post-apocalyptic adj.

pertaining to a time or setting after the collapse of civilization

SF Criticism


  • 1960 New Statesman 9 Apr. 533

    [Review of W. M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz:] The post-apocalyptic scenery is well done.

  • 1967 Guardian 28 July 5

    The Sky Cage, a strange, ‘post-apocalyptic’ novel.

  • 1970 B. N. Malzberg Book Review in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 26/1 page image Barry N. Malzberg

    It deals once again with post-apocalyptic America, populated at both coasts by technocrats and terrified politicians who live in enclaves, totally in fear of the vigilantes, mostly on motorcycles…who are tearing up the midwest.

  • 1978 A. Frank Sci-Fi Now 33/3

    The early scenes as Heston investigated a deserted Los Angeles conveyed the feeling of a post-apocalyptic world although later the movie turned into the sort of action-adventure film more suited to Heston’s talents.

  • 1982 N.Y. Times (Nexis) 15 Aug. ii. 13/1

    The hero is a man named Max, a laconic wanderer doomed to travel through the wasteland of a post-apocalyptic Australia, endlessly searching for gasoline to fuel his car.

  • 1986 B. N. Malzberg in P. Anthony et al. Uncollected Stars Introd. 6 Barry N. Malzberg

    Another theory is that the theme of this story is black even by the stands [sic] of this pair of writers and by the standards of this postapocalyptic period in Astounding.

  • 1991 Callaloo Spring 502

    There seems to be a movement in your work from a view of continuance to a view of apocalypse. For example in Clay’s Ark the civilization has been attacked by a microorganism. But in Xenogenesis there is a postapocalyptic scenario.

  • 1998 R. C. Smith Reviews in Nova Express Fall–Winter 35/2

    Set in the Canadian cites of Edmonton and Vancouver, this winter’s tale conveys the grim desperation of a post-apocalyptic society. But instead of the usual nuclear holocaust, deadly plague, or environmental calamity, this catastrophe was brought about by the Dream of 2004—a tidal wave of magic which swept away huge chunks of our modern world of science and reason.

  • 2001 G. Dozois Interview in G. Dozois & M. Swanwick Being Gardner Dozois 236 Gardner Dozois

    Czudak reflects back on the thermonuclear war, which I think reflects a break with seventies science fiction which would have thrown the story into a post-apocalyptic setting.

  • 2001 L. Shepard Eternity and Afterward in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar. 64

    A foul-smelling corridor with stained, pitted concrete walls, littered with trash, ranged by warped wooden doors and buckets of sand. Hills of cans and bottles, stratified canyons of paper and plastic waste, dried-up riverbeds of urine and spilled vodka, altogether effecting a post-apocalyptic terrain laid out beneath a dirty white sky in which hung a jaundiced light bulb sun.

  • 2003 G. K. Wolfe Locus Looks at Books in Locus Apr. 19/2 Gary K. Wolfe

    Veniss Underground, a post-apocalyptic far future urban novel with some echoes of Vance and Wolfe, and particularly of the longstanding secret underground city tradition, offers some answers, and for the most part they're quite pleasant.

  • 2003 Books for Summer Reading in N.Y. Times Book Review 1 June 20/2

    Atwood returns to a dystopian future in this bleak novel about a man who may be the last human remaining on postapocalyptic earth.

Research requirements

antedating 1967

Earliest cite

Alan Frank, 'Sci-Fi Now'

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2001 cite from Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick's "Being Gardner Dozois".
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1991 cite from "An Interview with Octavia E. Butler" by Randall Kenan, in Callaloo.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2003 cite from Gary K. Wolfe's review column in Locus.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2001 cite from Lucius Shepard's "Eternity and Afteward".
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2003 cite from the New York Times Book Review.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1998 cite from a review by Rosemary C. Smith in Nova Express.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1986 cite from Barry N. Malzberg in "Uncollected Stars".
Patrick Broadhurst submitted a 1978 cite from Alan Frank's "Sci-Fi Now".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1970 cite from Barry Malzberg.
Ammon Shea submitted a 1967 cite from a book review in The Guardian.
Ammon Shea submitted a 1960 cite from a book review in The New Statesman.

Last modified 2020-12-21 10:07:14
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.