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List of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

This is a list of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction works, sorted by the nature of the catastrophe portrayed.

World War III and other apocalyptic wars (between humans)

Films

1930s

  • 1936. Things to Come, in which an extended future second world war leads to a breakdown of civilization in most of the world, with technology returning to medieval levels by 1970.

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

Television

  • 1978. Future Boy Conan, an anime series by Hayao Miyazaki. Supermagnetic WMDs devastate Earth and causes virtually all land to be submerged underwater.
  • 1979. Buck Rogers In The 25th Century Mostly futuristic in appearance, but outside of the gleaming Utopian city lies apocalyptic ruins swarming with mutants.
  • 1982. Whoops Apocalypse
  • 1982. World War III. Miniseries with Rock Hudson.
  • 1983. The Day After. The effects of nuclear war on a Kansas town.
  • 1984. Threads. BBC Television Docudrama.
  • 1984. Z for Zachariah BBC adaptation of the 1975 novel of the same name.
  • 1984-1987. Fist of the North Star. Post-apocalyptic anime series.
  • 1987. Knights of God
  • 1990. The Girl from Tomorrow, Australian children's drama in which a girl from the 31st century (after the Northern Hemisphere has been destroyed in the Great Disaster, later revealed to be a nuclear holocaust) becomes stranded in the 20th century. In the sequel, Tomorrow's End (1993), she and her friends fight to prevent history from being changed in such a way that the Southern Hemisphere is destroyed as well.
  • 1992. woops!, a very short-lived sitcom about the survivors of a nuclear war.
  • 1994. Knight Rider 2010, made for TV movie that was designed to be a pilot for a post-apoc spin-off from the original Knight Rider
  • 1999. Now and Then, Here and There, an Anime series that takes place 10 billion years into the future, where mankind lusts for power, and children are forced into military duty.
  • 2000. Fail Safe, televised play based on the novel of the same name directed by Stephen Frears and produced by George Clooney. Drama in which a technical failure causes a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union by the United States. Deals with American and Soviet attempts to prevent escalation into a full-scale nuclear war.
  • 2002. Jeremiah. A live-action television series which takes place 15 years after a worldwide pandemic wipes out every post-adolescent human on earth.
  • 2002. Saikano. Anime series.
  • 2004-2005. Desert Punk. Anime series.
  • 2005. "Dance Of The Dead" is an episode of Masters of Horror directed by Tobe Hooper. It has a triple apocalyptic theme as it features a man made virus causing a zombie outbreak after World War 3.
  • 2006. Jericho (CBS), about the residents of a small Kansas town which remains isolated in the aftermath of a series of nuclear attacks on America.
  • 2007. Masters of Science Fiction episode, A Clean Escape

Novels

1880s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

Book series and uncertain dates

Short stories and plays

Games

Comics and manga

Other

  • Visual novel Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume
  • "April 2031" a song by the band Warrant on the "Dog Eat Dog" album depicts an earth devastated by war where life lives on only by artificial means.
  • Your Attention Please, poem by Peter Porter, written in the style of a radio broadcast warning of an impending nuclear attack
  • "Your Attention Please", a song adaptation of the above Porter poem written and recorded by the Scottish post-punk group the Scars
  • The Horses, poem by Edwin Muir. Deals with society's regression to pre Industrial Revolution conditions in the wake of a nuclear war
  • The Ayreon series of concept albums depicts the end of life on Earth in 2084 due to, among other factors, a catastrophic nuclear war.

Pandemic (Plague)

Films

Television

  • The 1974 made for TV movie Where Have All The People Gone? A mutated virus created by a solar flare destroys virtually all of the human population. One family has survived, and endeavours to travel across America to their family home.
  • The 1975-1977 BBC television series Survivors by Terry Nation
  • The 1990 ITV show Not with a Bang, about 3 people who lived after everyone else in England was turned to dust by a chemical that caused rapid aging.
  • The 1994 miniseries Stephen King's The Stand
  • The 1999 series Crusade, a spin-off from the hit TV show Babylon 5
  • The 1999-2003 New-Zealand TV series The Tribe, that takes place in a near-future in which all the adults have been killed by a man-made Virus and the children have to survive on their own.
  • The 2002 TV movie Smallpox
  • The 2002-2004 Showtime cable television series Jeremiah, based on the comic of the same name. In the year 2021, 15 years after a virus kills everyone over the age of puberty, the child survivors have grown up, living on the scraps of the old world.
  • The 2005 Masters of Horror episode Dance Of The Dead directed by Tobe Hooper. It has a triple apocalyptic theme as it features a man made virus causing a zombie outbreak after World War 3.
  • The 2008 BBC television series Survivors a remake of the 70's series of the same name

Novels

Other

Astronomic impact (meteorites)

Films

  • The 1979 film Meteor
  • The 1984 film Night of the Comet. When a comet passes too close to earth, two girls are left amid mutants.
  • The 1995 film Tank Girl. Loosely based on the comic by Jamie Hewlett
  • The 2002 film The Time Machine We learn that the downfall of man is caused by the Moon breaking apart and bombarding Earth with rocks after extensive lunar mining.
  • The 2007 film Gangs of the Dead Meteorites deposit spores that turn people into zombies. In the UK this film is known as "48 Weeks Later" in a cynical attempt to fool people into believing it to be a sequel to 28 Weeks Later, however it is entirely unrelated.
  • The 2007 film Super Comet: After The Impact, a speculative documentary produced by the Discovery Channel which hypothesizes the effects on modern-day earth of a large comet impact.

Television

Novels

Other

Alien invasion

Films

Novels

Television

Other

Ecological catastrophe

Films

Novels

Television

  • The 1976-1979 TV series Ark II - pollution devastates humanity
  • The 1993 animated series Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
  • The 2003 television movie Encrypt
  • The 2004 television movie Category 6: Day of Destruction where Chicago is suffering from a series of tornadoes from numerous changes occurring in the climate. This series was followed in 2005 by Category 7: The End of the World
  • The 2004 mini series 10.5 and its 2006 follow up 10.5: Apocalypse In which a series of Earthquakes tears America apart, separating the USA from Canada.
  • The 2006 Anime series Innocent Venus Set after the world population and economy is devastated by simultaneous hyper-hurricanes.
  • The Captain Planet two-parter Two Futures, in which the character Wheeler gets a glimpse of what could happen if damage to the environment was allowed to continue unchecked
  • The 2008 Doctor Who episode "The Poison Sky"

Other

  • The 1952 short story The Birds by Daphne du Maurier, made into the 1963 film The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock - in which birds begin launching spontaneous mass attacks against mankind
  • The 1973 collection of short stories Flight of the Horse by Larry Niven
  • The 1977 short story The Screwfly Solution tells the tale of a virus which turns males into female-hating psychopaths when sexually aroused.
  • The 1986 short story The End of the Whole Mess by Stephen King in which a distillate of a Texas aquifer, originally harvested and distributed worldwide to reduce human propensity for violence--curses humanity with premature Alzheimer's disease and senility.
  • The 1993 console game Secret of Mana takes place long after a time of environmental collapse that destroyed the world's older advanced civilizations.
  • The 1994 console game Final Fantasy VI (named Final Fantasy III during initial American launch of the game) features a plot twist in where villain Kefka moves magical statues out of their intended alignment, which in turn causes the balanced fictional world to fall into ruin (and for Kefka to become its new god while protected by the powers of the same statues).
  • The 1994-2006 Japanese manga series Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō, set in a peaceful post-cataclysmic Japan, after an untold environmental disaster.
  • The 1998-1999 anime series Cowboy Bebop in which a man made disaster has caused earth's moon to fragment, resulting in a constant rain of meteor strikes on the planet and forcing humanity to move out into the solar system.
  • The 2002 video game The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, in which a flood has decimated the fictional world of Hyrule.
  • The 2002-2003 anime series Overman King Gainer, which depicts humanity living in domes after an ecological disaster.
  • The 2005 short story The Garden Where My Rains Grows by Brian Keene, set in a post-apocalyptic world where it started raining one day and never stopped.
  • The 2005-2006 anime series Zoids: Genesis where an earthquake triggers a series of worldwide natural disasters that devastate Planet Zi.
  • The 2005-present radio drama Nebulous by Graham Duff, in which much of the world was destroyed by an event known as "the Withering".
  • The 2006 anime series Ergo Proxy by the Japanese production company Manglobe, in which an undefined global ecological disaster has decimated the surface of the Earth, and the small remaining human population lives in isolated, city-state dome complexes.
  • The 2006 PC game, Battlefield 2142, in which a new ice age renders most of the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable. Wars are fought over the remaining habitable land.
  • The Command & Conquer: Tiberian series of games in which a radioactive, self-replicating alien crystal known as Tiberium has rendered most of the Earth's surface uninhabitable.
  • The game Dark Sun from TSR, Inc.
  • The Game Darkwind: War on Wheels

Cybernetic revolt (apocalyptic wars between humans and technology)

Literature

Cinema & TV

Gaming

Music

The decline and fall of the human race

  • The novel At Winter's End (1988) by Robert Silverberg
  • The poem Bedtime Story from Collected Poems 1958 – 1970 by George Macbeth
  • Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun series
  • The novel The Camp of the Saints (1973) by Jean Raspail.
  • The novel The Bridge (1973) by D. Keith Mano presents a world dominated by a global environmental fascism, where the government ultimately promotes the extinction of the human race by enforced mass suicide, so as to ‘save’ the environment.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End
  • The novel City (1952) by Clifford D. Simak
  • Friday (novel) by Robert A. Heinlein, which portrays human society on a future Earth as slipping into a gradual, but inevitable, collapse.
  • Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut. After an ambiguous eradication of the human species, several people on a cruise to the Galápagos Islands get stranded there. Much to the dismay of the only male left, the women of the island continue the human species for thousands of years where they evolve into seal-like creatures.
  • Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle
  • The latter part of H. G. Wells' The Time Machine
  • The 1974 John Boorman film Zardoz
  • The Japanese manga Biomega, NOiSE, Blame! and Net Sphere Engineer by Tsutomu Nihei
  • The Japanese manga and anime The Big O, where humans apparently suffered mass amnesia 40 years prior and are afraid to leave their city, Paradigm. It is a sort of mecha/apocalypse subclass of its own; the protagonist has to battle mechanical beings and other robots who are trying to destroy the remnants of the human race.
  • The Cartoon Network/Adult Swim animated parody of the barbarian/post-apocalyptic genres, Korgoth of Barbaria
  • The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
  • The 1979 Australian movie Mad Max depicts a declining civilization. The sequel suggests that peak oil is the cause.
  • Michael Haneke's film Le Temps du Loup (The Time of the Wolf), following a family through the (French?) country side after an undefined catastrophic collapse of civilization.
  • The movie A.I. depicts human extinction after 2000 years.
  • The manga/anime series Wolf's Rain takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where constant conflicts between nobles leaves whole parts of the earth uninhabited, cities in ruins, and technology rare. Only the nobles possess futuristic ships, and the richest have domed cities where the debilitated earth can still support life. A second apocalypse ends the series, with a presumable renewing of the planet.
  • The song In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans, which describes, stage by stage, the decline of the human race. Covers the 26th, 36th, 46th, 56th, 66th, 76th, 86th and 96th centuries.
  • The television series The Future Is Wild, which uses computer animation to simulate the sort of creatures that may evolve from present-day animals. In the world depicted in the series, the human race either has become extinct or has left Earth. The reason is not given.
  • The short story "To Serve The Master" By Philip K. Dick
  • The 2006 film Children of Men, where the human race has become infertile.
  • The 1984 film In 1990 the Bronx is declared a No Mans Land after a catastrophic uprising.
  • The 1997 film The End of Evangelion, in which all humankind are reverted to a "primordial soup" and merged into a single consummate being.
  • The The House of the Dead series of video games. Scientist Dr. Curien finds a way to reanimate the dead, though not without disastrous results. Later in the series' timeline, Caleb Goldman uses the undead in his mission to destroy the human race and protect the Earth from further destruction by humans.
  • The 2006 novel Return by Clayton J Elliott - in which ecological and social unrest leave a world fighting to find a new relationship to the earth. An anti-technology novel.
  • The 2007 film Tooth and Nail Post-apocalyptic movie where a group of survivors, called Foragers, take cover in an old abandoned hospital where the group attempt to re build society. All we know of the apocalypse is that man "Ran out of gas", but not in the sense of oil, just that our time was up.

Monsters and biologically altered humans

  • The 2006 book World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
  • The Trilogy including Monster Island (2006), Monster Nation (2006), and Monster Planet (2007), by David Wellington
  • The 2006 film The Zombie Diaries, a British made movie in which a virus creates a plague of zombies. This film was actually made and completed before George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead
  • The 2007 film Resident Evil: Extinction. In this third chapter of the game-based movie, a virus infects most of the Earth's population, turning them into zombies. The few survivors move away in armored groups, or hide underground.
  • The 2007 anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, in which cloned "Beastmen" fight an apocalyptic battle with humanity.
  • The 2007 film Gangs of the Dead Meteorites deposit spores that turn people into zombies. In the UK this film is known as "48 Weeks Later" in a cynical attempt to fool people into believing it to be a sequel to 28 Weeks Later, however it is entirely unrelated.
  • The 2008 film A Numbers Game "Zombies have taken over the outside world. A group of people holed up in a shelter have eaten their last bit of food and they know that just across the street lies a fully stocked corner grocery. The group plays a numbers game to decide who is it, but this is a game no one wants to win."
  • The 2008 TV series Dead Set in which a zombie outbreak occurs. Centered around the real television show Big Brother UK

After the fall of space-based civilization

The Sun's expansion

Religious and supernatural apocalypse (Eschatological fiction)

  • The 1908 novel Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson.
  • The 1953 short story The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke, taken from the short story collection of the same name.
  • The evangelical Christian film series 1972 A Thief in the Night, sometimes referred to as the Mark IV films.
  • A series of films made in the 1990s and 2000s by Cloud Ten Pictures
  • The young adult book series Countdown by Daniel Parker, in which a demon wipes out the entire human population save for teenagers.
  • The Deadlands: Hell on Earth role-playing game, in which the Earth is reduced to a haunted, radioactive wasteland as a result of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ravaging the planet shortly after an eldritch nuclear war.
  • The End of the Age, by Pat Robertson
  • The book and film series Left Behind, concerning the Rapture.
  • The novels Black Easter and The Day After Judgment by James Blish, in which a black magician brings about the end of the world by releasing all the demons from Hell.
  • The Power of Five series by Anthony Horowitz
  • 1995. The sci-fi anime Neon Genesis Evangelion in which mankind's unearthing of a being known as Adam brings about Second Impact, a catastrophic shockwave which destroys Antarctica and subsequently leads to the extinction of thousands of organisms, the destruction of much of the civilized world, and the deaths of billions. Millions more die from the social and economic troubles which follow this impact and the ensuing wars.
  • 2007-2008 . Rebuild of Evangelion- remake of the anime series. The first of the four films, [[Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone|Evangelion: 1.0- You are [Not] Alone]], debuted in this year, with the second part, 2.0- Division, debuting in 2008.
  • The film Prince of Darkness, directed by John Carpenter, in which all Hell breaks loose.
  • The film The Rapture (1991)
  • The 1989 novel The Dead, by Mark E. Rogers. Combines themes of the rapture and zombies.
  • The zombie novels The Rising and its sequel City of the Dead by Brian Keene. Rather than the zombies being an infection, as in most zombie fiction; these zombies are reanimated by demonic entities, the sisquisim, from the Old Testament. Keene has also written Conqueror Worms which is a very Lovecraftian tale of one of the last survivors on earth.
  • The novel Shade's Children by Garth Nix, in which a group of extradimensional beings invade earth and cause all human adults to vanish.
  • The manga and subsequent anime movies and TV series Silent Möbius by Kia Asamiya. The story is set in a Blade Runner-style world which has been invaded by demonic beings.
  • The novel The Taking, by Dean Koontz in which a malevolent demonic force kills off the majority of the human race.
  • The Third Millennium (1995) and The Fourth Mellennium (1996), by Paul Meier
  • The Tribe 8 role-playing game, in which sadistic demons invade (and conquer) the Earth.
  • The Clamp anime X/1999 in which the seven Dragons of Heaven battle the Dragons of Earth to save the world.
  • Hellgate: London – computer game released in 2007, where demons and humans are in constant struggle on earth.
  • The Doom series of computer games, in which demons invade a human base on Phobos (changed to Mars in Doom 3) and then move on to Earth.
  • The 2006 film Pulse & it's 2009 sequel Pulse 2: Afterlife
  • The Shadow of Yesterday role-playing game, in which the unification of all people in a fantasy world under a single, supernatural language results in the destruction of a world by what is presumed to be an asteroid that becomes that world's new moon, one that eclipses the sun for a week out of each month.

Social or economic collapse

  • The 1951 novel Foundation by Isaac Asimov. Mathematician Hari Seldon foresees the fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way.
  • The 1954 short story The Last of the Masters by Philip K. Dick. 200 years after a global anarchist revolution, society has stagnated due to the loss of scientific knowledge during the revolt. Elsewhere, the last government, a highly centralized and efficient society, is in hiding from The Anarchist League, a global militia preventing the recreation of any government.
  • The 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. American society slowly collapses after the country's leading industrialists mysteriously disappear.
  • The 1977 film Jubilee directed by Derek Jarman
  • The 1988 Games Workshop RPG Dark Future.
  • The 1990 novel Wolf and Iron by Gordon R. Dickson. A man and a wolf band together to survive in an America devastated by financial collapse.
  • The video game Deus Ex: Invisible War. After total global economic collapse (an event known simply as 'The Collapse'), all religion is collected into one, which is in conflict with the new world order. Throughout the game, the player can choose to be on either side, affecting the game's outcome.
  • The 1998 novel Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse by James Wesley Rawles (1998) is an apocalyptic survivalist novel about a total socio-economic collapse.
  • The 2005 film "Apocalypse and the Beauty Queen" The world crashed, not with a scream, but just a whimper. The failure of the national power grid caused the government to crumble.
  • The 2006 film Puzzlehead Set in what looks like Brooklyn, "after the decline", the streets are empty and there seems to be constant random killings.
  • The 2006 novel Return by Clayton J Elliott - in which ecological and social unrest leave a world fighting to find a new relationship to the earth. An anti-technology novel
  • The 2008 novel World Made By Hand by James Kunstler explores life in an agrarian village in upstate New York after America collapses under the combined trauma of plague, peak oil, global warming, and nuclear terrorism.
  • The 2008 Doctor Who episode Turn Left in which we glimpse an apocalyptic alternative future in which British society has collapsed into anarchy.

Unspecified phenomena

  • The films Blade Runner (1982) and The Fifth Element (1997) both deal with distopian societies that appear to be suffering from rampant poverty, overpopulation, socio-political and climatological upheaval although neither movie specifically addresses the subject of how society has fallen so low (although Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the basis for Blade Runner, suggests that war, probably nuclear or atomic in nature, is at least partially responsible for that world's woes).
  • The 1885 novel After London by Richard Jefferies; the nature of the catastrophe is never stated, except that apparently most of the human race quickly dies out, leaving England to revert to nature.
  • The 1914 novel Darkness and Dawn by George Allan England, in which two characters wake from suspended animation and find that some great disaster has torn an enormous chasm in the Earth and created a second moon.
  • The Starlost is a Canadian-produced science fiction television series devised by writer Harlan Ellison and broadcast in 1973 on CTV in Canada and on NBC in the United States.
  • The 1975 novel Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany.
  • The 1978 short story Trucks by Stephen King. An unknown phenomenon makes Earths machines turn against mankind. It was later made into the movie Maximum Overdrive which added an alien invasion subplot.
  • The 1987 novel In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster.
  • The BBC sitcom Red Dwarf (1988-1999), in which Dave Lister is the last human alive after being left in suspended animation for 3 million years. His only company is a member (presumably the last) of a race of Cat People which evolved from a housecat inside the titular Ship, a hologram of his former bunkmate and immediate superior Arnold Rimmer, the ship's senile computer Holly and later an android named Kryten. The setting implies mankind have gone extinct, though this is never proven, it is simply concluded by the characters that the human race must have gone extinct and/or evolved into a life form beyond humans during the 3 million years Dave was in suspended animation.
  • The 1994 novel Vanishing Point by Michaela Roessner. Life in Silicon Valley 30 years after the mysterious and spontaneous disappearance of 90% of the world's population. The Winchester Mystery House ("The House") serves as a focal point for parallel universes and inexplicable energies that are changing the world and its post-Vanishing children.
  • The Emberverse series novels by S. M. Stirling, in which a disaster of indeterminate cause (most speculation within the novels concerns an all-powerful outside force, often facetiously referred to as "Alien space bats") causes electricity, combustion engines, and modern explosives to cease functioning.
  • The series of novels set in the world of Wraeththu by Storm Constantine, in which humanity is replaced as the planet's dominant species by a race of mystic hermaphrodites. War and plague ravage the human population, but no single cause is specified.
  • The 1988 novel Tea from an Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan, set in a cyberpunk world following a vaguely described natural cataclysm.
  • Ongoing comic series 'Wasteland', takes place roughly 100 years in the future where North America is a dustbowl and lacking modern technology.
  • The 1997 movie Alien Resurrection features a deleted scene (Restored to the film in the Alien Quadrilogy Boxset) in which Ripley and the other survivors land the Auriga in a devastated Paris. The cause of the destruction is never made clear, but presumably there was a war.
  • The 2006 novel ''The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
  • The 2006 film Android Apocalypse Cause of apocalypse unknown
  • The 2008 Documentary Life After People produced by the History channel, chronicles the effect on Earth after the human race inexplicably vanishes (it has been suggested that having people vanish from inside locked buildings suggests a biblical Rapture or similar phenomenon although the documentary itself very specifically avoids addressing this matter, going so far as to include a disclaimer to the effect that "this isn't the story of how we might vanish," in the show's introduction.
  • The 2008 film The Road based on the 2006 novel of the same name.
  • Desolation: Post Apocalyptic Fantasy Roleplaying, a 2008 RPG from Greymalkin Designs.

See also

References

External links

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