- Tales of an apocalypse – Part X “The Whit”
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According to the Matsya Purana , the Matsya avatar of Lord Vishnu , informed the King Manu of an all-destructive deluge which would be coming very soon. At the time of deluge , Vishnu appeared as a horned fish and Shesha appeared as a rope, with which Vaivasvata Manu fastened the boat to the horn of the fish. The first centuries AD saw the recording of the Book of Revelation from which the word apocalypse originated, meaning "revelation of secrets" , which is filled with prophecies of destruction, as well as luminous visions.
In the first chapter of Revelation, the writer St.
Tales of an apocalypse – Part X “The Whit”
John the Divine explains his divine errand: "Write the things which thou hast seen, the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter" Rev. Revelation describes a New Heaven and a New Earth, and its intended Christian audience is often enchanted and inspired, rather than terrified by visions of Judgment Day. Such works often feature the loss of a global perspective as protagonists are on their own, often with little or no knowledge of the outside world.
Such works depict worlds of less complexity, direct contact,  and primitive needs, threats and behavior. According to Professor Barry Brummett, it is often the concept of change as much as the concept of destruction that causes public interest in apocalyptic themes. Such fiction is studied by social sciences and may provide insights into a culture's fears   as well as things like the role imagined for public administration.
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Since the late twentieth century, a surge of popular post-apocalyptic films can be observed. Christopher Schmidt notes that while the world goes to waste for future generations we distract ourselves from disaster by passively watching it as entertainment. Mary Shelley 's novel, The Last Man , is often considered the first work of modern apocalyptic fiction. The story centers on a male protagonist as he struggles to keep his family safe but is inevitably left as the last man alive. However, Shelley's novel is predated by Jean-Baptiste Cousin de Grainville 's French epic prose poem Le Dernier Homme English: The Last Man and this work is also sometimes considered the first modern work to depict the end of the world.
Unlike most apocalyptic tales, de Grainville's novel approaches the end of the world not as a cautionary tale, or a tale of survival, but as both an inevitable, as well as necessary, step for the spiritual resurrection of mankind. Edgar Allan Poe 's short story " The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion " follows the conversation between two souls in the afterlife as they discuss the destruction of the world. The destruction was brought about by a comet that removed nitrogen from Earth's atmosphere; this left only oxygen and resulted in a worldwide inferno.
Richard Jefferies ' novel After London can best be described as genuine post-apocalyptic fiction. After a sudden and unspecified catastrophe has depopulated England, the countryside reverts to nature and the few survivors return to a quasi-medieval way of life.
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The first chapters consist solely of a description of nature reclaiming England: fields becoming overrun by forest, domesticated animals running wild, roads and towns becoming overgrown, London reverting to lake and poisonous swampland. Wells wrote several novels that have a post-apocalyptic theme. The Time Machine has the unnamed protagonist traveling to the year , A. Later in the story, the time traveler moves forward to a dying Earth beneath a swollen red sun.
The War of the Worlds depicts an invasion of Earth by inhabitants of the planet Mars. The aliens systematically destroy Victorian England with advanced weaponry mounted on nearly indestructible vehicles.
Due to the in famous radio adaptation of the novel by Orson Welles on his show, The Mercury Theatre on the Air , the novel has become one of the best known early apocalyptic works. It has subsequently been reproduced or adapted several times in comic books , film, music, radio programming , television programming , and video games. Clarke , in which aliens come to Earth, human children develop fantastic powers and the planet is destroyed. In Alice Sheldon 's Nebula -winning novelette " The Screwfly Solution " , aliens are wiping out humanity with an airborne agent that changes men's sexual impulse to a violent impulse.
Douglas Adams 's Hitchhiker's Guide series —  is a humorous take on alien invasion stories. Multiple Earths are repeatedly "demolished" by the bureaucratic Vogons to make way for a hyperspace bypass, to the chagrin of the protagonist Arthur Dent. In Gene Wolfe 's The Urth of the New Sun , aliens or highly evolved humans introduce a white hole into the sun to counteract the dimming effect of a black hole , and the resulting global warming causes a sea-level rise that kills most of the population though this may be redemptive, like Noah's Flood , rather than a disaster.
Just prior to this, a different group of aliens is able to save samples of the biosphere and a small number of people, resettling them on Mars. Some of these form the crew of a ship to hunt down the home world of the killers, as described in the sequel, Anvil of Stars Al Sarrantonio 's Moonbane concerns the origin of werewolves which he attributes to the Moon, which is why they are so attracted to it , and an invasion after an explosion on Luna sends meteoric fragments containing latent lycanthropes to Earth, who thrive in our planet's oxygen-rich atmosphere.
Moonbane ' s tone is reminiscent of H. Wells ' War of the Worlds Charles R. Pellegrino and George Zebrowski 's novel The Killing Star describes a devastating attack on a latest-century Earth by an alien civilization. Using relativistic missiles, they are determined to destroy the human race in a preemptive strike, as they are considered, after watching several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation which shows human domination in space, a future threat.
In the video game Chrono Trigger , the giant alien creature Lavos collides with the earth in prehistoric times, subsequently hibernating beneath the earth. As millions of years pass, the monster feeds on the energy of the earth, eventually surfacing in to wreak complete destruction of the human race, atmosphere, and general life on the planet in the form of a rain of destruction fired from its outer shell, known as the 'Day of Lavos'. The TV series Falling Skies , by Robert Rodat and Steven Spielberg , follows a human resistance force fighting to survive after extraterrestrial aliens attempt to take over Earth by disabling most of the world's technology and destroying its armed forces in a surprise attack.
It is implied that the attacking aliens are in reality former victims of an attack on their own planet and are now the slaves of an unseen controller race. The television series Defiance — is set in an Earth devastated by the "Pale Wars", a war with seven alien races referred to as the "Votan", followed by the "Arkfalls", which terraforms Earth to an almost unrecognizable state. Unlike most apocalyptic works, in this one Earth is not inhospitable, and humanity is not on the verge of extinction. The film follows a group of friends who discover an alien invasion during a pub crawl in their home town.
In the horror film A Quiet Place , society has collapsed in the wake of lethal attacks by apparently extraterrestrial creatures who, having no eyesight, hunt humans and other creatures with their highly sensitive hearing; the scattered survivors live most of their lives in near-silence as a result. The Purple Cloud by M. Shiel is a novel in which most of humanity has been killed by a poisonous cloud.
A selected few escape on a spaceship. In the sequel, After Worlds Collide , the survivors start a new life on the planet's companion Bronson Beta, which has taken the orbit formerly occupied by Earth. The horror manga Hellstar Remina , by Junji Ito , presents a similar premise where an extrasolar, and in reality extradimensional, rogue planet sets a collision course for Earth, destroying several solar systems on the way there, and destroying Pluto, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars as well.
It is eventually discovered that the planet is in reality a massive lifeform that feeds on other planets, and is not only alive, but also home to an extremely deadly ecosystem which kills both an expedition force and a group of affluent survivors that escapes to the planet's surface to avoid death on Earth.
A nuclear response fails, and the planet devours Earth, leading to the extinction of mankind aside from a group of characters surviving in a durable, airtight shelter that is left floating in empty space with supplies and air for a year. McIntosh 's novel One in Three Hundred , scientists have discovered how to pinpoint the exact minute, hour, and day the Sun will go " nova " — and when it does, it will boil away Earth's seas, beginning with the hemisphere that faces the sun, and as Earth continues to rotate, it will take only 24 hours before all life is eradicated.
Super-hurricanes and tornadoes are predicted. Buildings will be blown away. A race is on to build thousands of spaceships for the sole purpose of transferring evacuees on a one-way trip to Mars. When the Sun begins to go nova, everything is on schedule, but most of the spaceships turn out to be defective, and fail en route to Mars.
Brian Aldiss ' novel Hothouse occurs in a distant future where the sun is much hotter and stronger, and the human population has been reduced to a fifth of what it had been. Ballard 's novel The Drowned World occurs after a rise in solar radiation that causes worldwide flooding and accelerated mutation of plants and animals.
Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven 's novel, Lucifer's Hammer , is about a cataclysmic comet hitting Earth and various groups of people struggling to survive the aftermath in southern California.
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Hollywood—which previously had explored the idea of the Earth and its population being potentially endangered by a collision with another heavenly body with the When Worlds Collide , a film treatment of the aforementioned novel — revisited the theme in the late s with a trio of similarly themed projects. The following year saw dueling big-budget summer blockbuster movies Deep Impact and Armageddon , both of which involved efforts to save the Earth from, respectively, a rogue comet and an asteroid, by landing crews upon them to detonate nuclear weapons there in hopes of destroying them.
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Characters in the six-part ITV television drama serial The Last Train awaken from a cryogenic sleep after an asteroid the size of Birmingham strikes Africa, causing a worldwide apocalypse. Applegate 's — book series, Remnants , details the end of the world by asteroid collision.
The first book, The Mayflower Project , describes Earth in a sort of hysteria as 80 people are chosen by NASA to board a spacecraft that will go to an unknown destination away from the destroyed Earth. Eventually they return to Earth to find a couple colonies of survivors struggling on a harsh planet completely different from the Earth the Remnants knew. In the obscure Australian film These Final Hours , a massive asteroid hits the Atlantic ocean dooming all life.
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The film follows James, who decides to head to the 'party-to-end-all-parties' and there spend the last 12 hours before the global firestorm reaches Western Australia. In id Software 's video game Rage , Earth is heavily damaged, and humanity nearly wiped out, by the direct collision of the real asteroid Apophis with the Earth in the year Marly Youmans ' epic poem Thaliad tells the story of a group of children after an unspecified apocalypse from the sky, perhaps connected with solar flares or meteor impact, resulting in people and animals having been burned and the skies having filled with ash.
The children survive only because they were together on a school visit to a cave. The "cosy catastrophe" is a style of post-apocalyptic science fiction that was particularly prevalent after World War II among British science fiction writers. In Spanish author Manuel de Pedrolo 's novel Typescript of the Second Origin Mecanoscrit del segon origen , , two children accidentally survive an alien holocaust that eradicates all life on Earth.
They take up the mission of preserving human culture and repopulating the Earth. In Alfred Walter Stewart 's novel Nordenholt's Million , an engineered strain of bacteria denitrifies almost all plants, causing a collapse of food supply. The plutocrat of the title establishes a haven in central Scotland for a chosen group of survivors, while deliberately wrecking all alternative refuges. In Alfred Bester 's story " Adam and No Eve " , an inventor takes off in a rocket whose propulsion uses a dangerous catalyst.
From outer space he sees that the entire world has been destroyed by fire in a runaway reaction caused by the catalyst. Fatally injured in a crash landing, he crawls to the sea so that bacteria in his body can initiate new life on Earth. In John Christopher's novel The Death of Grass , a mutated virus kills cereal crops and other grasses throughout Eurasia, causing famine. Kurt Vonnegut 's novel Cat's Cradle ends with all the bodies of water turning into " ice-nine ", a fictional phase of ice that forms at room temperature.
Ballard 's novel The Burning World , expanded into The Drought in , pollution in the oceans creates a surface layer that resists evaporation, bringing about a worldwide drought. John Brunner 's novel The Sheep Look Up describes an environmentally-degraded world rapidly collapsing into social chaos, revolution, and anarchy.
Richard Cowper 's three-volume novel The White Bird of Kinship —82 envisions a future in which anthropogenic global warming has led to a catastrophic rise in sea level. Most of it takes place two millennia later. Ursula K. Le Guin 's novel Always Coming Home takes place long after worldwide disasters—apparently largely environmental though nuclear war may also be involved—have drastically reduced the population. It paints an admiring picture of a primitive society that will not repeat the mistakes of civilization. In Octavia Butler 's novel Parable of the Sower , climate change and corporatism are the human-caused reasons for societal collapse.