10 of the Best Books like Earth Abides

In 1949, the Science Fiction world was rocked with George R Stewart's, Earth Abides. It's a post apocalyptic thriller that tells of the downfall of civilization at the clutches of a deadly disease. The book ended up winning the inaugural International Fantasy Award in 1951 and has been touted as one of the greatest science fiction books of all time.

But what's next on the list after finishing up that read? If you're still in the mood for something similar, you should check out one of the best books like Earth Abides. They're sure to keep you on a white-knuckled page-turning thrill ride. 

Interested in one of these? If you want to check out any of these titles for free, you can with Audible's one month free trial!

1.

The Road
Cormac McCarthy


The Road (Vintage International)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McCarthy, Cormac (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 324 Pages - 03/20/2007 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

After an untold extinction level event wipes out nearly any semblance of life, the remaining survivors quickly descend into madness and chaos. And winter is coming--which one father knows that he and son will not survive. 

In a macabre tale of survival, this father leads his son towards the sea where they'll be better equipped to live. However, the father's grow sick and is dying. And now, he must teach his son to fight off cannibal gangs and fend for himself.

2.

The Death of Grass 

John Christopher


The Death of Grass
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Christopher, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 233 Pages - 10/04/2016 (Publication Date) - The SYLE Press (Publisher)

After the Chung-Li virus has obliterated the rice and grass crops of Asia, it mutates and sets its eyes on a new target. The rest of the world. And as fields of wheat, barley, and oats quickly turn from green to brown, the world begin to revert back to barbarism and despair.

After catching wind of his government's secret plan to help subvert the virus, John Constance decides to move his family out of London to the safety of his brother's remote farm. But what will happen when they're faced with the dangers of this new, menacing world?

3.

The Day of the Triffids
John Windham


Sale
The Day of the Triffids
  • Modern Library
  • John Wyndham (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 11/26/2020 (Publication Date) - Modern Library (Publisher)

With wounded eyes, Bill Masen missed one of the most spectacular meteor showers the Earth has ever seen. And he was one of the lucky ones. The next day--now able--to remove his bandages, he's found the Earth populated by seven foot tall walking plants.

But these plants aren't your standard garden variety niceties. Instead, they're out eating those who were somehow blinded by the previous evenings meteor shower. Fortunately, Bill encounters Joella--another with sight--and the two of them make haste to escape what seems inevitable.

4.

The Stand
Stephen King


Sale
The Stand
  • Anchor Books
  • King, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1200 Pages - 08/07/2012 (Publication Date) - Anchor (Publisher)

When a patient escapes a biological laboratory unknowingly carrying a deadly super weapon--a mutated strain of the flu--it doesn't bode well for the rest of the planet. And while the Earth falls into shambles and disarray, one thing is clear. The remaining survivors need leadership.

Two figures step up. One is Mother Abigail, a benevolent 108 year old woman who urges the peaceful construction of a new community. And the other is Randall Flagg, an individual who thrives in the teeming chaos and is known as "The Dark Man". The survivors have a tough choice to make that carries the fate of the world with it.

5.

A Canticle for Leibowitz
Walter M. Miller Jr.


Sale
A Canticle for Leibowitz
  • Eos
  • Walter M. Miller Jr. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 334 Pages - 05/09/2006 (Publication Date) - EOS (Publisher)

It's been 600 years since the world's nuked itself into oblivion, and society's devolved back into a hunter/gatherer-like civilization. However, in the American Southwest, there stands a monastery responsible for safeguarding the remaining texts written prior to the fall.

Fast forward another 600 years, warring feudal societies have now discovered this treasure hoard of knowledge and are competing for control. And only time will tell what the next 600 years has in store.

6.

Emergence
David R. Palmer


Emergence
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Palmer, David R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 391 Pages - 06/27/2018 (Publication Date) - Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press (Publisher)

Human life follows an evolutionary tract, but can you define at what exact moment the newest species arrives to over take Homo sapiens? That answer lies with Candidia. She's the first of the Homo post-hominem line--one that is immune to all disease and is faster and stronger than ever. However, she's blissfully unaware.

That is until one day a terrible disease wipes out virtually all of humanity. And after learning of her genetic peculiarity, she sets forth to find others of her kind. 

7.

Alas, Babylon
Pat Frank


Sale
Alas, Babylon
  • Harper Perennial
  • Pat Frank (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 07/05/2005 (Publication Date) - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Publisher)

After a nuclear holocaust wipes out just about everything in the United States, it's almost as if thousands of years of civilization has just become erased. However, a sleepy little town in Florida has miraculously remained relatively unscathed.

Now, it's up to them to pick up the pieces and venture into the unknown together.

8.

The Postman
David Brin


Sale
The Postman
  • Bantam Spectra
  • Brin, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 11/03/1997 (Publication Date) - Spectra (Publisher)

In the years following the Doomwar, Gordon has spent his time travelling in search of someone or something that can inspire hope and rebirth around the country. It's only after he takes a jacket from a deceased postman that he finds the answer he's been searching for.

Gordon starts rebuilding a Pacific Northwest postal route reuniting cities and towns that have been in isolation. And through his outreach, society is slowing starting to pick up the pieces and get on the path to recovery. But not everyone agrees with Gordon or his ideals...

9.

One Second After 
William R. Forstchen


Sale
One Second After (A John Matherson Novel, 1)
  • Tor Books
  • William R. Forstchen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages - 04/26/2011 (Publication Date) - Forge Books (Publisher)

It's the simple life for John Matherson. He's a Professor in small-town North Carolina living peacefully with his two daughters. Until, the day of the EMP. In just one split second after an EMP explodes over the US, all electronics are down and the country descends into chaos.

Now, it's up to John to protect his family against the struggles of riots, starvation, disease, and even roaming packs of barbarians pillaging the area.

10.

Wool
Hugh Howey


Wool
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Howey, Hugh (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 530 Pages - 05/19/2020 (Publication Date) - John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Publisher)

This is the ultimate story of quarantine gone too far. The last bits of humanity all live deep within a single underground silo. The outside world has grown toxic, and talk of the outside world is forbidden. However, there are still those who dream of a better place than the silo. And they are given exactly what they want: the ability to go outside.

And after the previous sheriff demands his right to exit, Juliette is quickly thrust into the vacant position. And it's here she begins unraveling a sinister conspiracy that may uncover the truth about the silo or kill everyone within.

Earth Abides: A Quick Overview (No Spoilers!)

We're assuming that by you reading this article, you've already read Earth Abides. But if you haven't and you're just looking via point of reference...Here's a word of advice. Get you a copy of Earth Abides now. Seriously, it's one of those Sci Fi books that literally changed the genre. 

Earth Abides: A Novel
  • Del Rey Books
  • Stewart, George R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 03/28/2006 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)

Earth Abides follows the story of Isherwood "Ish" Williams and his struggles against a new reality. A virulent plague has all but wiped but humanity leaving scant few survivors. While the other survivors focus on more urgent matters such as living off scavenged can food and going day-by-day, Ish feels it important to retain and pass on the teachings of the past. And by doing so, Ish becomes a symbol of hope for the other survivors which quickly deify him.

However, this isn't what Ish wants. As a matter of fact, it seems like the more the others need him and his knowledge, they become more complacent and less self-reliant.

Earth Abides: The Transition from Dystopias to Apocalypse

Earth Abides marks one Science Fiction's major turning points. It's a paradigm shift from a dystopian world to that of an actual Apocalypse and the stories that happen afterwards. In this video by Extra Credits, you'll see how the Cold War influenced the onslaught of Apocalyptic Sci Fi.

Get These Best Books Like Earth Abides for Free!

Are you looking to get any of these best books like Earth Abides? Check out how with one of these two offers!

1. Signup with Audible's One Month Free Trial: By signing up for Audible's free month trial you can download any two books you choose for free. If you decide you like Audible then you can pay a small monthly fee of $14.95 and get one book a month. If you decide you do not like Audible you can cancel your trial and keep your two free books.

2. If you want to try something other than Audible you could also try Playster. Playster's One Month Free Trial works with either ebooks or audiobooks. You can pay for a membership at $14.95 per month and receive unlimited books. However Playster does not offer as many book options. If you would like to listen to all of Playsters books you will need to use the premium which is $29.95.

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