30 Excellent Survival Fiction Books

If you’re like me and you love a great survival story, here are a few works of fiction that are enjoyable to read as well as enlightening and educational. A good survival story needs to have several elements in order to be consider one of the best. It has to be engaging and really draw the readers in and keep them reading, it has to be believable, it has to teach the reader something, and lastly it has to be able to be recalled later.

  1. Alas Babylon, by Pat Frank – This book is usually makes it to the number one spot on many lists. It’s a story about a small Florida town and its residents struggling to survive after a nuclear bomb is dropped.
  2. Lights Out, by Robert Crawford – A story about a man who finds himself away from home when the entire power grid goes down. He must find the strength and courage to trek back across the country to be reunited with his family.
  3. One Second After, by William R. Forstchen – An EMP is released by a high altitude nuclear bomb knocking out the lights all over the country, and disabling almost ever electronic device available. History profession John Matherson must learn to survive with his two daughters as the world as they know it descends into chaos. Read our full review before here.
  4. One Year After, by Willam R. Forstchen – Sequel to the best seller, One Second After. This novel goes back to the town where John Masterson and his two daughters struggled to survive and revisits their plight, one year later.
  5. No Blade of Grass, by John Christopher – A story about survivors from London struggling to survive after a terrible plague wipes out the grain supply.
  6. Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse, by James Wesley Rawles – A very educational survival book. It’s a fiction story but the number of educational elements make it seem like reference material.
  7. Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse, by James Wesley Rawles – The next installment to the popular Patriots.
  8. Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse, by James Wesley Rawles – The next installment to the popular “Coming Collapse” series.
  9. Survivors, by Terry Nation – A band of survivors travel south to avoid crazed neighbors.
  10. Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien – Z for Zachariah is a story about a girl who tries to survive on her own after a nuclear attack wipes out a majority of the world’s population. A classic read.
  11. Preppers On the Run, by Dan F. Sullivan and Megan Stewart – A tale of a woman’s plight to survive when the unthinkable happens. Preppers on the Run, will hook you from the beginning.
  12. The Stand, by Steven King – Classic story of good versus evil. The Stand chronicles the lives of several survivors who survived a worldwide plague that wiped out 99% of the Earth’s population. Their survival was only the beginning, since they were chosen by the forces of good and evil for one final showdown.
  13. Footfall, by Larry Niven – Footfall is a story of survival when aliens invade Earth.
  14. Wastelands, A collection by John Joseph Adams – A collection of stories for detailing Armageddon and the chaos that comes following.
  15. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven – A giant comet slams into earth causing catastrophic earthquakes and tidal wave and turning coastal cities into oceans. Excellent apocalyptic disaster book.
  16. On The Beach by Nevil Shute – After World War III, most of the world’s population has been obliterated. A small town of residents in southern Australia await with dreaded anticipation as a radiation cloud drifts their way. A faint Morse code message comes from the United States and a Navy officer sets off to find the source of the message.
  17. The Scattered and the Dead by Tim McBain – In a world who’s just lost 99.7% of its population, a small sprinkling of survivors must survive in an empty world. They are the leftover; they are the scattered.
  18. Earth Abides by George R. Stewart – A unprecedented and destructive disease wipes out the human race. One survivor who for some reason is immune to the disease’s destructive force ventures out and must learn how to live in his new world… One without man.
  19. A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller – A book about a post-apocalyptic world awakening after a long sleep in darkness. All facets of a post-apocalyptic world are examined.
  20. The Postman, by David Brin – After a devastating war cripples America, one survivor; a man with a dream of rebuilding his home, fights to establish order and rebuild America’s governmental infrastructure.
  21. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy – A tale about a father and son struggling to survive after an unnamed apocalyptic event changes life for them and everyone around them. The Road paints a grey picture of a cold world devoid of color and love.
  22. Swan Song by Robert McCammon – A fear inspiring and vengeful wasteland populated by mutated monstrous animals and marauding bands must be traversed by a group of survivors whose only hope is to make it to the next day. A moving tale of apocalypse and survival.
  23. Frontier Justice (The Survivalist Book 1) by Arthur T. Bradley – Superpox-99 has wiped out a majority of the human race, societies and government have collapsed and cities become mass graveyards for the dead. U.S. Deputy Marshal Mason Raines must stay alive by using his survival skills to sustain his life and avoid bands of thieves seeking to take advantage of the collapse of society.
  24. Hell’s Children: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Thriller by John L. Monk – The world has gone to hell and it’s not coming back. After a mysterious plague kills off all the adults in the world, the world is left to the young survivors; children. Children without adults to guide them lay siege to a world without order. If you think the children in today’s world with adults are bad, just imagine what they’ll be like without. A small band of good kids struggle to survive the chaos after surviving the plague.
  25. Stranded No Where (The No Where Apocalypse Book 1) by E. A. Lake – The 21st century world and its inhabitants get launched back into the 1800s. No one saw TEOTWAWKI coming. No one was prepared. But it still came and with a vengeance. The first book in the “No Where Apocalypse” series is definitely engaging which makes it easier to transition into books #2 and #3.
  26. State of Panic: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Thriller by Jack Hunt – A nation descends into darkness, a society in danger, and a world in panic. State of Panic is a tale of what happens to a community of people when the lights go out. This story is gripping from the first page and exciting to read.
  27. The Brink by Martyn J. Pass – After a year of hiding underground, Alan Harding emerges into a society facing extinction while relying upon solar energy to light their world. A slow death brought on by the collapse of a society only beckons the worst fate yet.
  28. Enduring the Crisis by K.D. Kinney – The prepping Powell family have been preparing years for this event. But when an EMP nuclear attack wipes out the grid, they realize that they were not as prepared as they thought they were. Enduring the Crisis is the tale of one family’s journey of survival through one of the darkest periods of man.
  29. Braving the Storm (The Storm Series Book 1) by Jennifer Brooks – Superstorm Nicole strikes the entire eastern seaboard of the United States all at once. Chaos descends when the Eastern Power Grid fails and cuts power to millions upon millions of residences and businesses. Without power, gang run the streets, leaving residents only two choices. Leave their homes or stay and fight to protect it against gangs bent on stealing any and everything in sight. A harrowing tale of survival after the lights go out.
  30. Under a Tell-Tale Sky: A Post-Apocalyptic Journey by R. E. McDermott – Captain Jordan Hughes gets stuck out at sea when an EMP disables the power grid. His crew is restless, the inhabitants on shore are growing more violent by the hour, and to make matters worse, he and his crew are carrying one of the most precious commodities on the planet… Oil and fuel. It’s a race against time as Captain Hughes weighs his options before he decides what he needs to do in order to secure his cargo and his crew’s lives before time runs out.

Hopefully you’ll get a chance to check out some of these amazing reads. There are many more out there, but these were handpicked as some of the best. They are full of action, suspense, and they teach the reader a little something about survival. Ultimately the reader will decide whether or not he or she likes these books, but they have received high marks and reviews across the board. Happy reading!

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About MIra J. Ross

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Mira has been prepping for 10 years. Living in the outskirts of metropolitan Atlanta with her 3 children, she's preparing not just for SHTF events but also for everyday emergencies.

4 comments

  1. Avatar

    Don’t forget the Silo series by Hugh Howey!

  2. Avatar

    ‘Project 16’ – Martyn J. Pass! Don’t forget that one!

  3. Avatar

    John Ringo, Black tide rising series, Council Wars series and “The Last Centurion” not totally survival fiction but plenty of survival situations and also Questions /Scenarios about the moral choices involved and the re-building of society if it goes that far down the tubes.

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    George Baschiera

    Rohan Nation: Reinventing America After the 2020 Collapse,
    by Drew Miller should also be added to this list

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