Tag Archives: post-apocalyptic

What I Will Be Reading #31: from the Modern Mrs. Darcy

Between listening to What Should I Read Next and reading Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog, I could keep my to-be-read list in an ever-growing state of wishing for more time. I’ll share a few of the books I’ve recently been interested in from her site.

I try not to add every book I hear Anne describe on her podcast, but she’s great at making books sound interesting. For the one-year anniversary (episode 62), Anne gathered suggestions from the listeners of what she should read next. I thought several of the books sounded good, including: Continue reading

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Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

This book has been on my reading list for over two years now, so it’s very satisfying to be able to finally cross it off the list. I put it on my TBR list after reading a “Best sci-fi and fantasy books of all time” post from The Telegraph. Books on lists like that tend to be of higher than average quality, so any I hadn’t read I put on my TBR list. As a bonus, it’s also on the BBC’s The Big Read list. I chose to read it now because it gave me a W author that I’m still lacking.

Published: 1951

Genre: post-apocalyptic science fiction

Length: 216 pages

Setting: London and its environs, late 1940s Continue reading

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Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

This is the third book in The Reckoners series. You’ll want to start at the beginning of the series (Steelheart and then Firefight) if you’re interested in the books. I successfully convinced Mr. Curiosity to read the series, so I read this book after he finished it. Bonus, it was published this year so it counts toward my new books challenge

Published: 2016

Genre: post-apocalyptic YA

Length: 421 pages

Font: Apollo

Setting: mostly Ildithia, in the U.S. southwest, soon after the events the events of Firefight Continue reading

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Short Stories by Holly Schofield

Title: Graveyard Shift

Published: September 2013 in Tesseracts Seventeen: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast.

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 9 pages

Setting: a graveyard, near future

Interest: It was published in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Ryan Leong has pretty much given up. He’s just graduated from college, deep in debt, with little prospect of getting a job since all the teachers have been replaced by online classes and algorithms, and his mother just died. So, he’s going to show xiao one last time and visit his Grandfather’s grave. He figures he owes his grandfather at least one last conversation, before using the gun in his backpack. That conversation manages to turn his mind around and give him an idea of what to do after graduation.

Final thoughts: The story qualifies for speculative fiction, but not in any “crazy technology” way. Instead, the author took a trend (the creation of online courses, and the increasing expense of college) and pushed it to the extreme. What would that mean? It could mean that going to college would no longer be a help in getting a job. Instead, it would just saddle you with enormous amounts of debt, and you’d still be less competitive than the cheap overseas workers. The author also pulled in lots of details of showing respect to your elders as a Chinese immigrant.

Title comes from: The narrator goes to visit his Grandfather’s grave before dawn

Title: Hurry Up and Wait

Published: May, 2013 in Perihelion Science Fiction

Genre: post-apocalyptic

Length: 15 pages

Setting: an island off the coast of Vancouver, near future

Summary: Mike and Darren are living on a small island north of Vancouver. For all they know, they could be the last people to survive the supervirus, bombs, earthquake, and other environmental disasters that all seemed to hit at once. That thought changes when they get a text on Darren’s cell phone. A billionaire survivor is asking anyone still alive to meet at the University of Vancouver campus. Mike is pessimistic and happy to stay on the island, while Darren, who crashing landed on the island in a storm at the beginning of the apocalypse, wants to join them. They spend a winter on the island, and Mike is convinced they can’t really make it on their own. He starts making plans to get to Vancouver.

Final thoughts: An interesting twist on the post-apocalyptic story. Mike had been planning to move off grid onto the island, but the apocalypse came before he could get all his supplies together. Darren, on the other hand, was an unexpected visitor that Mike couldn’t just send away. There was no away to get to. Mike’s a little annoyed he has to share his hideaway with anyone, let alone a stranger. Eventually, though, he realizes that he just doesn’t have enough resources to survive on his own, and they think about joining other survivors.

Title comes from: A phrase Mike uses when talking about doing chores around the cabin. You have to hurry up and do something and then wait until it’s important.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #28 – Fiction edition

I’ve got a few more books to add to my reading list. Mr. Curiosity has also expressed a desire to read more “literature” this year, so I’m on the lookout for some good reads for an eighth grader. This list won’t provide much for him, but will add several books to my reading list.

The first post that caught my eye was Five Gateway Books, published on Tor. The premise is providing a book that pulls you into a whole genre. I’ve read the gateway books for middle-grade, young adult, and dino-science fiction (although I’m going to suggest Mr. Curiosity read Jurassic Park), and I have the thriller/mystery series already on my list. The only book I’m missing is the post-apocalyptic gateway book, The Girl With All the Gifts. I really don’t need to be encouraged to post-apocalyptic books, but if this one is good enough to suck you into a whole genre, it’s worth checking out.

The next couple of books all fall into a single category – books about books. This is one of my favorite literary subgenres, and I have yet to read one I didn’t like (see my reviews of The Little Paris Bookshop or The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry for examples). The list comes from Off the Shelf and provides 11 books set in bookstores. Again, I’ve read several and have several others already on my reading list (maybe it’s a sign to move them up higher on my mental list of what to read next). The ones that newly caught my eye included The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee (which looks to be a nonfiction entry into this genre), and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which I may have sitting on my bookshelf, and would give me the elusive X, Y, or Z author in my reading challenge. Check out the original post to see descriptions of each book and the full list.

And those are the new books I’m adding to my reading list. Anything else I should put on there?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Honey Bear by Sofia Samatar

Published: August 2012 in Clarkesworld

Genre: post-apocalyptic fantasy

Length: 13 pages

Setting: probably California, near future

Interest: It was published in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Karen and Dave are taking their toddler, Honey, to the ocean for the first time. There’s some indications the world isn’t quite right. For example, they have to make the hotel by a certain time so Karen’s meds don’t go off in the cooler, and a detour around a slick makes time tight. They do make it to the ocean, and are the only ones at the beach, at least until some Fair Folk show up. All the excitement of the trip, however, means that Honey voids unexpectedly. Turns out, that slick we saw was from a Fair Folk child a human family is raising, just like the family in the story. People can no longer have kids, so they raise Fair Folk kids, who are really little vampires that produce toxic waste when they void themselves.

Final thoughts: I could tell something wasn’t quite right in the family and in the world. The author slowly reveals the details of the world and how messed up it really is. It was much worse than I anticipated. If your only choice to have a child was to raise the child of an alien race that couldn’t communicate with you once it grew up, would you still do it? You really would have to want a child, that’s for sure. And what would it do to the family dynamics to have that child feeding off the mother. Is blood really any different from breast milk? Most would say yes, but is it really? What started out as a story about family dynamics turned into something much creepier. I also found the combination of a post-apocalyptic world and the fantastical elements interesting. Most post-apocalypse stories tend to the science fiction side of speculative fiction, so this was a nice change.

Title comes from: Honey Bear is what Karen calls her child.


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Summer Reading Suggestions – Thrillers

It’s summer, which usually means a bit more free time and a chance to catch up on your reading. If you don’t have a reading list, I’ve got a couple of suggestions that might strike your fancy as you’re headed to the beach or the backyard. I would consider all of these books to be thrillers, so they’ll keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon page to buy the book (and thanks for supporting my blog!). If you click on the title, you’ll be taken to my original review of the book.

If you’re looking for something new, try Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. This is a current best-seller, so you’ll definitely be in the cool crowd if anyone catches you reading this book. The story starts out with a disaster (a plane crash, so perhaps something to read once you get to your location, not on the plane trip there), and you slowly find out details about the passengers on the private jet and potential reasons the plane went down.

Prefer your thriller with a post-apocalyptic flair? You might want to try Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. If you played video games or D&D as a kid in the 80s, this book is definitely for you. The world isn’t a great place so most people spend a lot of time in the virtual world of OASIS. The creator hid an egg in the world that will grant the finder control of OASIS. We follow a brilliant but poor searcher as he tries to find the egg before the evil corporation hoping to monetize OASIS find the egg.

My next suggestion, Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez, is more of a techno-thriller. It’s set in a plausible near future where an unnamed organization has taken research on ant swarms to create lethal, autonomous swarms of drones. The scientist in charge of the ant research joins a special forces agent to stop the drones. This book had me seriously questioning my online activities (once again) and wondering if I need to add another level of security to my online presence.

And finally, a psychological thriller: Just One Look by Harlan Coben. This book is based around the disappearance of Jack and the search for him by his wife, Grace. Jack has some secrets he’s been hiding, and the thread of his and Grace’s life unravels as Grace tries to find Jack. All the pieces come together by the end, so you want to pay attention while you’re reading (no matter how fast you want to skim).

Hopefully one of these will strike your fancy if you’re looking for a page-turner to read. Any other thrillers you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!


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