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It's the End of the World as We Know It

It's not just Brad Pitt and his lusciously flowing blond hair that has all of us psyched for the Friday, June 21st theatrical release of World War Z --- given pop culture today the threat of a real-life zombie apocalypse has us scared out of our wits. By no means is there a lack of epic dystopic- and apocalyptic-themed films, from Independence Day, Mad Max, 12 MonkeysDr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BombPlanet of the Apes, the Alien trilogy...even Disney's WALL-E fits into this category. There is even less of a shortage of apocalyptic novels, classic and contemporary ones that continue to craft and define the ways we imagine the dreaded end of the world and the consequences it could have on humanity.

Before megastar movie directors like James Cameron and Ridley Scott gifted the world with dramatic visual imagery of aliens, avatars, robots and the like, we relied on the best science fiction authors, like Jack Finney, J.G. Ballard and H.G. Wells, to bring literary life to our dreams and nightmares of what exists beyond our universe. These writers and their works, among many more, instilled and continue to instill the fear that the "unknown" may be an inevitable hazard to human survival.

The varying beliefs behind these ideas are vast. For some, religion has the answer and the means to understanding how and why the world must end. For others, the belief in a greater force capable of destroying humanity is simply preposterous. For the believers, the threat is an impending truth that only time will tell. Meanwhile the written works that explore this are vast as well.  

This carefully chosen collection of 20 apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels will wrack your brain and your heart, and compel you to question the certainty that the sun will definitely rise tomorrow morning. From THE TIME MACHINE, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, BRAVE NEW WORLD and DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? (which inspired Blade Runner), 20SomethingReads.com is pleased to present (with an inspired creativity boost from '90s music sensation R.E.M.) IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD (AS WE KNOW IT). Between altered realities, wastelands, abandoned cities, re-imagined societies and the complete decimation of humanity, each work offers a glimpse into a world (society, humanity, et al.) that could be...if it's still standing. So, as we wait with bated breath to spontaneously crumble into dust and evaporate into a tainted atmosphere, pick one up and get lost in a time warp.