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The Top 50 Apocalyptic Novels According to LitHub

Top 50 Novels

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Is the only reading you do these days for the product descriptions of designer face masks? Are you looking for something to keep your mind active while you social distance? LitHub has you covered with their brand new list of the 50 greatest apocalypse novels.

While the list isn’t in any kind of definitive order, article author Emily Temple explains that she has done her best to limit the books on the list to ones that involve an actual apocalypse. This excludes dystopian narratives as well as ones that simply predict a bleak future. “We could argue all day about what actually constitutes an ‘apocalypse’ — 2020 is checking a lot of boxes, as you may have noticed,” she says. “So for the most part, I’ve gone with my gut.”

The list spans almost 200 years of apocalyptic nightmares, from Mary Shelley’s controversial 1826 novel The Last Man to a few that were released this year, including Lauren Beukes’ Afterland and Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind.

Of course you’ll find other classics like Planet of the Apes, Earth Abides, and The Stand, but be sure to also check out the article’s comments section where LitHub readers include their own top picks as well.

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    Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and author of "AI For All," a guide to navigating this strange new world of artificial intelligence.
    He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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