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John Connor [Celluloid 06.08.22] post apocalyptic apocalyptic book scifi horror cult thriller



Since having kids, I visit the library more than I ever have before and I wanted to share a recent find that I am shocked to never have crossed paths with before in all my time covering post-apocalyptic fiction. The book is called Swan Song and it is a multi-character epic that takes place after a nuclear holocaust. VERY similar to Stephen King's The Stand, it was published in 1987 by the horror author Robert McCammon and I cannot recommend it more.

In a blinding flash, nuclear bombs annihilate civilization, leaving only a few buried survivors to crawl onto a scorched landscape that was once America:

Swan is a nine-year-old Kansas girl following her struggling mother from one trailer park to the next when she receives visions of doom—something far wider than the narrow scope of her own beleaguered life.

In Manhattan, a homeless woman stumbles from the sewers, guided by the prophecies of a mysterious amulet, and pursued by something wicked.

On Idaho’s Blue Dome Mountain, an orphaned boy falls under the influence of depraved survivalists and discovers the value of a killer instinct.

Soon they will cross paths. But only Swan knows that they must endure more than just a trek across an irradiated country of mutated animals, starvation, madmen, and wasteland warriors.

Swan’s visions tell of a coming malevolent force. It’s a shape-shifting embodiment of the apocalypse, and of all that is evil and despairing. And it’s hell-bent on destroying the last hope of goodness and purity in the world. Swan is that hope. Now, she must fight not only for her own survival, but for that of all mankind.

A winner of the Bram Stoker Award and a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, Swan Song has become a modern classic, called “a chilling vision that keeps you turning pages to the shocking end” by John Saul and “a long, satisfying look at hell and salvation” by Publishers Weekly.


If any of you have read the book, let me know your thoughts in the comments. Otherwise, this one is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a literary and shocking post-apocalyptic summer read.


Read Swan Song:








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Digger (1 month ago) Reply

Robert R. McCammon wrote some amazing books back in the 80s. Night Boat, Wolf's Hour, Stinger, Gone South (a personal fav), the list is endless.

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billy (1 month ago) Reply

Awesome book. Needs to be a series.


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