Post-apocalyptic fiction has maintained its corner in the literary world ever since Mary Shelly’s classic tale ‘The Last Man’ was published back in 1826. Whether it’s a zombie outbreak, a post-nuclear dystopian world, a worldwide plague epidemic, a colossal natural disaster or an extra-terrestrial threat...end of the world fiction will always catch the imagination of its readers. Although this is certainly not a complete list, DLS Reviews does however offer up an impressive list, with accompanying reviews, of a large number of post-apocalyptic novels. And the list will keep on growing...

The novels listed are ordered by the age (earliest first). However, to help you find the type of apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic fiction that you’re looking for, each novel has been categorised into the following subcategories (more than one category may apply on a novel):

Last Man On Earth:
Alone in a world devoid of any other human contact.  Being a sole survivor after the apocalypse is a test on your sanity as much as it is on your survival skills.   It’s a lonely and bleak existence.  And there’s often not much hope for anything else to come.

Zombie Outbreaks:
Although not all zombie novels have made it into this list, those that are apocalyptic, or set in a post-apocalyptic world, will meet the criteria. Even if the outbreak appears to be limited to a relatively small area of the globe, as long as the setting is of an apocalyptic nature, it’ll find its way onto the list.

Rabies / All-out Rage Fuelled Rampage:
Often very similar in nature to that of a zombie outbreak, these uber-violent epidemics often deliver a truly heart-pounding vision of a chaotic world of bloodlust and violence. Following the same rules as with zombie outbreaks, as long as the atmosphere is apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic, it’ll find its way in here in the end.

Plague Epidemic / Virus Outbreak:
Possibly the most popular of the post-apocalyptic scenarios, plague epidemics or virus outbreaks create the perfect solution for the mass annihilation of the human race. Those lucky few immune to the threat find themselves survivors in a bleak and potentially deadly new world (a setting that’s often referred to as a ‘cost catastrophe’).

Natural Disaster / Ecological Catastrophe:
Unrelenting earthquakes, catastrophic flooding, unquenchable fires, imminent meteor collisions, monumental climate change and the bitter reality of global-warming…when mother Earth fights back, humanity doesn’t stand a chance.

Extra-Terrestrial Threat / Mass-Alien Invasion:
Aliens aren’t all like E.T. from Steven Spielberg’s family-friendly sci-fi film. When these out-of-space visitors decide it’s chow time for humanity, the threat can be almost impossible to overcome. From ‘War of the Worlds’ to ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ - if it’s of apocalyptic proportions, then it’s got a valid pass for the list.

New Breed / Mass Rampaging Creatures or Plants
[new breed]
Originality will always have a strong place within the genre of post-apocalyptic fiction.  Whether the new threat on humanity have been scientifically altered or merely sprung up from out of nowhere (but not from space); as long as they’re reducing the world’s population to near nothing, these weird and wonderful new breeds can find a home in the list.

Vampire Domination / Mass Succubi-Like Threats
Or favourite blood-sucking friends won’t always just linger in the shadows waiting to seduce young virgins for their lifeblood.  They have the capability for world domination.  And should they reduce humanity to but a handful of survivors or so, then life for those remaining is going to be very tough indeed.

Nuclear Warfare / Chemical Weapons / Megadeath Through War
Humanity is its own worst enemy.  Since the dawn of mankind we’ve been fighting with each other.  And with so-called progression – we’ve mastered the art of murder en masse.  Furthermore, we have enough weapons of mass destruction to destroy the world a hundred times over.  And so when war does finally come knocking again, the end results can prove to be nothing short of utter annihilation.

Those who believe in the word of the Bible will more often than not believe that the apocalypse will one day arrive and man will be judged for his time spent on earth.  Indeed, religion on a whole is rife with promises of Armageddon and ultimate judgement.  And as such, its particularly fertile ground for tales of our ultimate destruction.

**To add further clarification to the types of post-apocalyptic fiction, the following extra categories have been included where necessary:

When mankind is reduced to almost nothing, those few remaining are forced to start again as if from scratch.  They may have all the technology and materials that were left behind, but these supplies will only ever have a finite lifespan.  And so they are forced to learn how to start over again.  Learn how to make the things they need.  And ultimately, adapt to a world that has irrevocably changed forever.

Vague Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic Nature:
Not entirely apocalyptic, these novels may only affect small pockets of humanity.  However, the general atmosphere or basic premise of the tale leans towards that of a post-apocalyptic novel (for example the massive earthquakes from Walter J Williams’ novel ‘The Rift’).  It’s more about the essence of the novel than the trueness of an apocalyptic setting.

Dystopian World:
A bleak vision of the world where humankind’s survival is one of utter misery and oppression.  To be included within the post-apocalyptic list, the setting must be one of a limited humanity, where the fragments of mankind struggle with a life of hardship or under a harsh dictatorship.  Wars and revolutionary rebellion are popular inclusions in these downbeat warnings.

Through its growing popularity, more and more stories are being penned involving an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic premise.  For those books that collect together short stories solely on this particular premise, it would be wrong to miss them off this list.  So here they are.

Running at over one-hundred novels, the Deathlands series is by far and away the longest standing post-apocalyptic series to see publication.  Written under the house name, James Axler, the novels have been penned by numerous authors over the years.  However, each novel has maintained the same desperate post-apocalyptic setting – offering up an action-rich mix of violence, sex, mutants and madness.

1826  The Last Man  6.5/10

1885  After London; or, Wild England  7.5/10

1901  The Purple Cloud 7/10

1949  Earth Abides  8.5/10

1951  The Day Of The Triffids  10/10

1954  I Am Legend  10/10

1956  The Death Of Grass  8/10

1957  On The Beach  9/10

1974  Night Of The Living Dead  9/10

1975  The Fog  10/10

1977  Lucifer’s Hammer  8/10

1978  Dawn Of The Dead  8.5/10

1978  The Stand  10/10

1978  Return Of The Living Dead  8/10

1984  Domain  7.5/10

1984  Erebus  8.5/10

1985  Throwback  8/10

1986  Deathlands 1: Pilgrimage To Hell  10/10

1986  Deathlands 2: Red Holocaust  9/10

1987  Deathlands 3: Neutron Solstice  10/10

1987  Swan Song  10/10

1987  Deathlands 4: Crater Lake  8.5/10

1988  Deathlands 5: Homeward Bound  8.5/10

1988  Deathlands 6: Pony Soldiers  9/10

1988  Deathlands 7: Dectra Chain  6/10

1988  Deathlands 8: Ice And Fire  8/10

1989  Deathlands 9: Red Equinox  8/10

1989  Deathlands 10: Northstar Rising  7/10

1990  Among Madmen  8/10

1990  Deathlands 11: Time Nomads  8/10

1991  One Rainy Night  10/10

1991  Deathlands 12: Latitude Zero  9.5/10

1991  Deathlands 13: Seedling  10/10

1992  Deathlands 14: Dark Carnival  9/10

1992  Deathlands 15: Chill Factor  9.5/10

1992  Deathlands 16: Moon Fate  8/10

1993  Deathlands 17: Fury’s Pilgrims  8/10

1993  Deathlands 18: Shockscape  7.5/10

1994  The Secret Of Anatomy  8/10

1995  Blood Crazy  7.5/10

1995  Quake  10/10

1996  '48  9.5/10

1996  Straight To You  10/10

1997  King Blood  8.5/10

1998  The Rift  9.5/10

2000  Naming Of Parts  8.5/10

2001  Reign Of The Dead  9/10

2001  The Night Of The Triffids  7.5/10

2002  Autumn [Autumn Series]  10/10

2003  Reign Of The Dead: Apocalypse End  9/10

2003  Autumn: The City [Autumn Series]  9.5/10

2003  The Zombie Survival Guide  9/10

2004  Monster Island 8.5/10

2004  Autumn: Purification [Autumn Series]  10/10

2004  Day By Day Armageddon - Volume I  8.5/10

2004  SEAT - Special Echelon Anti-Terror Task Force  8/10

2004  Xombies  8.5/10

2004  The Rising  9/10

2005  Monster Nation  8/10

2005  Twilight Of The Dead  8.5/10

2005  Autumn: The Human Condition [Autumn Series]  10/10

2005  Down The Road  7.5/10

2005  City Of The Dead  8.5/10

2005  The Lucifer Wars  6.5/10

2005  The Cleansing  9/10

2005  Monster Planet  9/10

2005  Cobble  6.5/10

2005  Trust  9.5/10

2006  World War Z  10/10

2006  Hater [Hater Series]  10/10

2006  The Road  9.5/10

2006  Cell  7/10

2008  Zombie Haiku  6.5/10

2008  The Breathing Dead  3.5/10

2008  After Twilight: Walking With The Dead  7.5/10

2009  Pride And Prejudice And Zombies  7.5/10

2009  Bringing Forth The End Of Days  7/10

2009  The Kill Crew  9/10

2009  Under The Dome  10/10

2010  Flu  8.5/10

2010  Everything And Nothing [Hater Series]  9/10

2010  Dog Blood [Hater Series]  9.5/10

2010  The Passage  8/10

2010  On The Third Day  7.5/10

2010  The Reapers Are The Angels  9/10

2010  Wall Of Days  9/10

2010  The Proper Care And Feeding Of Zombies  6/10

2010  Shades Of Green  3.5/10

2010  Pray – The Revelation Chronicles Part 1  9.5/10

2011  Outpost  9/10

2011  Snareville  8/10

2011  The Final Winter  7/10 

2011  The Unwashed Dead  5.5/10

2011  Breakdown  2.5/10

2011  Wool 1: Holston  9/10

2011  Muriel  9/10

2011  Them Or Us [Hater Series]  9.5/10

2011  Wool 2: Proper Gauge 8.5/10

2011  Animal Kingdom  7.5/10

2011  Wool 3: Casting Off  9/10

2011  Wool 4: The Unravelling  9.5/10

2011  Autumn:  Disintegration [Autumn Series]  9/10

2012  Wool 5: The Stranded  9.5/10

2012  The Cost Of Living [Flash Fiction] 8.5/10

2012  Pure  9/10

2012  The Return Man  9/10

2012  Extinction Point - Book One: The End  9/10

2012  Hell - The Revelation Chronicles Part 2  8/10

2012  Apocalypse Cow  8/10

2012  Osiris:  Book One Of The Osiris Project  4/10

2012  The Age Of Miracles  7.5/10

2012  The Dog Stars  8/10

2012  Apocalypse Z: The Beginning Of The End  9/10

2012  Autumn: Aftermath [Autumn Series]  10/10

2013  Red Moon  6.5/10

2013  What Happens In The Darkness  5/10

2013  Roadkill  9/10

2013  Extinction Point - Book Two: Exodus  9/10

2013  Interrupt  4/10

2014  Shovel Ready  7/10

2014  Straight To You  10/10

2014  Bird Box  10/10

2014  Above  9.5/10

2014  After The Fall  7/10

2014  The Cost Of Living [Novella] 9/10

2014  Sick B*stards  9/10

2014  The Last Plague  7.5/10

2014  Isolation  9/10

2014  Last Of The Living  9/10

2014  Class Three  8.5/10

2014  SickER B*stards  8.5/10

2015  Milk  10/10

2015  Under Ground  7/10

2015  Class Four: Those Who Survive  8.5/10

2015  World War Moo  7.5/10

2016  Unity  10/10

2016  The Rot  8.5/10

2016  Deadside Revolution  7.5/10

2016  Chump 7.5/10

2016  The Veil: Testaments I & II  9.5/10

2017  Defender [The Voices - Book 1]  9.5/10

2017  Fever  10/10

2017  One Of Us Will Be Dead By Morning [Hater Series]  9/10

2018  The Feed  5.5/10

2018  Manna City  8.5/10

2018  Hunted [The Voices - Book 1]  8.5/10

2019  All Roads End Here [Hater Series]  10/10

2019  The End Of The World  8/10

Mary Shelley  [plague]  [alone]

Richard Jefferies  [natural]  [dystopia]

M. P. Shiel  [natural]  [alone]

George R. Stewart  [rebuild]  [alone]

John Wyndham  [alien]  [new breed]  [natural]  [rebuild]

Richard Matheson  [vampire]  [alone]

John Christopher  [natural]

Neville Shute  [warfare]

John Russo  [zombie]

James Herbert  [plague]  [rage]

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle  [natural]  [rebuild]

George A Romero & Susanna Sparrow  [zombie]

Stephen King  [plague]  [rebuild]

John Russo  [zombie]

James Herbert  [new breed]

Shaun Hutson  [vampire]

Guy N Smith  [plague]  [new breed]  [rage]

Jack Adrian (aka Christopher Lowder)  [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James)  [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James)  [deathlands]

Richard R. McCammon  [warfare]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

James Axler (aka Laurence James)  [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

Jim Starlin & Daina Graziunas  [rage]  [rebuild]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

Richard Laymon  [rage]  [vague]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

James Axler (aka Laurence James) [deathlands]

Mark Morris  [vague]

Simon Clark  [rage]  [rebuild]

Richard Laymon  [natural]  [vague]

James Herbert  [warfare]

David Moody  [natural]

Simon Clark  [natural] [rage]

Walter Williams  [natural]  [vague]

Tim Lebbon  [zombie]

Len Barnhart  [zombie]

Simon Clark  [alien]  [new breed]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

David Moody  [zombie]

Len Barnhart  [zombie]  [dystopia]

David Moody  [zombie]

Max Brooks  [zombie]

David Wellington  [zombie]

David Moody  [zombie]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

J. L. Bourne  [zombie]

J. Andrew Corbett [zombie]

Walter Greatshell  [zombie]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

Brian Keene  [zombie]

David Wellington  [zombie]

Travis Adkins  [zombie]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

David Moody  [zombie]

Bowie Ibarra  [zombie]

Brian Keene  [zombie]

Stuart Vowell  [religious]

Shane Ryan Staley  [vague]

David Wellington  [zombie]

Eric S. Brown & Susanne Brydenbaugh  [zombie]  [rebuild]

David Moody  [alien]

Max Brooks  [zombie]

David Moody  [rage]

Cormac McCarthy  [warfare]  [dystopia]

Stephen King  [rage]

Ryan Mecum  [zombie]

Aaron M. Esmonde  [zombie]

Travis Adkins  [zombie]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

Seth Grahame-Smit[zombie]

Simon Law  [plague]

Joseph D'Lacey  [new breed]  [alien]  [dystopia]

Stephen King  [vague]  [dystopia]  [alien]

Wayne Simmons  [zombie]

David Moody  [rage]

David Moody  [rage]  [warfare]

Justin Cronin  [vampire]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

Rhys Thomas  [rage]  [plague]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

Alden Bell  [zombie]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

Alastair Bruce  [dystopia]  [natural]  [rebuild]

Mac Montandon  [zombie]  [vague]

Ian Woodhead  [alien]  [vague]

John Prescott  [religious]  [dystopia]  [new breed]

Adam Baker  [plague]  [new breed]  [alien]

David M. Youngquist  [zombie]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

Iain Rob Wright  [religious]

Ian Woodhead  [zombie]  [vague]

Katherine Amt Hanna  [natural]  [plague]  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

Hugh Howey [dystopia]

David Moody  [zombie]

David Moody  [rage]  [dystopia]  [warfare]

Hugh Howey [dystopia]

Iain Rob Wright  [rage]

Hugh Howey [dystopia]

Hugh Howey [dystopia]

David Moody  [zombie]

Hugh Howey [dystopia]

David Moody  [natural]

Julianna Baggott  [dystopia]

V. M. Zito  [zombie]

Paul Anthony Jones  [alien]

John Prescott  [religious]  [dystopia]  [new breed]

Michael Logan  [rage]  [new breed]  [plague]

E. J. Swift  [dystopia]

Karen Thompson Walker  [natural]

Peter Heller  [natural]  [plague]

Manel Loureiro  [zombie]

David Moody  [zombie]  [dystopia]

Benjamin Percy  [vague]

Monica J. O’Rourke   [vampire]  [warfare]

Joseph D’Lacey  [vague]  [dystopia]

Paul Anthony Jones  [alien]

Jeff Carlson  [natural]  [new breed]  [rage]

Adam Sternbergh  [vague]  [dystopia]

David Moody  [natural]

Josh Malerman  [alien]  [new breed]  [alone]

Isla Morley  [dystopia]

Alex Davis  [anthology]

David Moody  [rage]

Matt Shaw  [rage]  [warfare]  [vague] 

Rich Hawkins  [alien]  [new breed]

David Moody  [zombie]

David Moody  [zombie]

Duncan P. Bradshaw  [zombie]

Matt Shaw  [rage]  [warfare]  [vague]

Adam Millard  [new breed]

S.L. Grey  [vague]  [plague]

Duncan P. Bradshaw  [zombie]

Michael Logan  [rage]  [new breed]  [plague]

John Leahy  [plague]

Paul Kane  [plague]  [alone]

Terry Grimwood  [zombie]  [dystopia]  [religious]

Duncan P. Bradshaw  [zombie]  [dystopia] [anthology]

Joseph D'Lacey  [new breed]  [alien]  [dystopia]

G.X. Todd  [rage]  [dystopia]

Deon Meyer  [plague]  [rebuild]

David Moody  [rage]

Nick Clark Windo  [dystopia]  [rebuild]

Geoffrey Pierce  [dystopia]

G.X. Todd  [rage]  [dystopia]

David Moody  [rage]  [dystopia]

Dan Henk  [alien]  [vague]

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