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…
Hello, I’m M.D. Creekmore. I’ve been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find at Amazon.com as well as Barnes and Noble. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.