I have come to the conclusion that the reason I am reading so many disaster novels - end of the world science fiction, apocalyptic it is called, is because my own life is crumbling and it makes me feel better when I read about other characters facing the end of their world too. I know it's just divorce I am going through, and it's not the end of everything, it just seems like so much is changing and so little I can hang on to. So as much as I have so many plans to read books- and dear Reader, every week I make a new mental list of what I'd like to read shortly! - I find that my attention is drawn to books I come across, featuring ecological disasters, mostly. So I'd like to ask you: do you have a favourite dystopian novel that you could recommend? It's not a genre I usually read in, so I don't know much about this area.
Please don't recommend The Road by Cormac McCarthy. That is too grim for me, too dark.
Books I have read this year so far that fall into this category: reviews:
Where Late the Birds Sang - Kate Wilhelm - beautiful end of the world cloning story, in which fertility goes wrong, and cloning seems to be the answer to mankind's survival. This was quite an intense read, and clear about what cloning could mean - it was frightening, and also smart,as it made me think about what cost human survival? When does being alike become dangerous? When does being alone become a strength? Books feature, too, as a way to show how to survive when all communication is gone.
Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeifer. Gosh, simply wonderful. Gripping, real, what happens if an asteroid should hit the moon and knock it off-course just a little. I will always remember the image of the moon being so close in the sky, in this book, hanging there in the middle of the day. And what happens that first year after the tsunamis, flooding, natural destruction as the moon pulls on the tides and waters of the earth. It's about one family and how they cope through the eyes of a 16 year old girl, and I dare you to put it down while reading it.
Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, - read earlier this year, review here.
I am currently reading Flood by Stephen Baxter, set in 2016, and featuring rising water tides all over the world. I have just started it, and it's gripping. It's set in London England, and when it actually mentioned Grays (where my soon to be ex's family is from), and Lakeside Gardens, the big shopping mall around the corner from their house, I got all excited.
I just bought I am Legend by Richard Matheson. I've watched all the versions of the movies of this book! Time I read the novel, I think. I also just picked up a second-hand copy of The Postman by David Brin. Yes that science fiction novel that became the Kevin Costner movie - I believe the book is better than the movie, I certainly hope so!
It's not like I am only reading these, I am able to read the occasional mystery and lots of fantasy in between, and more horror than usual (I will be posting on this soon, too). I am anxiously awaiting the next installment of Justin Cronin's series,
out in October - dystopian vampire novel, love it! Dystopian because of
the virus that caused the vampires.......
Books I've read in the past, some many years ago:
On The Beach - Nevil Shute
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller Jr
Swan Song - Robert R McCammon (own it, due for a reread, one of my favourites)
Dies the Fire - SM Stirling
Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
The Plague Tales - Ann Benson
and, of course:
The Stand - Stephen King (have reread and due for another read soon)
So do you have a favourite science fiction end of the world novel, Gentle Readers? Please let me know if you recommend some titles.