Monday, September 27, 2010

S4: Post Apocalyptic Fiction

In class you have been reading Robert C. O'brien's novel Z for Zachariah. This is a science fiction story and, more accurately, belongs to a sub-genre known as Post Apocalyptic Fiction. A good starting point for finding out more about this type of fiction is the Wikipedia entry. For a much more detailed analysis, check out Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction by Professor Paul Brians.

If you are interested in looking at other examples of this type of story you should read Nevil Shute's On the Beach which was turned into a film in1959 starring Gregory Peck and Ava Garnder. Unlike Z for Zachariah (which examines the experiences of two survivors), Shute's novel describes the experiences of the inhabitants of southern Australia as radioactive fallout drifts toward them from the Northern Hemisphere.

A recent example of post apocalyptic fiction is the film I am Legend. Though the apocalypse in this film was a virus (rather than a nuclear war), the focus is upon the effects of isolation and the need to survive (just as it is in O'brien's novel). The film is based on a 1959 novel by Robert Matheson and, as you can see from the Wiki page, there are several other film versions.

The computer game series Fallout, of which Fallout New Vegas is the most recent installment, is another example of post apocalyptic fiction. In Fallout the main character wanders the often hostile wasteland of a post nuclear world.

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