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The Little Armageddon that Couldn’t: Books about the End Times

Once in a while, the world tries to end. Fiction writers have taken this idea and explored new directions, including a failed Armageddon and all of the different ways that it could happen. These fantasy and science fiction titles are sure to surprise and intrigue with their takes on this popular trope!

 

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
Area X has claimed the lives of members of eleven expeditions. The twelfth expedition consisting of four women hopes to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman
There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon -- each of whom has lived among Earth's mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle -- are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture.

Running With the Demon by Terry Brooks
Fourteen-year-old Nest Freemark has known she possesses magical powers ever since she was five. She also knows that her grandmother has similar powers, as did her mother, who died shortly after Nest's birth. But one hot Fourth of July weekend in Nest's hometown of Hopewell, Illinois, she finds out. That weekend, Nest meets Two Bears, a gigantic Indian who tells her that American society is in danger of self-destruction and that she may help save it. And that weekend, a demon wreaks havoc in Hopewell, apparently to precipitate a worldwide hot war of evil against good.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson
Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.This can be scientifically explained (it's called parthenogenesis), but what can't be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she's had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can't be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.

The Bone Clocks : A Novel by David (David Stephen) Mitchell
A vast, intricate novel that weaves six narratives and spans from 1984 to the 2030s about a secret war between a cult of soul-decanters and a small group of vigilantes called the Night Shift who try to take them down. An up-all-night story that fluently mixes the super-natural, sci-fi, horror, social satire, and heartbreaking realism.

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma's drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters
When the Earth is doomed by an imminent and unavoidable asteroid collision, New Hampshire homicide detective Hank Palace considers the worth of his job in a world destined to end in six months and investigates a suspicious suicide that nobody else cares about.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
In this original debut novel, a zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love with a human. R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn't enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead. Not just another zombie novel, this is funny, scary, and deeply moving.

Zone One : A Novel by Colson Whitehead
Mark Spitz and his squad of three "sweepers" move through Zone One of lower Manhattan, a walled-off enclave scheduled for resettlement in the aftermath of a zombie plague. The great masses of the undead have been violently dispatched by a Marine detachment. It falls to Spitz and his fellows to take care of the handful that remain, as well as a second-tier of the infected known as "stragglers": zombies who have bypassed the cannibalistic urges of their more lethal fellows in favor of a hollow-eyed, eerily nostalgic repetition of some mundane act.

 

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