Reading survival fiction books is a great way to prime your brain for a full blown SHTF event. It get’s you thinking about potential scenarios and prepares your mind for the worst. Plus, they’re great entertainment. Below I have curated a list of the best survival fiction books in the genre. Some of these books are quite unrealistic while some are as informative as they are entertaining. Pick one from the list and get reading!
1.) Out of the Ashes – Anthony Esolen
How do you rebuild American culture once society is crushed under the weight its own ignorance? These are the questions asked and answered in the book Out of the Ashes by Anthony Esolen. Esolen illustrates everything wrong with the current state of America from our school system to the intricate relationships between man and women. Having lost our way we must rebuild our value system and sense of what it means to be a true American.
2.) Dies the fire – S.M. Stirling
Modern civilizations worst nightmare has come true. A powerful electrical storm has rendered all electronics obsolete and now man has to learn to survive the old fashioned way. Can man harken back to the days of old and use ancient knowledge to survive in this new powerless world? The book showcases a world where government is not there to protect its citizens and sheds insight into surviving as an individual in total anarchy. Extremely engaging and though provoking read.
3.) One Second After – William Forstchen
Perhaps the most famous in survival fiction, One Second After follows one mans journey as he protects his family in world completely destroyed by an EMP blast. One Second After is a powerful testament to the devastating effects of a world without power and electronics. Everything from the characters to plot line are shockingly realistic and the book has even been cited by congress as a must read for all Americans. Survivalists and preppers will find the survival techniques and strategies in the book all consuming. It’s going to be hard to put this one down.
4.) Going Home – A. American
You’re 250 miles from home with a bug out bag when suddenly your car breaks down. On top of this, the entire power grid is down and there’s no telling when normalcy will be restored. With all your gear in a pack you begin to make the long and dangerous trek home. On your way you encounter gangs, marauders, and a host of other post collapse problems. How will you use the tools and supplies in your pack to survive. Going Home is the story of how one man would do it. The book is chocked full of survival insights sure to please even the most scrutionous prepper. You can tell the author has spent a considerable time pondering survival situations and different ways to survive.
5.) Patriots – James Rawles
The economy tanks like Hillary Clintons campaign and widespread chaos and panic quickly sets in. This is the story of how a small group of dedicated patriots survive the madness. Each member is skilled in their own area of expertise lending lots of versatility to their movement. Can they make it to their homestead in Idaho? A good read and lots of interesting information on group dynamics in the context of a full blown survival situation.
6.) Alas Babylon – Pat Frank
Our worst fear has come true. Total annihilation from nuclear war. Everybody has been wiped from the face of the earth save for a small town in Florida. This is the story of how complete strangers come together because of a common struggle. This story is not one of peaches and creme. Humans can be cruel and downright violent in environments where their own survival is on the line. When the hands of time have reversed a few thousand years, how does a group of modern men and women survive? Can’t we all just get along? Only time will tell.
7.) The Postman – David Brin
Popularized in the classic movie with Kevin Costner, The Postman follows Gordan Krantz’s journey across a post apocalyptic United States. When he finds an old jacket owned by a dead postman, Gordan becomes a symbol for the rebirth of a new America. Can he connect the remaining towns of America and restore America to its former glory? A true tale of survival and what it means to be an American with classic values.
8.) Wolf and Iron – Gordon R. Dickson
This survival fiction book follows the story of Jeebee Walther who finds himself a survivor in a post collapse America. As a scientist with a wealth of knowledge, Jebbee begins his trek across the dangerous new frontier in search of a safe haven for his ideas. He knows he can’t do it alone and finds a close companion in a Wolf who begins to follow him on his journey. The relationship between wolf and man is perhaps the most interesting chunk of this book. The book is also chocked full of unique survival situations which makes you think about how you would survive in the same place.
9.) The Mist – Stephen King
A Stephen King fiction novel, this suspenseful book takes place after a severe thunderstorm which brought an ominous mist into a small town of Bridgton, Maine. The Mist brings with it horrors and creatures of the night. Trapped in a supermarket, a small band of people struggle to survive the dangers lurking in the mist. Stephen King is a master of human behavior and accurately portrays the psychology and struggles of people when thrown into a survival situation.
10.) 1984 – George Orwell
George Orwells prophetic novel is more timely than ever. The epic story follows a man named Winston who’s sole job is to rewrite news events in a way that benefits the Ministry of Truth. When he begins to question his own actions as immoral his very survival is threatened by the powerful forces who employ his services. This book is a terrifying look into today’s “alternative facts” world and where we are headed as a nation. Will our great nation devolve in the same way? let’s hope not and take the actions required to remain sovereign and true.
11.) The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Perhaps the most well written fiction story. The harrowing story of a father and his son will rub your heart strings raw and peel your eyes wide open to the horrors and tragedies of a real survival situation. Armed with only a pistol and the clothes on their back, a father and son forge their way across a ravaged landscape in hopes of reaching the coast line. Will they find refuge or more desolation and despair? A gripping read from start to finish.
12.) World War Z – Max Brooks
The greatest in survival fiction. I mean, do people really think zombies are a legitimate threat? The story of World War Z follows the accounts and testimonies of individuals who witnessed the horrors of a world over ran by flesh eating zombies. Zombie enthusiasts will appreciate the zombie killing strategies presented in the book. Regular folks will have a good laugh a few parts and become consumed with the fast paced survival action.
13.) Earth Abides – George R. Stewart
Disease and catastrophe reign destruction upon all corners of the earth. One man finds himself immune to the forces and discovers the horrors of a world where he is the sole survivor. What he discovers in this new world is more horrifying than an entire life in solitary confinement. A good read right up to the last page.
14.) Lucifers Hammer – Larry Niven
When earth is struck by a comet, a new era of natural disasters rage upon the earth. The remaining survivors find themselves in a struggle to survive. Lucifers Hammer touches on the more violent and cruel aspects of humanity. Not for the faint of heart or anybody expecting rainbows and butterflies. A true story of harrowing survival fiction through and through.
15.) Swan Song – Robert McCammon
Earth finds itself locked in a vicious battle of good vs evil. Monstrous creatures rule the night while massive armies pillage the remains of a post nuclear earth. At the core of the story is Josh, a pro wrestler currently seeking refuge in an abandoned gas station from the nuclear fallout. Following him is a young woman, Swan, who possesses special healing abilities. Their journey takes threw horrific scenes as they make their way across a war torn earth in search of salvation.
16.) Frontier Justice – Dr. Arthur T. Bradley
This is the first book in a great survivalist series by Arthur Bradley. It’s got a western feel and boasts elements of the old wild wild west. In the first book, a super virus has ran rampant leaving many people dead. As governments begin to collapse it’s up to Marshall Rains to brand outlaws with his own kind of justice. At his side is his trusty wolfhound Bowie. Together they forage the baren landscape looking for food, water, gasoline, and anything else that will help them survive. The book is riddled with real life survival skills. You’ll come out smarter and wiser after reading these books, that’s guaranteed.