Nuclear Holocaust Horror

What is Nuclear Holocaust Horror?

This subgenre involves themes closely related to the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic subgenres. These stories occur during or after a nuclear disaster. The nuclear disaster can be caused by chemical warfare or a meltdown at a nuclear power plant for example.

The qualifications for a book to be labeled as Nuclear Holocaust is this: the body count must be high, and a nuclear disaster must be the source of the tragedy. The characters in these stories that aren't killed by a nuclear bomb or meltdown are often deformed or affected in some other severe way. The radiation from the nuclear source could cause survivors to turn into Supernatural creatures. If the radiation doesn't affect the survivor physically, it may take a toll on their mental health, turning them into desperate, hostile scavengers.

 






Characteristics of Nuclear Holocaust Horror

Level of Characterization
High level. The psychology of the characters in a dire situation is looked at in these novels.

Level of Plot Complexity
Moderate-High. Can range from straight-forward survival stories to more complex elements that can overlap with Sci-Fi and Supernatural Horror.

Level of Supernatural
Varies. Some Nuclear Holocaust books contain Zombies and such.

Level of Scary
Moderate. High amount of tension and paranoia. Hostile characters fighting to survive.

Level of Violence
Moderate level. The violence isn't the focus of the stories.


Typical Setting
War torn landscapes and urban decay.



Related Fantasy Sub-Genres

The Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic subgenres share a lot of similarities with Nuclear Holocaust such as settings. Nuclear Holocaust could be in fact what causes an Apoccalyptic event or if the story is about surviving in a post apocalyptic world after a nuculear fallout, then it would be consered a Post Apocalyptic story.

 

Sometimes, you might have Giant Monsters created from the radiation fallout of a nuclear disaster. Or for other stories, you might have Supernatural creatures that result from it. Or maybe even just plain old Zombie Horror.



Nuclear Holocaust Horror Isn’t For You If You Dislike

Survival stories. Dystopian war stories. 



 

    1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Phillip K. Dick. World War Terminus and its radioactive fallout have ruined most of Earth. Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is faced with "retiring" six escaped Nexus-6 brain model androids, the latest and most advanced model.

    2. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr. Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the Southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war. The monks of the fictional Albertian Order of Leibowitz take up the mission of preserving the surviving remnants of man's scientific knowledge until the day the outside world is again ready for it.

    3. Brother In The Land, Robert Swindells. Follows the adventures of a teenage boy as he fights for survival following a nuclear war.

    4. Einstein's Monsters, Martin Amis. 5 short stories dealing with the subject of nuclear weapons.

    5. The Gate to Women's Country, Sheri S. Tepper. Set in the future, 300 years after a nuclear war destroyed most of human civilization. The book focuses on a matriarchal nation known as Women's Country, and particularly the city of Marthatown.

    6. God's Frace, Bernard Malamud. Calvin Cohn, the supposed sole survivor of thermonuclear war and God's second Flood, attempts to rebuild and perfect civilization amongst the primates that make their way onto a tropical island.

    7. Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb, Phillip K. Dick. Before the start of the narrative, Dr. Bruno Bluthgeld had led a project testing nuclear weapons as a cautionary measure against Communist China and the Soviet Union. However, a miscalculation caused an atmospheric nuclear accident leading to widespread fallout and mutations. More recently the United States has been involved in a prolonged period of hostilities with China and the Soviet Union erupting in a war in Cuba.

    8. Alas, Babylon, Pat Frank. The novel deals with the effects of a nuclear war on the small town of Fort Repose, Florida.

    9. Down to a Sunless Sea, David Graham. Follows a planeload of people during and after a short nuclear war, set in a near-future world where the USA is critically short of oil.

    10. Resurrection Day, Brendan DuBois. An alternate history where the Cuban Missile Crisis escalated to a full-scale war, the Soviet Union is devastated, and the USA has been reduced to a third-rate power, relying on Britain for aid.



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