Ever since nuclear weapons were invented, humans have lived in constant fear of each other. At the press of a button, nuclear warheads could destroy a country and potentially cause astronomical amounts of damage and loss of life compared to other disasters and weapons. The arms of mass destruction have luckily been only ever been used once in history, and for a good reason.
But what if we weren’t so lucky? What if we did blast our race and planet back into the stone age? This hypothetical universe is what the Fallout series has become famous for creating. Fallout shows us some of the possible effects and consequences of such a cataclysm. So, for anyone who loves the series, here are three books you must give a chance to.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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The Road takes place in a wasteland leveled by an unknown catastrophe. The setting and sights are crumbling, decrepit structures, sprawling silent plains, and hostile people at every turn. Here, we follow the journey of a young boy and his father as they scavenge and survive on scraps just to get by. Although McCarthy’s book can get very depressing at certain points, the moments where we see the father and son bond make up for the aura of hopelessness that otherwise smothers this wasteland. Cannibals, thieves, and raiders make up the rest of the population, forcing you to withhold trust from anyone the pair come across. The Road is honestly one of my favorite reads, and the movie adaptation is just as good!
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
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Set in a world packed to the brim with humans-turned-vampires due to a plague, one man is left alone to survive. I Am Legend differs from Fallout in the fact that the latter doesn’t seem to mention vampires at all, however, the aesthetic of an abandoned Los Angeles inhabited by one man and a literal horde of vampires really clinches that wasteland feel. The story of Richard Neville’s survival of the plague will make your heart drop multiple times, and keep you excited for more. In my opinion, this book made me feel like I was reading an account of the life of the Vault Dwellers in Fallout games due to the extreme isolation Neville feels as he is all alone in his world.
The Postman by David Brin
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The Postman is a book that feels a lot like playing a Fallout game; the main character travels to a bunch of human settlements formed after another kind of extermination of the human race. Originally, the main character is just a drifter who is trying to get by in the obliterated wasteland that was once Oregon. However, after he encounters a mail truck left over from before the catastrophe, he puts on a postman’s uniform found on a skeleton, and his purpose changes. The postman goes into settlements posing as an official of the U.S. government telling the townspeople that the United States is trying to rebuild. What he wouldn’t know, is that his lies fuel the flames of Oregon’s rebellion against its ruling warlords in this brutal post-apocalyptic read.
Featured Image via Forbes.