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Survival III: Science Fiction

Stephan V. Beyer
The list author says: "Science fiction literature has always been hospitable to questions of human survival -- on hostile planets, in the face of alien invasion, and, especially, after the apocalyptic collapse of civilization. In fact, the aftermath of some global catastrophe has been one of the most popular themes in science fiction. In most cases, there is a disaster followed by savagery and bitter struggle for survival, with rape and murder commonplace, but also a kind of life in which individuals are responsible for their own destinies and their moral choices are clear cut. Other books see the new world as more peaceful and ordered, more in harmony with nature, than the civilized world that has been destroyed, but there remains a tension between loss and gain, between the new simplicities and the old resplendence and comfort. Whatever your political take on all this, there is no question that these novels can be tremendously enjoyable, and can provide surprising insights not only into practical survival skills, often in the face of overwhelming odds, but also into the perennial questions of how human culture interacts with human nature. See also Survival I: Fact and Survival II: Fiction"
The Last Ship
The Last Ship
"A United States destroyer, with 152 men and 26 women aboard, the only ship that has survived a thermonuclear war, in the midst of nuclear winter, and with diminishing fuel, food, and supplies, crisscrosses the oceans in search of uncontaminated land on which to begin repopulating the planet"
Wolf And Iron
Wolf And Iron
"A science-fiction master describes a world in chaos after a financial collapse, where a lone man, with an enigmatic wolf companion, seeks to travel to his brother's ranch in Montana through a dangerous world of isolated farms, rural communities, and wandering peddlers, loners, and slavers"
Alas, Babylon
Alas, Babylon
"A forty-year-old classic -- not intended originally as fiction, but as a realistic blueprint for postapocalyptic community survival -- in which people in a small town in Florida must learn to live off the land after a thermonuclear war"
Into the Forest: A Novel
Into the Forest: A Novel
"Two sisters must learn to live in harmony with the northern California forest when the electricity shuts off, the phones go out, their parents die, all civilization beyond them seems to grind to a halt, and their only option is to turn to each other and the plants and animals of the redwood forest for friendship, courage, and sustenance"
Farnham's Freehold
Farnham's Freehold
"A practical, self-made man takes a small group into his underground shelter, survives a thermonuclear war with Russia, and finds himself somehow projected two thousand years into the future into a world ruled by the descendants of Africans, who blame whites for the destruction of the world and consider them fit only for slavery"
Tunnel in the Sky
Tunnel in the Sky
"A class of high-school seniors, taking a standard ten-day survival test, get marooned on a dangerous planet, beyond contact with Earth, at the other end of a tunnel in the sky, and have to learn to live without the luxuries and laws of their old civilization"
Riddley Walker, Expanded Edition
Riddley Walker, Expanded Edition
"In a remote future in a post-nuclear holocaust England, humanity has regressed to an iron-age, semiliterate state, haunted by memories of a civilization dead for 3000 years, and wandering bards recite stories, interpret omens, and 'think on the idear of what things myt be'"
Always Coming Home (California Fiction)
Always Coming Home (California Fiction)
"A remarkable piece of speculative anthropology that describes the culture of the Kesh, inhabitants of the Napa Valley in California long after some unnamed catastrophe has sunk the cities of the coast -- a collage of verse, tales, reports, drawings, music, and even the recipes of this minutely constructed matriarchal culture"
The World Ends in Hickory Hollow
The World Ends in Hickory Hollow
"A farming family living in northern Texas -- used to growing their own food, working hard, helping their neighbors, raising their children -- barely notice that a nuclear strike has ended civilization elsewhere, until they and their neighbors must join together to fight a band of marauding killers"
The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition 2009) (Vintage International)
The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition 2009) (Vintage International)
"In a masterpiece of survival literature, ash falls from the sky, wildlife is extinct, starvation is everywhere, marauding bands of cannibal thugs roam the wasteland, and a man seeks to survive with his emaciated son in a world where the only value left is their love for each other"
Lucifer's Hammer
Lucifer's Hammer
"A giant comet collides with Earth, causing destruction of unbelievable proportions, the rapid deterioration of civilization, and survivors who band together or turn savagely against each other in order to survive"
Snowfall (The Snowfall Trilogy, Book 1)
Snowfall (The Snowfall Trilogy, Book 1)
"A change in Jupiter's orbit has covered the US with ice, and a fur-clad band of hunters in the frozen wasteland of the Colorado mountains, their knowledge and language derived from stories told by elders and a few old salvaged books, flee invaders toward a mythic land of warmth in the south"
Earth Abides
Earth Abides
"A viral plague of unparalleled destructive force, springing up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroys the human race, leaving one strangely immune survivor to venture forward in a world where humans have turned full circle into hunter-gatherers"
Island in the Sea of Time
Island in the Sea of Time
"A cosmic disturbance transports the island of Nantucket and its inhabitants over 3000 years back in time to the shores of a Stone Age America, where they must cope with the day-to-day problems of survival, the trauma of losing all connection with the modern world, and suspicious native tribes across the water"
The Rift
The Rift
"A massive earthquake hits little Madrid, Missouri, a strange white mist smelling of sulfur rises from the crevassed ground, dams and levees break, the Mississippi changes course, St. Louis and Memphis are flattened, and fire, flood, and chaos follow"