List of nuclear holocaust fiction

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This list of nuclear holocaust fiction lists the many works of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction that attempt to describe a world during or after a massive nuclear war, nuclear holocaust, or crash of civilization due to a nuclear electromagnetic pulse.


Title Year Author and notes
Five 1951
Unknown World 1951
Invasion U.S.A. 1952
Captive Women 1952
Day the World Ended 1955
Teenage Caveman 1958
On the Beach 1959 Nevil Shute (novel); John Paxton (screenplay)
The World, the Flesh and the Devil 1959
The Time Machine 1960 H. G. Wells (novel); David Duncan (screenplay)
The Last War 1961
The Day the Earth Caught Fire 1961
The Creation of the Humanoids 1962
La jetée 1962
Panic in Year Zero! 1962
This is Not a Test 1962
Ladybug Ladybug 1963
Fail-Safe 1964 Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler (novel); Walter Bernstein (screenplay)
Dr. Strangelove[1] 1964 Peter George (novel); Peter George, Stanley Kubrick, and Terry Southern (screenplay)
The War Game 1965
Late August at the Hotel Ozone 1966 Written by Pavel Juráček
In the Year 2889 1967
Planet of the Apes[2] 1968 Pierre Boulle (novel); Michael Wilson and Rod Serling (screenplay)
The Bed Sitting Room 1969
Beneath the Planet of the Apes[2] 1970
Colossus: The Forbin Project[1] 1970
Glen and Randa 1971
Battle for the Planet of the Apes[2] 1973
Zardoz 1974
A Boy and His Dog 1975 Harlan Ellison (short story); L.Q. Jones, Alvy Moore and Wayne Cruseturner (screenplay)
Barefoot Gen 1976 Tengo Yamada (screenplay), Keiji Nakazawa (manga) The story of Gen Nakaoka and his family, who lived in Hiroshima at the time it was atom-bombed, and their struggles and trials amidst the nuclear holocaust.
Damnation Alley 1977 Roger Zelazny (novel)
Wizards 1977
Virus 1980
Malevil 1981
Mad Max 2 1981 Also known as The Road Warrior.
The New Barbarians 1982
Future War 198X 1982 Anime movie produced by Toei Animation about World War III breaking out in the 1980s that triggers a nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
2019, After the Fall of New York 1983
Special Bulletin 1983
Testament[3] 1983
The Day After[3][1] 1983
WarGames[3] 1983
The Terminator franchise[3][1] 1984, 1991, 2003, 2009, 2015, 2019 Based on characters created by James Cameron (with acknowledgement to the works of Harlan Ellison)
Countdown to Looking Glass 1984
Threads[3] 1984
One Night Stand 1984
Def-Con 4 1985
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome[1] 1985
O-Bi, O-Ba: The End of Civilization 1985
Radioactive Dreams 1985
Dead Man's Letters 1986
The Sacrifice 1986
When the Wind Blows 1986 Based on the 1982 graphic novel
Whoops Apocalypse 1988 Based on the ITV series
Akira 1988
Miracle Mile 1988
By Dawn's Early Light 1990
Hardware 1990
Judge Dredd 1995
Star Trek: First Contact 1996 Most of the film takes place in the mid-21st century as civilization rebuilds after nuclear war. Continuation of Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series.
The Postman 1997
Der 3. Weltkrieg, a.k.a. World War III 1998
Six-String Samurai 1998
Deterrence 1999
The Matrix (franchise) 1999, 2003, 2021
On the Beach 2000
Equilibrium 2002
The Dark Hour 2007
City of Ember 2009
The Book of Eli[4] 2010
The Divide 2012
Cloud Atlas 2012
Dredd 2012
Die Gstettensaga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl 2014
Mad Max: Fury Road 2015
Z for Zachariah 2015
Friend of the World 2020 Brian Patrick Butler (screenplay); takes place in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Based on Dr. Strangelove and La Jetée.

Television programs[edit]

Television episodes[edit]


Short stories[edit]

Short story collections[edit]


Animation shorts[edit]


Name Year Notes
2300 A.D. 1986 Role-playing game
Aftermath! 1981 Role-playing game
Balance of Power 1985 A computer strategy game of geopolitics during the Cold War
Blast Corps 1997 Nintendo 64 video game
Burntime 1993 A role-playing video game for DOS and Amiga
DEFCON 2007 A real-time strategy game for Windows, Mac and Linux
Fallout series 1997 (1st)

2018 (latest)

A post-apocalyptic role-playing video game for several platforms; early games were top down 2D while the last four are 3D; spiritual successor to Wasteland
Far Cry 5 2018 An action-adventure first-person shooter game set in the fictional Hope County, Montana that has been taken over by a cult who believe the end of the world is about to occur. Towards the end of the game, radio broadcasts begin hinting that the world outside is in chaos and a nuclear war is imminent. If the resist ending is chosen, nuclear explosions appear around the player suggesting a nuclear holocaust has occurred.
Far Cry New Dawn 2019 An action-adventure first-person shooter game standalone sequel of Far Cry 5, set 17 years after the events of Far Cry 5, where the nuclear exchange known as "the Collapse" devastated the world, survivors attempt to rebuild the community in Hope County. Their efforts are however threatened by the Highwaymen, a roving band of organized bandits led by twin sisters Mickey and Lou.
Gamma World 1978 A post-apocalyptic role-playing game
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number 2015 A top-down shooter game which is a sequel to Hotline Miami; features a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States at the end of the game
M.A.D. Global Thermonuclear Warfare 2001 PC Strategic simulation game released by Small Rockets
Metro 2033 2010 A survival horror first-person shooter set in post-apocalyptic Moscow
Metro Last Light 2013 A survival horror first-person shooter which is a sequel to Metro 2033
Missile Command 1980 An action video game which was wildly popular in the 1980s, widely recognized in popular culture
The Morrow Project 1980 Role-playing game
Neocron 2002 A post-apocalyptic cyberpunk MMORPG for Windows
Norad 1981 An action strategy game for the Apple II, where the player defends the United States against a nuclear attack.[9][10]
Nuclear Throne 2015 A twin-stick shooter roguelike following a group of mutants in a nuclear wasteland
Nuclear War 1989 A turn-based strategy game for Amiga and DOS
NukeWar 1980 A turn-based strategy game for Apple II, Commodore 64, and other early home computer systems
Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet 2004 A post-apocalyptic visual novel
Star Ocean: The Last Hope 2009 An action role-playing video game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Superpower 2 2004 A real-time strategy wargame
Supremacy: The Game of the Superpowers 1984 A board wargame
Theatre Europe 1985 A turn-based strategy video game about a fictional war in Europe between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, in which both sides use nuclear and chemical weapons against each other
Trinity 1986 An interactive fiction game examining the futile nature of nuclear war
Trojan 1986 Arcade game and platformer set shortly after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, which is now overrun by occultists who are bent on terrorizing the surviving population with psychological and biochemical warfare
Twilight: 2000 1984 A role-playing game
WarGames 1984 A video game based on the game in the hit movie
Warzone 2100 1999 An open-source real-time strategy and real-time tactics hybrid computer game
Wasteland 1988 A post-apocalyptic role-playing video game
Wasteland 2 2014 A post-apocalyptic role-playing game; a sequel to Wasteland

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Brians, Paul (1987). Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction, 1895–1984. Kent State University Press. ISBN 0-87338-335-4.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Brians, Paul (1993). "Terminator vs. Terminator - Nuclear Holocaust as a Video Game". Washington State University. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Ronai, Steven (15 December 2017). "Fear on The Planet of the Apes". Sequart Organization. Retrieved 30 March 2023. While society's dread of a nuclear holocaust remained a central theme, Planet of the Apes movies successfully mined other anxieties prevalent in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hurley, Jessica (2014). "War as Peace: Afterlives of Nuclear War in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest". In Blouin, Michael; Shipley, Morgan; Taylor, Jack (eds.). The Silence of Fallout: Nuclear Criticism in a Post-Cold War World. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-4438-4479-6.
  4. ^ Valentin, Mel (15 January 2010). "Book of Eli, The (2010)". Should I See It. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  5. ^ Dark December at Fantastic Fiction
  6. ^ "Book Reviews, Sites, Romance, Fantasy, Fiction".
  7. ^ The Edge of the Knife at Project Gutenberg
  8. ^ "Flash Boom: Experiencing the Atomic Bombing of Japan Through the Film "Pikadon"". The Airship.
  9. ^ Edwards, Benj (22 September 2016). "7 Forgotten Apple II Gaming Classics". PCMAG. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  10. ^ InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. 27 May 1991. p. 64. Retrieved 16 March 2020.

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