I Know Why You Love Post-Apocalyptic Stories


There’s a purer, better world out there buried among the mess of our civilization, Isn’t there?

At some level, unless you are extremely fatalist or pessimistic, we all believe that.

We all constantly are thinking about the future, whether it be our personal future, or for the world, whether it be ten minutes from now or ten years down the road. It is a part of instincts, it is part of being alive.

So why then, is Post-Apocalytpic fiction an unstoppable juggernaut of a genre that has shown no signs of slowing down?

Because on some primal level, it is a future many of us (stupidly) fantasize about. A future where all the troubles and complications of life have melted away. A future where the only things that matter is who do I love, how do I protect them, and how do I stay alive? We ignore the fact that it would be a terrible life, one where death and loss are everywhere. We romanticize it, the way we do with everything, really.

My generation, Millennials, probably have taken to this genre so hard because our lives have been bogged down with the image of a misery-sodden future. The Government’s ineptitude and blatant corruption infuriates us. The global economy has disintegrated around us as we came of age, and we are the ones whose future was placed on the altar in payment, all the while the generations before us (or at least the ones in media and power) berate us as entitled and self-absorbed.

There’s a reason why Obama was elected, and why Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have received so much support (not to make this discussion political). It’s because most people want change. Sweeping, all-encompassing change. We don’t want to be the victims of our world.

That’s what post-apoc embodies. The world wants to make you the victim of its tragedy. In survival fiction, the heroes fight their hearts out to survive, to protect strangers and loved ones and anyone worth saving.

Post-Apocalyptic fiction is never about the end of the world. It’s about the beginning.

That’s what we love. We want a different world, a better world, a world deserving of the good people in it. And we love stories where people fight like hell with every breath they have to make it real. So for all you writers, readers, survivors of your own lives, keep fighting for the future.

Hopefully, if I’ve done my job right, my upcoming book Hood, Book 1 of the American Rebirth Series will be a worthy addition to the Pantheon of great Post-Apoc fiction. Rest assured, I’ll let you know when it comes out. xD

Evan Pickering

The End of the World! Apocalyptic Beginnings for Your Story

When creating your post-apocalyptic story, there’s generally two ways to go: Either have it be unknown, a catastrophic disaster that your characters will never discover, or have it be revealed or known all along.

For those writing the latter, its good to think about your options. Which catastrophe that befalls the earth has a pretty serious impact on how your post-apocalyptic world is shaped, and how your characters live in it.

Also, for those simply curious about the end of the world, this is some terrifying fodder to knock around your noggin if you’re the worrying type.

1. Nuclear Falloutnuclear-mushroom-cloud

There is generally estimated to be about 17,300 nuclear weapons currently functioning in the world. The majority of them belong to the U.S. and Russia, but a decent amount is distributed among smaller countries. Truthfully, it wouldn’t take all that many to start a nuclear winter and truly disrupt the planet’s fragile environment.

2. Meteoric impact


It really can be any celestial body hurtling through space, but meteoric has a nice ring to it. It has been recently revealed that we are about ten times more likely to be hit by an asteroid than we previously thought. They might not necessarily all be apocalyptic, but it only takes one moderately big one.

3. Climate change

An inconvenient truth indeed. Though it is still under some speculation to what degree the natural fluctuation of temperatures of earth are, its clear we are having an adverse effect on the environment. It usually takes a long time, but the earth will slide into frozen cycles and very warm cycles without our help. It is inevitable that the environment of the planet will one day be blasted away by solar winds when the magnetic field of the earth dissipates as the core goes cold (like mars). For those of you who want to write futuristic apocalyptic stories, some things to think about!

4. Economic/Social collapse


Perhaps the more subtle of ends, a social collapse is certainly very possible. As we expunge the natural resources from the planet and do not replenish them, eventually economies could collapse and chaos could stem and lead to governmental collapses. For all those who are effected by the sagging global economy, this one can sometimes feel close to home.

5. Infectious Diseases

Gasp! Hard to believe in the era of modern medicine, but we don’t know what we don’t know. And for all our knowledge STDs like HIV/AIDS has still befuddled us. Certainly in human civilization many diseases have been pretty rough on the population, and we all know how globalization has made the ole continental barriers meaningless. The bubonic plague killed somewhere between 75 and 200 million people in the 14th century, and there were no planes to fly around in back then.


These are probably the most prominent if you’re looking for a basis of realism in your writing. I know what all you George Romero fans may be thinking: what about the zombies?! While I quite enjoy the zomb-pocalypse I would rather file it as a rather specific subgenre, and to be honest, if this is your thing, you don’t need to be reading my blog to decide on the impetus of your story. (Insert winkyface here)

Hope you enjoyed your journey down terrifying lane with me! And remember: keep calm and stock up your [character’s] storehouse.