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Chris's Picks For Best Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

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When I say I've read a lot of post-apoc fiction, I mean I've read a LOT. And there's so much more out there. Unfortunately, it's not all good. Here's some series or stand alone books I highly recommend if you're looking to read more in the genre:

1) One Second After by William Forstchen

This may have been the first I ever read and it made a huge impact on my way of thinking about our society.  


One man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.

Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. 

Its the first book in a trilogy, and really, the best of the three though I'd still recommend all three. The second one was "meh" but the third makes up for it. 

2) The New World Series by G. Michael Hopf


Young Gordon Van Zandt valued duty and loyalty to country above all, so after 9/11, he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This idealism vanished one fateful day in a war-torn city in Iraq. Ten years later, he is still struggling with the ghosts of his past when a new reality is thrust upon him and his family: North America, Europe and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack, which causes catastrophic damage to the nation's power grid and essential infrastructures. Everything from cell phones to cars to computers cease to function, putting society at a standstill.

With civilization in chaos, Gordon must fight for the limited and fast dwindling resources. He knows survival requires action and cooperation with his neighbors, but as the days wear on, so does all sense of civility within his community--and so he must make some of the most difficult decisions of his life in order to ensure his family's safety.

This was another series, I think there's eight books, that I really enjoyed. Great storytelling despite the well used trope of an EMP attack on the U.S. Hopf was also very influential on my own writing, both in style and by posting videos about writing on his social media pages. 

3) The Going Home Series by Chris Weatherman, aka "Angery American"

Along with G. Michael Hopf, Chris was an author who started out independent and then was picked up by a major publishing house, only to go back to being independent when the contract expired. 


When Morgan Carter’s car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country’s power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored—if it ever will be. An avid survivalist, Morgan takes to the road with his prepper pack on his back.

During the grueling trek from Tallahassee to his home in Lake County, chaos threatens his every step but Morgan is hell-bent on getting home to his wife and daughters—and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. 

Weatherman's series started out really strong in the first three to four books, but then, perhaps after parting with the publishing company, the quality started to suffer a little bit in my opinion. There's a lot of pages devoted to the characters busting each others' balls which, after a while, gets to be a little much and almost feels like filler. Also, the editing began to suffer in the last few books, as noted by others in reviews. I think a lot of this has to do with Weatherman's focus shifting from being at the keyboard to doing weekly broadcasts on Facebook. I used to follow him regularly but he's super political these days, and it ranges from off putting to simply a guy shit posting nonsense. 

All that aside, I do recommend the series. I just wish he focused on writing more than the rest of what makes up his brand. It's hard to deny it works for him and his sales, but it also detracts some.

4) The V-Plague Series by Dirk Patton 

This one is interesting in that it's the end of the world where humans have mutated into ravenous wild beasts by a bioweapon.


John, a retired soldier, and Rachel, a young doctor, find themselves thrown together in a shattered, post-apocalyptic landscape.  Together, they must escape the unstoppable menace of the infected, the threat of fellow survivors and the final showdown with America's greatest enemy.With a main character that is the Jack Reacher of the apocalypse, this is a series that has been hailed by readers and critics alike.

What's interesting about this series is, Patton also wrote a couple side books that play into this series ( which, last I knew was being looked at for a TV series ). Out of the 19, not counting the side books, I haven't read the last couple, because I started to lose interest in the story. But the first 15-17 are definitely worth a read. 

5) 77 Days In September by Ray Gorham

This is another one of those, "EMP, guy is trying to get home" books. 


On a Friday afternoon before Labor Day, Americans are getting ready for the holiday weekend, completely unaware of a long-planned terrorist plot about to be launched against the country. Kyle Tait is settling in for his flight home to Montana when a single nuclear bomb is detonated 300 miles above the heart of America. The blast, an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), destroys every electrical device in the country, and results in the crippling of the power grid, the shutting down of modern communications, and bringing to a halt most forms of transportation.

Kyle narrowly escapes when his airplane crashes on take-off, only to find himself stranded 2,000 miles from home in a country that has been forced, from a technological standpoint, back to the 19th Century. Confused, hurt, scared, and alone, Kyle must make his way across a hostile continent to a family he’s not even sure has survived the effects of the attack. As Kyle forges his way home, his frightened family faces their own struggles for survival in a community trying to halt its slow spiral into chaos and anarchy. 

It's definitely a good read, and interestingly, by the ending I was really emotionally invested in the book, something unusual for this genre. Gorham followed this up with Daunting Days Of Winter, which was also good. I still hope he writes more, although it's been a while. 

6) Anything by Franklin Horton

I can't choose any one series of Horton's because not only are they all excellent, they also all tie into each other somehow. 

The three series I've read are The Borrowed World,  The Locker Nine Series, The Way Of Dan Series, and The Mad Mick Series which together make up a total of 25 books!

I would start with The Borrowed World, which kind of sets the tone and the scene for the rest of them. Then you could read the rest of them in about any order, although I did it this way: Locker Nine, Way Of Dan, then Mad Mick. 

The Mad Mick character will show up in Locker Nine, and then he will come together with the people in The Borrowed World Series. He hasn't been in the Way of Dan yet, since that's set on the West Coast, but I've no doubt it will all come together somehow. 

7) Surrender The Sun by A.R. Shaw

AR Shaw has written other SHTF fiction book that I've read, including her Graham's Resolution series, but Surrender The Sun stands out in the genre for its unique plot:


In the year 2030, a mini ice age hits earth like it did in 1645. A war-weary community scrambles. A recluse veteran must take charge or most will die from the effects of severe weather but also from man himself.

After a while, even I have to admit the EMP plot line can only be told so many ways, which is why this book was a refreshing change of pace. 


There's a bunch more I've read and either tolerated or enjoyed them, but not enough to recommend them. And to be honest, I've read so many that I'm sure I could have made the above list a complete Top 10. But there's better than 50 books in the above listed series, so that's enough to get anyone started!

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I don’t usually read this genre of books, but, I believe Nora Robert’s “The Chronicles of The One”  (which is a trilogy) fits here.  It starts with a virus the decimates the world and unleashes something not typical in the usual post-apocalyptic books. 

Of course I also enjoyed In Times of Trouble which was my other adventure in this genre of books.

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It’s been harder for me to find good books in this genre since I made that initial post.

I finally got around to reading Weatherman’s 11th and 12th book. #11 was terrible, rife with errors and it had a different tone to it altogether. Someone who left a reviewed suggested it was ghost written, perhaps by his wife. This actually would make sense because the main characters wife took an uncharacteristically larger role, going from housewife to gun toting badass. What also lends credence to this is the larger role the authors wife has taken on in his career as well. #12 was much better, and altogether different than the previous. But I don’t know that I’ll be in a hurry to read the next one whenever he writes it.

Franklin Horton continues to be prolific while continuing to deliver great stories across the three series which amazingly all tie together now and then.

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The Road was good for sure!

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