Genre tips

#IWSG and #AtoZChallenge

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question — I’ll skip just this month so I can get started on the #AtoZChallenge

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day in April except Sundays during the month of April but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.

This genre:



set in a future time period where the earth as we know it ended

Tipsa to z

  1. This is a subgenre of science fiction, science fantasy, dystopia, or horror in which the Earth’s civilization is collapsing or has collapsed.
  2. The plot, characters, and story deal with how people respond to a worldwide disaster that results in the deaths of many people and the destruction of society.
  3. The nature of the disaster is varied. The only hard rule is it must destroy/almost destroy the world, society.
  4. The cause of the disaster is less important than how the survivors deal with their new lives in a changed world.
  5. Post-apocalyptic fiction is distinct from but related to dystopian literature.
  6. Post-apocalyptic fiction usually takes place either sooner after the apocalypse or in a world where no formal society exists yet.
  7. Themes include survival, breakdown of morality, importance of human connection, and the inevitability of death.
  8. You might also tackle major subjects like climate change, nuclear weapons, dictatorships, and more.

Popular Books

  1. The Bone Wall by D. Wallace Peach
  2. Ration by Cody Luff
  3. The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
  4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  5. Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
  6. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  7. On the Beach by Nevil Shute
  8. The Stand by Stephen King
  9. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
  10. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

BTW: If the book you’ve written fits into any of these S-Z genres, let me know in the comments and I’ll include you, the book title, and a link where to purchase it.

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More P Genres:

@AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021. 


84 thoughts on “#IWSG and #AtoZChallenge

  1. HI Jacqui, another favourite genre for me. I’ve read a few excellent books in the genre including 1984 by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The War of the Worlds by HG Wells, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, The Running Man and The Long Walk both by Stephen King (Bachman books), Subject A36 by Teri Polen and Anthem by Ayn Rand and Fallout by Harmony KEnt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You defined Post-Apocalyptic so clearly. Thank you. And thank you for the list of books in that category. I remember reading On the Beach as a teen. It opened my eyes to a whole ‘nother world of literature. I read 1984 when it was still in the future too and enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m working on a post-apocalyptic short story that gives me a bit of a break from my other projects. It’s “shiny and new” but not as distracting as the other twenty ideas jumping around in my brain (I write a lot of ideas in short form and stuff them away for later). It’s a “Kaijin” and post-apocalyptic type story, so if Godzilla destroyed the Earth and then…well, you get the idea. It’s a good boost for my imagination when I’m in the midst of revisions and helps free up the editorial cobwebs.
    I love these posts. Sorry I haven’t been by much lately – trying to live life fully and that’s kept me from my cool connections via blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jacqui – a lot more than I’d thought about! Post-apocalyptic that put me off … but I see your point … and then I see all the other genres … ‘Hilary: keep an open mind, my girl’. – my thoughts to myself! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are some frightening threats in the world today. It has made me think deeply about topics I never thought I would. I’m even thinking of taking a survivalist class–and I’m 70!


  5. Great post, Jacqui. It’s funny how readers seem to love or hate this genre. I definitely love it and didn’t even realize that until I read down the list. I’ve read a lot of those books and enjoyed them. And thank you for including The Bone Wall. It’s definitely post-acapolytic based on the description of the genre. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A great genre! Definitely, “The Road” is a classic. I’m not so sure about “On the Beach” as it’s not afterwards, cause everyone dies, with the Aussies dying last (but they do leave a time capsule if I remember correctly). Another I would add is Walter Miller’s “A Canticle for Leibowitz.” I highly recommend this book! It deals a lot with religion and nuclear war… Miller, at the time of writing this book, was a very committed Catholic (pre-Vatican 2, I think) and he uses latin words for each section of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

      • or is it the freedom God allows in which evil abuses? While the Western world has often seen apocalyptic as something effecting the entire world, I think there are miniature apocalyptic events happening all the time–currently one in the Ukraine with the revelations coming out of the country yesterday.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Typically a genre I avoid because I want to feel uplifted when I read. Most books of this type dwell on the losses people suffer and must adjust to.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have read a lot of this genre through the years, but I think the first book I ever read that fits this category was Alas, Babylon which I read in junior high. It makes me think I need to re-read it. It’s been so long, I really can’t recall the book at all, just the title.

    I was disappointed in Station Eleven, and though I started The Stand, I never got past the first quarter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. In the past, I enjoyed The Stand and similar books. But after experiencing the realities of today, no more. I’m with Jill — I prefer the escapism offered by exciting books with happy endings!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a genre I don’t care for. I started reading The Road and hated it. I stopped reading it about halfway through and left it on a bus (on purpose). Then I felt guilty that someone else would pick it up and get nightmares from it too!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Pingback: #IWSG and #AtoZChallenge — – uwerolandgross

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