With the DVD release
of I Am Legend with Will Smith as the only survivor of the Apocalypse, we look
at some of our favorite post-apocalyptic stuff . . .
by Roger Zelazny
This 1969 novel
unsurprisingly has a Hell’s Angel as protagonist. A brisk, fun read – avoid the
terrible 1977 movie though.
by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
In this thick novel
(published in 1977) civilization as we know it comes to an end when a meteor
hits the planet. Things soon degenerate to Mad Max-levels.
Civilization after all is only skin deep if we are to believe two of science
fiction’s arch pessimists . . .
by David Brin
This 1985 novel
couldn’t have less to do with Kevin Costner’s lame 1997 movie. Hard SF fans
should check it out. (The book, not the movie . . .)
by Cormac McCarthy
A father and son's
post-apocalyptic tale of survival. Now being filmed with Viggo Mortensen and
Y: The Last Man
Comic book series that
kicked off in 2002 and only recently ended features a lone man named Yorick (!)
and his monkey in a world populated only by women. Before you think he’s a lucky
guy, think twice . . .
The Death of Grass
by John Christopher
Filmed as No Blade
of Grass. In the original 1956 novel a virus destroys plants and causes
massive famine and the breakdown of society.
A Boy and His Dog
Novella by Harlan
Ellison. Filmed in 1975 – starring Don Johnson and the dog from the Brady Bunch
as his telepathic companion. A huge influence on the Mad Max movies . . .
The Ultimate Warrior
1975 movie starring a
bad ass Yul Brunner.
Panic in Year Zero!
This 1962 movie is
about a family that escapes Los Angeles devastated by a nuclear attack. Ray
Milland is the dad who has to protect his wife and daughter from marauding
The Trigger Effect
directed by the scribe of Jurassic Park and starring Elizabeth Shue. An extended
electricity blackout results in the slow unraveling of society.
Thick 1978 novel by
Stephen King about a supernatural-themed end of the world. Also made into a
The granddaddy of them
all! Mel Gibson avenges his family’s death at the hands of a vicious biker gang.
Even better than Mad
Max. It may have “inspired” a host of terrible cheapo straight-to-VHS
rip-offs in the 1980s, but is still one of the best action movies ever made.