After the fall

It is difficult to have a novel without a problem. The same in true for post-apocalyptic books. If life improves after the fall of civilization, the novel will be a bit boring. So there really are no post-apocalyptic books in which the world is better. Most are about turning society to heading in the right direction. Some novels blame the problems on “partial” people such as zombies, or mutants, but they are just forms of humans we feel okay hating. These books simply become a war, in which the survivors who maintain their humanity battle the ones who do not. I prefer post-apocalyptic books that deal with humans as they are.

The Postman by David Brin may seem like a dystopia, but it is a society pushed back to a primitive time by plague. Oddly enough, many of the people the postman encounters are willing to help him. And there are some genetically enhanced people on both sides of the conflict. In fact, this hopefulness at rebuilding society seems is the theme of the book. However, I actually prefer to movie to the book. There are large differences in the plots, such as the movie lacks super computers or genetically enhanced people.

The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick is a YA book that deals with preserving literature is a gang run society that somehow survived an unspecified environmental catastrophe outside the protective bubble. But it becomes evident that the gangs are evolving into a kind of useful government. Those inside the bubble ate giving those outside a new technological entertainment that feeds directly to the brain. This addictive way to escape their troubles is the real problem. So, the actions of some residents of the prefect society in the bubble are the major problem. This book doesn’t really blame either side as much as it deals with the first steps in reuniting the two separated groups of humans.

It is true that humans are bent on achieving the power that allows them to destroy the earth in A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jrbut there is always a small group or remnant that remains. The concept of the monastery preserving knowledge and dignity of mankind in the same way that many did medieval times is very interesting. As is the fact that the action in this book spans millennia. This is probably my favorite post-apocalyptic book that ends on an optimistic note (although a very bittersweet one).

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