Fiction about the end of the world/civilization
March 2, 2013 1:01 PM   Subscribe

I recently read The Last Policeman by Ben Winters and really enjoyed it. I also really liked Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I liked the settings (basically the real world but at its end,) and the easy nature of the writing (I read both quickly.) I don't think of myself as a mystery fan, but both of these are mysteries of sorts. I'm looking for fun rather than serious books. What else should I read?
posted by vespabelle to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I read Reamde around the same time as Ready Player One and felt like I loved them both for really similar reasons. Fun, slightly (or not-so-slightly) ridiculous adventuring around the world with some technology stuff and really memorable characters. It's long but goes quick.
posted by something something at 1:08 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lots of good stuff here: Previously and Previously
posted by backwards guitar at 1:24 PM on March 2, 2013

Earth, and everything else by David Brin.
posted by DoubleLune at 1:31 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
posted by runincircles at 1:52 PM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks has some good bits set on a world which is just about to be destroyed. It's both serious and fun (it's space opera of a kind, so lots of cool tech and general action-movie whizz-bang awesomeness) and I found it an easy read.
posted by pont at 1:59 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Girlfriend in a coma by Douglas Coupland
posted by chasles at 3:07 PM on March 2, 2013

Best answer: The setting isn't the end of the world, but a Soon I Will be Invincible has a villain who wants to take over the world. Definitely a fun fast read.
posted by mogget at 3:07 PM on March 2, 2013

It's a little more sci-fi because of the nature of the end-of-world circumstances, but The Gone-Away World would match what you're looking for.
posted by mchorn at 4:04 PM on March 2, 2013

One of my personal favorites, A Colder War, by Charles Stross.

Definitely a Lovecraftian fanfic, but by a "real" writer.
posted by pla at 4:36 PM on March 2, 2013

The Wool series by Hugh Howey. Seriously, it's really really good. And really cheap, since it's self-published.

It's also the Winner of Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Book of 2012 Award.

"This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside."
posted by kinsey at 4:49 PM on March 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Right before I read The Last Policeman, I read The Age of Miracles. It's a coming of age novel, not a mystery, but still quite good.

Spin is another end-of-world scenario. Also serious, but it's one of my favorite books of the last few years.

Year Zero is definitely more fun - Douglas Adams-esque writing, poking a lot of fun at lawyers and the music industry.

And of course, Machine of Death is a lot of fun. For a book about dying, at least.
posted by god hates math at 5:09 PM on March 2, 2013

Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson. Interconnected stories-within-stories linked by characters, apocalypses, Greek mythology, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Atkinson also writes the excellent, black-humored Jackson Brodie mystery series, starting IIRC with Case Histories.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:48 AM on March 3, 2013

Might be a little more on the serious side than you're looking for, but I Am Legend by Robert Matheson is a favorite of mine (and far superior to the movie they made if that turned you off). I also haven't yet read it, but I've heard a lot of great things about World War Z by Max Brooks and it's supposed to have a little bit of a lighter tone.
posted by Flashbullzeye at 6:37 PM on March 3, 2013

Response by poster: Lots of great answers! Thank you so much! My library hold queue is full again!
posted by vespabelle at 10:27 AM on March 20, 2013

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