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The Best Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Novels of the 21st Century

Post-apocalyptic sci-fi novels have been around for decades, but they seem to have gained more popularity in recent years. Perhaps it’s the increased awareness of the effects of climate change or the fear of a global pandemic, but people are more fascinated than ever with stories about a world after a catastrophic event. Here are some of the best post-apocalyptic sci-fi novels of the 21st century.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

This novel is set in a burned-out world where a father and his young son are on a journey to the coast, hoping to find a better life. The book is bleak and unrelenting, but it’s also incredibly moving. McCarthy’s writing is spare and powerful, and his portrayal of the father-son relationship is poignant. The Road won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage is the first book in a trilogy about a virus that turns humans into vampires. The book is epic in scope, spanning generations and featuring a large cast of characters. The first third of the book is set in a world that is still recognizable, but as the virus spreads, the world becomes increasingly dangerous and bizarre. The Passage is a gripping, masterfully plotted novel that is sure to keep you reading late into the night.

Wool by Hugh Howey

Wool is set in a silo, a massive underground structure that houses the last remaining humans after some unknown apocalypse. The society in the silo is strictly stratified, with the upper levels reserved for those in power, and the lower levels reserved for those in menial jobs. As the story unfolds, we learn that things are not as they seem in the silo. Wool is a tightly written, claustrophobic novel that keeps the reader guessing until the end.

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

In The Book of M, people’s shadows start disappearing, and as a result, they lose their memories. The novel follows several characters as they try to survive in a world where memory is everything. The Book of M is a fascinating exploration of the human brain and the importance of memory. It’s also a gripping, suspenseful novel with a satisfying ending.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven is set in a world after a flu pandemic has wiped out most of humanity. The novel follows several characters, including a traveling Shakespeare troupe called the Traveling Symphony. Station Eleven is not just a post-apocalyptic novel; it’s also a meditation on art and what it means to be alive. The book is beautifully written, with gorgeous descriptions of both the old world and the new.


These are just a few of the best post-apocalyptic sci-fi novels of the 21st century. These books transport the reader to a world that is both familiar and alien, and they explore themes of survival, memory, and community. If you’re a fan of the genre, these books are a must-read.

Which post-apocalyptic sci-fi novels have you enjoyed reading? Let us know in the comments!