At Slate, Rebecca Onion offers a few observations about an up-and-coming genre that shares characteristics with post-apocalyptic literature: prepper fiction. The genre mostly focuses on characters who’ve spent time and resources stockpiling and training for the day civilization goes ass-over-teakettle. She notes a handful of differences, including a propensity for list-making in prepper fiction that borders on OCD and an unsettling paranoia about baby-eating Communists.
But, “the biggest difference between post-apocalyptic and prepper fiction,” she writes, is,
“the latter starts where the former only ever ends up. Books such as Edan Lepucki’s California or a television series such as The Walking Dead gradually point toward a set of dark realizations—you can rely on no one but yourself and your family and a carefully chosen group of likeminded allies; other people will try to take what you have, perhaps violently; you may compromise many of your ideals in defending what you have. Apocalyptic stories, in other words, make slow meals of discord and disillusionment. Prepper fiction, by contrast, takes this dynamic for granted, starting with the cynicism instead of landing there: People’s evil tendencies can only be mitigated by small alliances, like those between family members or comrades in military service.”
Follow the link for more on Onion’s obsession with prepper fiction and a few books to stockpile in your bug-out bunker.