prepper fiction books

Prepper Fiction Recommendations (Must Read List for Preppers in 2020)

In Uncategorized by M.D. Creekmore18 Comments

prepper fiction books

I would like to thank Wolverine for sending this list – it looks like I have a lot of reading to catch up on. If you have other suggestions please let us know in the comments below. All books listed are listed in no particular order and all links open to each corresponding book on Amazon.

Patriots, by James W. Rawles, Economic collapse scenario. Lots of useful information on tactics, food storage, fuel storage, retreat security, survival medicine, etcetera. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about survivalism for the first time, as well as for long-term survivors. It’s full of great information and is an eye-opener. I may not say that the survivors made the best choices possible in the story, but I learned from it.

Footfall, by Jerry Pournelle. Alien’s similar to elephants invade the earth. A good deal of how to survive in urban areas without the infrastructure we would normally have.

Lucifer’s Hammer, by Pournelle. A comet strikes the earth, many survival skills, and scenes. It also deals with cannibalism.

Tunnel in the Sky, by Heinlein. Survival in an unexpected, long term situation.

Sixth Column, by Heinlein. Survival after the enemy invasion of the US.

Farnham’s Freehold, by Heinlein. One man’s preparation and success in surviving a nuclear war.

Pulling Through, by Dean Ing. Post-nuclear war scenario, Mr. Ing manages to discuss a wide variety of pertinent survival skills.

The Stand, by Stephen King. All reports suggest the book is better than the miniseries on TV was, I didn’t watch the series. Starts out with a plague killing most people on earth, gets very supernatural. (MD Creekmore adds: King is a liberal/leftist prick and I refuse to ever read anything he writes again.)

Unintended Consequences, by John Ross. The first two-thirds of “Unintended Consequences” comprise a fictionalized chronology of various characters on three continents experiencing the effects of being armed – and being disarmed – from 1906 to the present. In the final third of the novel, set after Waco and Ruby Ridge, America’s gun-grabbers finally go too far.

Gun owners find themselves pushed to the point where they realize it’s either give up all their weapons or fight back. Individually, without getting together to form any giant conspiracy, they start killing their oppressors. A few at first… then by the hundreds.

Alas, Babylon, by Pat Frank. The first (?) survivalist book. Nuclear war survival in rural Florida.

No Blade of Grass, by John Christopher? A plague wipes out all food grains over most of the earth. People fleeing London for Wales, also forming local alliances and groups.

The Sheep Look Up, by John Brunner. Survival in an ecologically damaged America.

Stand on Zanzibar, by John Brunner. Life in an oppressive police state, within an ecologically damaged world.

Malevil, by Robert Merle. Post-nuclear war survival in rural France. Interesting social dramas, not too good for survival skills.

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Useful for understanding the people responsible for the problems.

Wolf And Iron, by Gordon R. Dickson. Post economic collapse. Lone wanderer scavenges and learns his way across several states. Finally sets up as blacksmith and farmer rancher.

A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller. A fascinating book about the long-term post-apocalypse story, about the value of books and knowledge.

The Postman, by David Brin. A great book about a traveler in the medium-long post-nuclear war environment, the establishment of local and regional governments, and the value of a traveling postman to carry news from one region to another.

Earth Abides by George R Steward. Pandemic survivors find each other and build communities initially based on scavenging. Inertia causes little of pre-disaster technology and culture to be passed on, causing great anguish to the main character.

Survivors by Terry Nation. Pneumonic plague strain spread by air travel kills off most of the population. Set in Great Britain, a survivor group failing under pressure from bad weather and hostile neighbors migrates to the south of France. Strangely enough, Brits will use guns if they can get them.

All Fools’ Day, by Edmund Cooper. A new type of radiation (yuk yuk) causes most of mankind to commit suicide. The immune are ‘creative artists of all kinds, lunatics, political and religious fanatics, prostitutes and pathological animal lovers.’ Set in Great Britain.

Harvest of Stars, by Paul Anderson: America where political correctness has become a religion and taken over. One must think ahead and be on one’s toes at all times in dealing with a police state; acting experience is a plus!

Vandenberg, A novel, by Oliver Lange. Life in the United States occupied by Soviet(or whatever) troops. Frightening.

Warday and Nature’s End, by Whitley Straub

The Ends of the Circle, by Paul O. Williams

Some Will Not Die, by Algis Budrys. Post pandemic in New York City Son of initial main char forms the “Reunification Army” to create the “Second Republic.” Guns, guns, and more guns and living on 20-year-old canned goods. Still not a bad story.

Only Lovers Left Alive by Dave Wallis. Set in Britain, virtually everyone over 19 commits suicide over a 2 year period. A street gang rises to the conquest of the London metro area but finds it tough going in the country when the canned good run out.

Out of the Ashes (Ashes Series #1) series, by William Johnstone. The first is excellent on establishing an attitude and the others each have a few tidbits in them. His Tri-states concept is developing almost a cult-like following in some areas. Most of the later volumes are just pay copy (Is there any other reason to write?) so you have to wade through a lot of storylines to pick out the good parts. He writes interesting copy so it isn’t a chore.

The Guardians – series by Richard Austin (pretty darned good until you get to around # 20 or #23, then they were done by ghostwriters and the characters just got too weird).

Deathlands – series by James Axler (survival value very little, but I think they’re darned good reading, especially the first 10 – 15 books)

Death Wind by William C. Heine. The plot is that a pandemic suddenly sweeps North America, killing within minutes anyone exposed to an infected person, even being downwind is sufficient. The story follows a Canadian family who retreats to the far North to avoid the plague. There are several elements that bear directly on survival. First, there is a sudden onset of the emergency with no prior warning.

The immediate response reaction is instructive. Second, there are the North country survival techniques. Third, there are psychological factors of being a survivor in a situation where most others die. And there is more, dealing with post-disaster situations, though I won’t go into that because it would spoil the book for you. It’s a page-turner, though of course not a survival handbook.

Path to Savagery by Robert Edmund Alter. The world after a minor nuclear war. The polar ice caps have melted, flooding the coastlines. North America is suffering from a drought and millions of people are dead. The hero is a “loner” who avoids interacting with the tribes that most of the survivors have joined. He has a Thompson sub-machine gun and the right attitude.

The Long Loud Silence by Wilson Tucker. Bio war wipes out the USA east of Mississippi. The story of an “immune” (all such are careers). Cannibalism is adopted by some survivors.

The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham. A meteor shower blinds most of the inhabitants on earth. A group of people who still have sight fight against flesh-eating plants while they try to survive.

Z for Zachariah, a fictional account of a young woman surviving the aftermath of a nuclear war on her parent’s farm. Very weak on science. She lives in a protected valley, and everything outside the valley is dead. Then one day a man shows up who invented a radiation-proof suit with a pushcart (since cars are radioactive). She hides in the woods, unsure of what to do. Finally, she shows herself, but not before he drinks from a radioactive pond. He gets sick, she helps him, he eventually tries to rape her, and she hides again.

It had some good points, such as hiding her garden, getting fuel from pumps w/o electricity, and what to do with her dog, since it could be used by the man to find her. (reviewer) read it in Jr. High School in the school library, so its at least 13 old, and intended for younger readers.

I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson. The basis for the Omega Man movie, a plague kills almost everyone.

EarthBlood (3 book series) and The Deathlands books by James Axler. The EarthBlood books are about an earth where some sort of biological agent has destroyed most of the plant life throwing the world into chaos. The DeathLand books take place 100 or so years after a nuclear holocaust.

Fire and Ice, by  Ray Kytle c 1975 D McKay & Co. It is the story of the effects of a Middle East War/Oil Crisis on a (liberal, although not for long) University professor and his family and friends. The oil fields are sabotaged/destroyed and Western Civilization gradually, then with increasing speed, grinds to a halt. Then, it becomes a story of survival, as the characters must contend not only with food shortages but looters, gangs and even the military. Then, the weather begins to change, affected by the burning oil fields.

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny. A man has to make a cross country run in a post-apocalyptic America

Long Voyage Back by Luke Reinhart- the story of a family who survives a nuclear holocaust by sailing along with the coast of North and South America

Dark Advent by Brian Hodge- another story about an illness that wipes out much of the world population.

Swan Song by Robert McCammon- A post-nuclear war story.

If you’ve read any of these then please let us know in the comments below… Thanks…


  1. Great list! I love reading, so I’m always interested when I see book recommendations. I’ve read about a handful on this list, so I will add the rest to my to-read list. It’s long, but I’ll get there. 🙂

  2. read a lot of them long ago. In the 70’s and 80’s Love earth abides and Alas Babylon. Lived in those parts of Fl. Loved the scenes of movement in lucifer’s hammer especially the Johnny Carson scene where a couple of egg head scientist describe the comet.

  3. Tunnel in the Sky was one of the first ‘survival’ books I read, as a kid. Had an influence on me. I really liked the main character’s load-out. It was the first time I read of or knew of the survival-vest concept. I also liked his use of water containers accessible by tube, before those were an actual reality. I tried to make my own, using a US canteen and fish tank tubing.

    Lucifer’s Hammer, and Wolf and Iron, are also really good.

    Your list is missing ‘The Survivalist’ series, by Jerry Ahern.

    Thanks for sharing! It is time to go read.

  4. In my opinion, the original and best unrelated trilogy is:
    > Patriots, James Wesley Rawles
    > One Second After, William Forstchen
    >World Made By Hand, James H. Kunstler

    Readers should all enjoy anything written by Matt Bracken, especially his:
    > Enemies Foreign and Domestic
    Bracken is an intelligent writer who writes legitimate books, not self-published vanities.

    Not that I object to vanity publications, they often have interesting storylines. It’s just that they are sometimes poorly edited with mistakes that get in the way of reading.

  5. I have 2 from local NW Authors ….Cascadia Fallen Tahomas Hammer by Austin Chambers . What happens when a 9 point earthquake hits Washington state , it’s a series of 3 and waiting for book 2 .
    Second is Divide by Shelby Gallagher. Story about an Oregon gal who deals with economic collapse with her son .2 more in a series of 3 getting the other 2 soon .
    BTW Tahoma is the Native American name for Mt Rainer .
    Both books are full of goog ideas And believable.

  6. There’s a non-fictional mini-series by a Canadian named Les Stroud that’s called “Survivorman”. He’s a teacher of the Survival School for the Canadian Army’s Special Forces and I think that he has a survival school also. He’s the real deal in that he films himself as he makes his way out’ve various survival settings; an Alaskan Bush Pilot plane crash. A dirtbike ride gone wrong, a river canoeing trip where he sets up the scenario by travelling downriver until he decides “Here goes” and capsizes his canoe midstream, swims to shore and climbs out with what bits and pieces he can grab as they float by, and proceeds to show how to survive for real.

  7. It also good to follow Creek Stewart and he has several books also .

  8. ‘Alas, Babylon‘ is a Cold War classic. It’s one of the very first books to bring the possibility of global nuclear war to print. Pat Frank got some technical aspects of radiation wrong -hardly surprising for a book written in the 1950s- but this is much more than a historically interesting document. It is about how people in a very small Florida town -before the population explosion which started in the 1960s- dealt with the cut off of all services when the country is attacked, and how they dealt with each other,

    I suspect that everyone who built a fallout shelter in the backyard in the 1950s and early ‘60s read ‘Alas, Babylon’ more than once. Very enjoyable read, and good for insight into early Cold War America.

    ‘A Canticle for Leibowitz’ is also excellent, and very different from most post-apocalypse novels. It is set in the Southwest, and covers several hundred years of the slow rise of civilization, another fall, and rise again, around the Abbey of St. Leibowitz after the Flame Deluge.

    There is even a study guide available on Amazon!

    ’Malevil’, set in France, has a distinctly lefty take on the rebirth of civilization after nuclear war, and that is a big part of what made it interesting for me. American post-A fiction has a distinctly individualist take on the society which emerges from the ashes, while Malevil depicts the collectivist side of fantasy. Don’t expect technical accuracy about nuclear war, though. Very interesting, and a good read.

    An excellent novel which very rarely, if ever, makes the lists is Frank LaFlamme’s ‘EMP Los Angeles’. Frank and we became friends several years ago, and he is one of the very few post-Apocalypse authors with street creds. He is a retired LA Deputy Sheriff sergeant, who was stationed in the most violent part of Los Angeles for decades, assigned to street gangs, drugs, and counter-terror. He understands how people react on the street, and brings that knowledge to his book.

    Set in LA after an EMP attack, the story follows a deputy sheriff as he makes his way home after the strike, his wife and child as they deal with the collapse of society while waiting for him, and his fellow deputies as they stay at the station -a bad decision as it turned out.

    Unlike many protagonists, his is not a super-Prepper Retired SEAL Superman, but an aware, street smart individual who has made a number of basic provisions for disaster. Basically like a lot of us. No bunkers, no machine guns, no armored vehicles, but some water, some food, some guns and ammo at home, in his vehicle, and at work, and some considerable understanding of what the first couple weeks after an EMP actually be like in a major city and suburbs.

    Available as a paperback at Amazon. Highly recommended.

  9. I have read a handful on this list and will look for the others.

    I have also read the first of Mark Goodwin’s Economic Collapse series, but the library did not purchase the other two. Does anyone recommend buying them?

    Two books I read this past year are entertaining even though a little light on the how-to of survival prepping, I am recommending them because of the point of view of the two authors’ is subtle but gives food for thought. There is a lot going on in the research industry.

    The first is Pandemic by Robin Cook. There are some left leaning themes in this book where the doc is racing against time to fight what he thinks is a flu pandemic. A Chinese billionaire is the villain. No prepping info that I remember.

    The second is The Last by Hannah Jameson. Nuclear war strands the key character in the Alps while his family is on the West Coast of the United States. The book takes a look at the psychological reactions of the survivors. Some very interesting characters. More a mystery than a prep book, but the key character should have had a tooth pulled out. I re-supplied my toothpaste after reading.

    1. I would say that if you liked the first 2 then I would buy the others , I have several books I did buy so I can read again that where that good . And it does support the authors as well . Mark Goodwin has a podcast but has been busy with family and writing .

  10. A few I don’t have yer.
    20 of the above list I have in txt or audio forms.
    so, something more to look into.


  11. Some others I have read in the last two years:

    1) Ava’s Crucible-Civil War 2.0 series (3 books) by Mark Goodwin

    2) Stranded When The SHTF: Struggling Through Economic Collapse by Wayne Bosak

    3) The Bunker: Surviving an Economic Collapse by Wayne Bosak

    4) The Survival Compound by Wayne Bosak

    5) Outside the Fire: An Economic Collapse Story by Boyd Craven

    6) Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying Put is not an Option by Fernando Ferfal Aguirre

    7) Basics of Resistance: The Practical Freedomista, Book I by Claire Wolfe

    8) The Survivalist Series (11 book series) ) by A. American.

  12. I have read a few of the listed books, and this week found a little book store that had a couple more for me to read and stash in our library. Also, read Black Autumn, not too bad. And reading the series of 10 books 299 days by Glen Tate, also not too bad.

    1. Glen Tate and Shelby Gallagher are both local Authors for me and have met Shelby, have book 3 on order . The first was good , NW based and recommended.

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