Books Like The Sky is Falling - Part One
The universe is vast and our planet is just a small blue dot in it, but that doesn't mean we are safe from the threats out there. Although many science fiction authors focus on Earth being devastated by invading aliens, there is another and altogether more plausible cause of concern, asteroids. It is widely believed that a massive asteroid caused the extinction of dinosaurs and there is a chance that Earth could be hit by debris from outer space again at some point. The fear of this has served as the inspiration for many novels, such as The Sky is Falling series by J. D. Martens. Some authors are optimistic and believe that humanity will be able to overcome or even avert such a catastrophic event while others believe it will result in a post-apocalyptic future. Check out the following books like The Sky is Falling to see how diverse this genre can be.
by Larry Nivel and Jerry Pournelle
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Nivel and Jerry Pournelle is a 1977 novel where a massive comet, called Hammer-Brown is discovered by an amateur astronomer. The media dub the comet, which is expected to pass very close to Earth, The Hammer. However, when the comet breaks apart and pieces begin to bombard the planet it causes widespread devastation. Everything from worldwide earthquakes and tsunamis to volcanic eruptions and seemingly endless rain results from the event. To make matters worse some countries see the catastrophe as an opportunity to strike at their enemies. Lucifer's Hammer is a nail-biting novel that explores how civilization could crumble in the face of a threat from outer space.
by Raymond F. Jones
The Year When Stardust Fell by Raymond F. Jones is another early novel that was first published in 1958. The book is aimed at younger readers and sees the entire world grinding to a halt after the appearance of a mysterious comet. The threat in this novel is not actually the comet itself, which just grazes the Earth's orbit, but the dust that falls from its tail. It contains a mysterious element that causes moving parts of machinery to become cold-welded to each other. A group of high school students attempts to come up with a solution for this problem as civilization begins to crumble all around them.
by Tommy Wallach
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach explores the coming Apocalypse from the viewpoint of four high school seniors. Instead of focusing on the asteroid that is hurtling through space towards Earth, it examines the lives of the students who have to come to terms with the inevitable. This is not a novel about people saving the world or trying to survive the aftermath. The characters are just normal teens who are trying to live their lives and then have to come to terms with the fact that it might all be over soon. The question of what you will do in what remains of the present knowing that there might not be a future is a thought-provoking one that will stay with readers.
by Ben H. Winters
The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters is the story of Hank Palace, a police detective living in the United States. The world is in a state of panic due to the asteroid 2011GV1, which is set to impact Earth in just six months. With no hope or chance of survival, the world is thrown into chaos and suicides are common. However, there is one death that Hank finds suspicious and he is determined to investigate even if nobody else cares. Even though the world is on the brink of an apocalypse and everyone else is walking away from their jobs Hank still cares enough to do his. The Last Policeman is the first book in a trilogy and features a very different approach to the genre.
by Lisa Schroeder
Some novels are set months before or after the impact of an asteroid, but in All We Have is Now there are only 27 hours and fifteen minutes left. When that time is up a massive asteroid is expected to destroy most of the United States along with parts of Mexico and Canada. The protagonist, Emerson, and her friend Vince are not the typical disaster novel characters either. Instead, Emerson has been living on the streets for a year already after running away from home. Seeing no other way out the two teens decide to jump off a bridge and end their lives together before the asteroid can, but before they can go through with this plan they meet a man named Carl. Their encounter with Carl not only changes their lives but gives them the determination to help others too before it is too late.