Apocalyptic science fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction that is concerned with the end of the world or civilization, through nuclear war, plague, war, or some other general disaster.

Post-apocalyptic science fiction is set in a world or civilization after such a disaster. The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten or mythologized. The fall of civilization may also be the fall of a space based civilization. This plot device allows writers to write Soft science fiction while accounting for the lack of technological advancement and thus remain relevant to the present day no matter how far in the future the events are set.

There is a considerable degree of blurring between this form of science fiction and that which deals with false utopias or dystopic societies.

Table of contents
1 Examples (listed by nature of the catastrophe)

Examples (listed by nature of the catastrophe)

World War III


Astrological impact

Alien invasion

Ecological catastrophe

The Computers take over

The decline and fall of the human race

After the Fall of Space Based Civilization


  • Much of the work of J. G. Ballard, in which the current era is sometimes described as the pre-Third, referring to World War III.
  • Much of John Wyndham's work, e.g. The Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, later reprinted in the US as Re-Birth
  • After London by Richard Jefferies; the nature of the catastrophe is never stated, except that apparently most of the human race quickly dies out, leaving England to revert to nature.
  • The Purple Cloud by M.P. Shiel (A volcanic eruption floods the earth with cyanide gas, leaving only two survivors)

To be categorized