BOOKS
07/08/2010 03:30 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

An Apocalyptic Summer Reading List

I've long had an unhealthy interest in apocalypse. I seem not to be alone in this morbid fascination; every year new wastelands arise on screen and in fiction, bleak and ruined worlds with their own sets of rules, their own catastrophes and their own unique monsters. Perhaps there's something about experiencing the end of everything that helps us confront our own mortality. Perhaps it's a way of dealing with the unsettling truth that the end, all conspiracy theories and misinterpreted Mayan calendars aside, will eventually be nigh: even if we manage to escape nuclear annihilation or a pandemic, we orbit a star and stars have lifespans. And on that bright note I present, for your consideration and summer reading enjoyment, a brief selection of my favorite fictional apocalypses.

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