collapse of Apartheid) general collapse of South African “society”, white family sheltered by their ex-housekeeper’s black family in the bush
*Stephen Vincent Benet: ‘By the Waters of Babylon’ (short story) – the son of a priest explores the Great Dead Place (ie New York)
Pat Frank: Alas, Babylon – Floridians try to survive nuclear war, story undermined by not taking the effects of fallout, etc, seriously enough
*#Maggie Gee: The Burning Book – seemingly “normal” literary novel interrupted partway through by nuclear war
RC Sherriff: The Hopkins Manuscript – a man’s life story before, during and after the total collapse of society because of the Moon dropping out of orbit (good, but scientifically daft)
Carolyn See: Golden Days – seeming satire of Californian New Age/inspiration industry types interrupted partway through by nuclear war
Dick Morland : Albion! Albion! – so-so adventure story set in post-collapse London, by a pseudonym of Reginald Hill (Dalziel & Pascoe)
Jim Crace: The Pesthouse – disappointing story of two people living in post-collapse America
Grant Allen: The Thames Valley Catastrophe (short story) – London destroyed by volcanoes
Edmund Cooper: All Fool’s Day – weird sunspot activity makes most people commit suicide; only malcontents and the mentally ill survive – misogynistic and nasty, but with effective moments
Not yet read…
Tatyana Tolstaya: Life in post-holocaust Russia, a new translation from NYRB Classics
― James Morrison, Sunday, 10 February 2008 00:50 (ten years ago) Permalink
It's in the thread for The Road!
I will probably be reading the Hoban from the list next...
― Jeff LeVine, Sunday, 10 February 2008 06:10 (ten years ago) Permalink
Haven't read the Niven/Pournelle/Barnes book mentioned above, but when I was a kid, I LOVED Niven & Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer, about an apocalyptic metor strike and its after-effects. Used to fantasize about surviving some kind of holocaust and having a cool Mad Max car.
Also, Dinner at Deviant's Palace, by Tim Powers is awful good. Not quite Anubis Gates good, but getting there.
Jonathan Lethem's Amnesia Moon is kinda postapocalyptic.
― contenderizer, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 01:10 (ten years ago) Permalink
Agree that Ridley Walker is good, though I found it slow going. Loved The Road.
― contenderizer, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 01:11 (ten years ago) Permalink
The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian is about the Apocalypse, complete with angels.
― badg, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 22:29 (ten years ago) Permalink
Does Greg Bear's Blood Music count? It's more apocalyptic than post, but at the end you get a taste of thereafteryness.
And is The Children's Hospital any good? I loved the HC packaging (much less the paperback), but had become wary of the McSweeny's imprint at that point.
― contenderizer, Tuesday, 12 February 2008 23:24 (ten years ago) Permalink
I'm a bit leery of McSweeny's too, but I think The Children's Hospital is a fantastic book, all zillion pages of it.
― badg, Wednesday, 13 February 2008 04:53 (ten years ago) Permalink
It does look groovy. I think I will have to take the plunge.
― James Morrison, Wednesday, 13 February 2008 22:48 (ten years ago) Permalink