Monday, June 23, 2008

The Post-Apocalypse Is Red Hot

If you're looking to resonate with a literary agent, you can't go wrong with the end of days. It's the apocalypse, baby, and agents are all over the plot device.

Not one, but two debut novels are set in this red-hot, all the rage time. America after the apocalypse, everything falling apart, gloom and doom. Don't you just want to dig into a good read like that? Neither do I, but literary agents think we do and they've got the publishers convinced as well. Now is the time to submit your post-apocalypse triumph, before actual sales figures come in and put paid to the notion.

Darin Bradley has penned Amaranth, due to be laid down in two years, by which time the post-apocalypse may or may not be of interest. It's a re-telling of Lord of the Flies, but without the Robinson Crusoe-esque elements of stranding, desert islands, and the like.

Not to be outdone, Alan DeNiro has come up with a post-apocalyptic setting and a dysfunctional family, a premise that set Colleen Lindsay to tingling over at FinePrint Literary Management. Doesn't that sound like a light-hearted summer beach read? Better, perhaps, for the cold and dreary days of winter, if the apocalypse is your cup of tea.

Why oh why are bookstores closing due to lack of sales while publishing houses see their sales figures decline? Why is that?


The Swivet said...

Actually, the post-apocalyptic theme is a very, very old one and it has always done well::

+ The Last Man by Mary Shelley
+ Starman's Son by Andre Norton
+ Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
+ Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
+ On the Beach by Nevil Shute
+ Mockingbird by Walter Travis
+ The Stand by Stephen King
+ Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
+ A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter Miller
+ The Earth Abides by George Stewart
+ The Postman by David Brin

and more recently

+ Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
+ Pesthouse by Sebastian Faulks
+ The Road by Cormac McCarthy

just to name a small handful...

It's certainly not a new genre by any means, and if you think it is you simply haven't read widely enough.

- Colleen Lindsay

O hAnnrachainn said...

I'm sure it's been a popular plot device since John wrote Revelations. We're in a time when the sky is falling on a daily basis, and to have two post-apocalypse novels coming out at the same time strikes me as rather amusing.

I confess that I cannot abide science fiction or fantasy and will never read any of the books on your list. There's enough science reality in my life and little patience for the doom merchants.

Aeneas said...

Oooooooh, Day of the Triffids!!!