YA 101: The “Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic” Genre

Welcome to day 3 of the YA 101:  Genre exposition. Today’s topic:  Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic genres.

After doing research for these posts, I realized how much confusion there is between Apocalyptic and Dystopian.  Let me say for the record, folks, these are two different beasts entirely.  I’ll get into their differences more when I get to the Dystopians.

Apocalyptic fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction and the tales center around the end of human civilization.  It is written as the event, (nuclear explosion, alien attack, pandemic, supernatural phenomena, warfare, etc), takes place.  Think movies like Armageddon.

Post-apocalyptic fiction is set in a world or civilization after such a disaster. The stories can take place right after the event or years after, sometimes as long ago when all that is left is myth (think of stories of Atlantis).  Most of the time, very little of the previous world is left, and technology is advanced (think Terminator).

Examples of Apocalyptic novels:


Post-Apocalyptic novels include:


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14 thoughts on “YA 101: The “Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic” Genre

    1. Pre-apocalyptic is just that. Again, usually as sub-genre of fantasy/sci-fi. According to my niece, a great pre-apocalyptic book is A Being Darkly Wise by John Atcheson. It’s supposedly a nail-biter. I need to pick it up and read it.. Good luck with your story. What’s it about (elevator pitch here :-))


  1. Okay, then I guess that what I am writing right now is Post- Apocalyptic. Geeze, I hope not because I don’t think I can spell that word, let alone say it in an interview. I think I have post A. plus a dystopian theme.


    1. I think yours is Apocalyptic. It’s happening here and now and your protags have to deal with the events as they ‘currently’ unfold. It has a sci fi edge, but I wouldn’t call it dystopian by any means.


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