Weekend Recs: Apocalyptic Fiction
Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.
Whether it’s nuclear fallout, zombie outbreak, pandemic, creature mutation, alien invasion, or environmental decay, the apocalypse looms large in our cultural consciousness. Thus, it comes as no surprise that apocalyptic fiction is such an enduring and imaginative staple in media and literature. Most recently, the popular apocalyptic video game turned HBO series The Last of Us has been garnering praise from hardened TLOU fans and new audiences alike. Inspired by this recent resurgence, this weekend’s recs will dive into the apocalyptic fiction genre.
If you have you have 3 minutes and 20 seconds…and need an epic score to accompany your apocalyptic survivor fantasy, listen to this song.
If you have 12 minutes…and need some quick apocalypse survival tips, check out this New York Times article.
If you have 24 minutes and 25 seconds…and are a fan of the horror-comedy apocalyptic classic Shaun of the Dead, watch Dead Meat’s “Shaun of the Dead (2004) KILL COUNT.” Ever wonder just how many people died in your favorite scary movies? Dead Meat’s got you covered with meticulous counting and plenty of fun facts.
Bonus: If you haven’t already seen it, watch Shaun of the Dead, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.
If you have 1 hour and 48 minutes…and are looking for an upbeat apocalypse movie, watch Love and Monsters, a film that follows Joel Dawson, played by Dylan O’Brien, as he travels across California to reunite with his pre-apocalypse girlfriend. An end-of-the-world movie perhaps suitable for the faint-of-heart (and not so much horror fans), this movie blends elements of rom-coms and coming-of-age movies with an apocalyptic twist: the world’s cold-blooded creatures have mutated into giant, grotesque monsters.
If you have 1 hour and 58 minutes…and are looking for a classic zombie apocalypse horror, watch Train to Busan. This South Korean zombie flick became an instant classic for horror fans, as it is relatively simple but effective.
If you have 4 hours and 12 minutes…and haven’t already tuned in, watch the first four episodes of HBO’s newest series, The Last of Us, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. The series takes place in the U.S. 20 years after a fungal mutation turns people into zombies and follows grumpy dad Joel Miller as he is begrudgingly tasked with taking care of Ellie, a tenacious 14-year-old with a gift.
Bonus: if you have a free weekend and want to experience the emotional roller coaster for yourself, play (or watch a playthrough of) The Last of Us, the story-driven video game the series is based on. Warning: there will (obviously) be spoilers for the series, and it might emotionally crush you.
If you have 7 hours…and want to get well versed in apocalyptic fiction classics, read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This novel depicts a father’s love and desperation for his son on the backdrop of nuclear holocaust and environmental ruin.
Bonus: check out this list of some of the best apocalyptic novels for more recs.
If you have 8 hours…and want to read (or re-read) one of the most iconic (and genuinely good) young adult dystopian novels of the 2010s, read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, available at Falvey. Although it’s easy to forget, The Hunger Games takes place in post-apocalyptic America, in the dystopian nation of Panem. It may be a nontraditional choice for apocalyptic fiction, but the series is well deserving of its acclaim. (And, the love triangle is pretty easily ignored, if that’s a trope you dislike).
Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.