The best books set in a post apocalyptic future

The Books I Picked & Why

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

By C. A. Fletcher

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

Why this book?

A generation or so after The Calamitous Event (TCE), our hero’s dog is stolen by an unexpected visitor to their remote home in the Outer Hebrides. This book is my definition of a cracking good read. It has adventure, surprises, and insights into the human condition that led to TCE in the first place. Above all, it features a boy and his overwhelming mission - to get his dog back. If, like me, you love dogs you are going to love this book.


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Last One at the Party

By Bethany Clift

Last One at the Party

Why this book?

TCE here is a virus that leaves just one woman alive. I found this quite irritating at first because the law of averages would say there HAD to be at least a handful of other survivors. The story features a woman who would take to her bed for the day if she broke a fingernail. I enjoyed seeing a female character in this role although she has a tendency to be a bit wet. She spends the first few weeks post-TCE breaking into nightclubs, drug dens, and museums and getting smashed. Set in London, it’s a great travelogue for this brilliant city.  I started to warm towards her when she finally pulls herself together and we watch as she learns the skills needed to survive. 


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I Who Have Never Known Men

By Jacqueline Harpman, Ros Schwartz

I Who Have Never Known Men

Why this book?

I cannot get this book out of my head. Published nearly twenty years ago, I’d never heard of it before so was delighted to find it was as good as it is. It’s the story of a young girl trapped in a cage with thirty nine other women. Male guards patrol the cage but never engage with their prisoners who have forgotten why they are there. Our heroine has no memory of her mother and the reader never finds out why, whether a TCE occurred or even if they are on earth. One day an alarm goes off just as a guard is opening their cage and the women escape – but to what? Often a frustrating read without satisfactory answers, the reader is still drawn into the protagonist’s world.


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Zone One

By Colson Whitehead

Zone One

Why this book?

A good old straightforward zombie story who are clearly the architects of TCE. It tells the story of a civilian turned conscripted soldier whose task it is to clear the various towers of Manhattan and ready them for the planned return to normality. But can they hold the Wall which keeps out the ever-growing hordes of zombies? Excellent insight into the choices people make to stay alive and reflections on survival and personal loss.


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Q

By Christina Dalcher

Q

Why this book?

What happens when you take the meritocracy to extremes and you can only access the best of food and housing etc when your Q is the highest? Dalcher creates an interesting future world, damning of social engineering and genetic manipulation, and reminds us that it was less than a hundred years ago that certain war-hungry fellas (and a few women) salivated over thoughts of a perfect Aryan race. A great page-turner but with a few ‘Deus ex Machina' plot twists with which I’m still struggling. Nevertheless a very worthy read.


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