The well-done post-apocalypse story is a literary post-mortem on civilization. At its best, it looks at the wreckage of society to examine not only the workings of its physical infrastructure but the architecture of the human mind and soul.
Once upon a time, I read a fair number of these, but I sort of drifted away from it. In the last couple of years, by accident, I’ve read more than usual in the sub-genre.
Oh there’s still a lot of these stories published. But zombies have taken over the genre. Many self-published works seem to be survivalist manuals — not that anything is wrong with that. Some of Dean Ing’s works fit in that category as does, to some extant, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s Lucifer’s Hammer. However, who knows how many of these are badly written political screeds or how to manuals?
And I have little interest in YA novels. Even when I was the target age, I usually didn’t care for teenaged protagonists.
So, hoping to see what had been going on with the theme recently, I requested Paula Guran’s After the End: Recent Apocalypses. Continue reading