Survivalism in fiction

Portrayals of survivability , and survivalist themes and elements such as these have been fictionalized in print, film, and electronic media. This genus was particularly influenced by the advent of nuclear weapons , and the potential for societal collapse in light of a Cold War nuclear conflagration.


  • The 1962 Panic movie in Year Zero! starring Ray Milland , Jean Hagen , Frankie Avalon and Mary Mitchel portrays the Baldwin family’s attempt to flee the Los Angeles area for a cave in a rural location after a US war between the USSR and the USSR. [1]
  • The 1970 movie No Blade of Grass starring Nigel Davenport , based on the book by John Christopher , features an apocalyptic scenario in England. [2]
  • Deliverance , both the 1970 novel and the 1972 film adaptation, feature elements of survivalism, and one of the main characters, Lewis Medlock (played in the movie by Burt Reynolds ), is a self-proclaimed survivalist apocalyptic worldview: “Machines are going to fail, and the system is going to fail, And then … survival, who has the ability to survive, that’s the game, survival.”
  • The 1977 Damnation Alley film portrays a handful of survivors of a post apocalyptic world driving the country in a Landmaster .
  • In the 1983 made for television comedy movie Packin ‘it In , the main character Gary Webber (Richard Benjamin) moves his family from suburban LA to the wilderness of Oregon. The family moves into a small rural community where most of the residents are survivalists.
  • In The Comedy The Survivors , Robin Williams plays a man who becomes obsessed with the survivalist culture after being robbed. Walter Matthau costars as Williams’ more level-headed companion.
  • The 1984 movie Red Dawn Colorado portrays high school students who take to the hills after a fictional invasion of the US by the Soviet Union. The students survive with supplies of the invasion, and by the Soviet patrols and supply convoys .
  • In the Tremors movie and television franchising the character Burt Gummer ( Michael Gross ) is a self-Proclaimed survivalist. In the first film he and his wife are preparing for social upheaval. Later in the series Burt shifts his focus towards the ” graboids ” that infest the soil of his home, Perfection Valley .
  • The Postman , a post-apocalyptic future in America, in which a quasi-survivalist militia preys on weaker communities.
  • In Mad Max 2 , a global oil shortage causes a total socioeconomic collapse and depopulation. The few scattered survivors in the Australian Outback are depicted fighting for survival, with precious “guzzoline” as their main object.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) John Connor’s mother, Sarah Connor stores in the underground , as instructed by Kyle Reese , John’s father, in preparation for an apocalypse precipitated by computerized machines.
  • In 1999 the film Blast from the Past was released. It’s a romantic comedy movie about a nuclear physicist , his wife, and his well-equipped fallout shelter during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis . They do not emerge until 35 years later, in 1997. The film shows their reaction to contemporary society.
  • The 2007 film I Am Legend features Will Smith as Dr. Robert Neville, a doctoral doctor immune from a virus that killed off the majority of mankind. Living in an abandoned New York City researching a cure for the virus, he fights off mutated human zombies and struggles to survive on his own. Set of years of the onset of the virus, Neville is equipped with a large amount of supplies, including weapons, food, and fuel for electric generation.
  • The 2009 sci-fi movie Pandorum features humanity building an interstellar ark to travel to an Earth-like planet Earth is facing a Malthusian crisis. HOWEVER something has gone wrong, tribal morlocks now roam the ship hunting the members on board, and Earth HAS Disappeared mysteriously. This leads to the members to fight against resources, and to be able to compete.
  • The 2010 movie Tomorrow, When the War Began , based on the novel of the Sámi name , features 8 teenagers waging a guerrilla war contre year invading foreign power In Their fictional Australian hometown.
  • The 2011 horror movie You’re Next Behind the Scenes of a Survivor, The Survivor of the Survivors is Revealed.
  • The 2012 film The Hunger Games, based on the story of the rebellion, each of the 12 districts of the nation of Panem is forced by the victorious between the ages of 12 and 18, to fight to death in the Hunger Games.
  • The 2015 sci-fi thriller The Survivalist features a protagonist who survives in a time of starvation in Ireland. The film is unusual in that the characters are depicted in the film are ‘survivalists’, as they have been the most resourceful survive.

Games and other formats

  • Fallen Earth is an MMORPG / Shooter set in a post-war, western-like Arizona. “The Suvivalists” appear here as a hostile non-playable faction.
  • The Fallout series is a series of games in a post-nuclear world. The gameplay is centered around the character’s own survival instinct and skills, and communities of survivalists. This is taken further Top with Hardcore Mode in Fallout: New Vegas , qui Introduces the need for the player character to eat, drink, and sleep in regular intervals, Suffering increasingly severe penalties stat and death if Eventually Their needs are not met.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas , a mission involves stealing a harvester from a survivalist farm. Being reduced to being able to bring in their world, and risk starvation; the survivalists are portrayed as extremely violent and aggressive individuals.
  • In the 2011 video game Homefront , a mission involves stealing a helicopter from a survivalist farm. These survivalists are also very aggressive and violent.
  • The video games Metro 2033 , and its sequel Metro: Last Light (based on the series of novels and stories ) take place in post-apocalyptic Moscow, Russia, where people live in the metro subway tunnels after a nuclear attack.
  • In Sid Meier’s Centauri Alpha the Spartan Federation faction is run by a survivalist.
  • STALKER is a series of games set in the apocalyptic wasteland of the “Exclusion Zone” surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant . The gameplay focuses heavily on survival and relationships with factions of survivalists.
  • The Wasteland video game was released in 1988, and was one of the first video games set in a post-apocalyptic world. The developers and designers of Wasteland Went there to Produce Fallout 1 & 2 and with the recent success of a Kickstarter campaign has sequel Wasteland 2 is produced by a team being white Including Many of the original creators of Wasteland.
  • The player is a survival horror game released in 2013. The player controls Joel escorting a teenage girl, Ellie , across a post-apocalyptic United States . The player uses firearms, improvised weapons and stealth to defend against hostile humans and zombie-like creatures infected by a mutated strain of Cordyceps fungus.
  • The Long Dark is an open world outdoor survival game launched – Early Access – in 2014. The game takes place in the Canadian wilderness and the player controls a Bush Pilot who crashed during a “Geomagnetic disaster” – the plot device behind the lack of power. The player is required to loot food, clothing, medicines, tools and weapons to survive. In addition, Prepper Cache spawns in large amounts of survival gear. Threats include the weather and wolves which has increased as a result of the plot device.


  • The concept album Year Zero by industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails , is based on the theme of a hypothetical oppressive US government in the year 2022, and contains a single entitled ” Survivalism “.


  • Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe (1719) is about a man shipwrecked on a remote tropical island and forced to survive. It is a genre of fiction called Robinsonade , famously including Johann David Wyss’s novel The Swiss Family Robinson (1812).
  • Edward Abbey’s novel Good News (1980) is about small bands of people in the Phoenix, Arizona area trying to fend off the rise of a military dictatorship after the collapse of the economy and government.
  • Jerry Ahern’s series of 29 novels, titled The Survivalist , was first published between 1981 and 1993.
  • In Steve Boyett ‘s novel Ariel (1983), all advanced technology ceases to function, while magic becomes real. The protagonist struggles to travel across the world with cannibals and other dangers.
  • David Brin’s novel The Postman (1985) is set in a time after a massive plague and political fracture result in a complete collapse of society. It unflatteringly portrays survivalists as one of the causes of the collapse, and the quasi-survivalist “Holnist” characters are despised by the remaining population. The Holnists follow a totalitarian social theory which is powerful enough to oppress the weak. However, Brin later stated that when he was writing the book Survivalist was the best term to describe the militia movement.
  • Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia novel (1975), about the secession of the Pacific Northwest from the United States to a new country based on environmentalism , named the political party governing the new country’s Survivalist Party. However, in his sequel, Ecotopia Emerging (1981), “The Survivalist” refers to the survival of the planet’s ecosystems, rather than to people who prepare for an economic or political collapse.
  • Gordon R. Dickson’s novel Wolf and Iron (1993) details the journey of a single man attempting to cross 2000 miles of hostile territory. He faces roving gangs and fortified towns after a worldwide financial collapse. This book is extremely detailed in its discussion of certain techniques and preparations needed in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • Pat Frank’s novel Alas, Babylon (1959) is a story dealing with life in Florida after a nuclear war with the USSR.
  • Pat Frank also authored the non-fiction book How To Survive the Bomb And Why (1962) [3]
  • Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novel Metro 2033 , about survivors in Moscow, Russia, living in the city’s subway tunnels after a nuclear attack, has spawned many spinoff stories, books, and video games that take place in the same setting and fictional universe.
  • Robert A. Heinlein uses science fiction as a theme in his life. For example, Tunnel in the Sky (1955) explores issues of survivability and social interactions in an unfamiliar environment, and Farnham’s Freehold (1964) begins a story of survivability in a nuclear war. Heinlein also wrote essays such as How to be a Survivor , which provides advice for preparing for and surviving a nuclear war.
  • Stephen King ‘s post-apocalyptic novel The Stand (1978) is set after-a biological weapon pandemic. They are not alone.
  • James Howard Kunstler’s novel World Made By Hand (2008) is a “cozy disaster” set in upstate New York , in the near future, after the American economy has collapsed as a result of the combined impact of peak oil , global warming , an influenza pandemic , and nuclear terrorism . The characters struggle to reclaim lost skills, maintain order, and redevelop a pre- industrial revolution lifestyle in an agrarian village. In part, the novel explores the question of what happens when modern technology is based on electricity, is no longer available.
  • Robert Merle’s novel Malevil (1972) describes the refurbishment of a medieval castle and its use as a survivalist in the aftermath of a full-scale nuclear war. The book was adapted to a 1981 film directed by Christian de Chalonge and starring Michel Serrault , Jacques Dutronc , Jacques Villeret , and Jean-Louis Trintignant . Malevil on IMDb .
  • Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven’s novel Lucifer’s Hammer (1977) is about a cataclysmic comet hitting the Earth, and various groups of people struggling to survive the aftermath in southern California. Lucifer’s Hammer has a lot to do with it. One reviewer noted: “A comet’s impact with the Earth creates an extremely bad, worst-case” fast crash “scenario … In this novel, people begin feeding on one another, literally, within a month of the event. [4]
  • Pournelle and Niven’s similarly themed ” Footfall ” (1985) is about aliens bombarding Earth using controlled meteorite strikes to exterminate life.
  • Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged (1957) describes a group of highly creative people who are in the midst of a mountain valley while civilization totally collapses, they emerge to rebuild it. This book differs from others in the genre in which the protagonists’ withdrawal directly causes the collapse, since it was they who sustained civilization.
  • James Wesley Rawles’s book Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse (2009) is the first of a five-book novel series on a full-scale socio-economic collapse and subsequent invasion of the United States. The book describes in detail how the survivalist main characters establish a self-sufficient survival retreat in north-central Idaho . Three of the original four Patriots novel Were New York Times bestsellers.
  • Olaf Stapledon ‘s monumental cosmic history Last and First Men includes an episode When the whole world is Devastated by a nuclear chain reaction , qui kills all humanity except For a Few Hundreds Who happened to be near the North Pole. Their descendants eventually repopulate the world and create a new civilization.
  • George R. Stewart ‘s novel Abides Earth (1949) deals with one man. Slowly, a small community forms around him as he struggles to start a new civilization, and preserve knowledge and learning.
  • SM Stirling .’s alternate history , post-apocalyptic book Dies the Fire (2004) is the first in The Emberverse series . The story takes shape in a universe where electricity, guns, explosives, internal combustion engines, and steam power no longer work. The sequels of the world in a survivalist post-World change in agriculture, clan-based life, and conflict.
  • HG Wells , who pioneered many subgenres of modern science fiction, contributed to this one. The later parts of his novel The War in the Air (1908) depicts the collapse of modern civilization from the massive use of weapons of mass destruction and the systematic destruction of cities, the grim struggle of the few survivors, and the reversion of the world to semi-Medieval conditions – in all this anticipating recurring themes of later works.
  • Philip Wylie’s novel Tomorrow (1954) is the story of two American cities weathering a nuclear attack. One was prepared with an extensive civil defense plan, while the other was not.
  • John Wyndham’s novel The Day of the Triffids (1951) is the story of the survival of a small group of people in a post-apocalyptic world dominated by carnivorous plants, where most of the population is afflicted by blindness. It was later adapted to feature film and TV series. It was also the inspiration for Danny Boyle’s zombie movie 28 Days Later (2002), which shares plot elements and survivalist themes. [5]
  • John Marsden ‘s

Tomorrow series of seven novels (published 1993-99) depict a high-intensity invasion and occupation of Australia by a foreign power. A small band of teenagers is waging a guerilla war on the enemy in their fictional home town of Wirrawee. The name of the series is derived from the title of the first book, Tomorrow, When the War Began , which was adapted as a 2010 movie .

  • Max Brooks ‘ New York Times bestseller, The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), is a survival manual dealing with the fictional potentiality of a zombie attack. It contains detailed plans for the average citizen to survive zombie uprisings of varying intensity and reach, and describes “cases” of zombie outbreaks in history, including an interpretation of Roanoke Colony . Brooks interest in the subject was sparked circa 10, when he saw his first zombie movie, Revenge of the Zombies (1943).
  • Ben Elton ‘s dystopia novel This Other Eden is a satirical environmentalist science fiction book set in the future, When Earth is Devastated by systematic pollution and environmental disasters That sccm intentional, as news of em is time immediately broadcast from faraway locations in the presence of a terrorist pressure group of environmentalists. This is followed by a huge TV advertising campaign for self-contained survival environments manufactured, as the positive main character finds out, by a company controlled by both the egomaniacal TV network owner and the sponsor of eco-terrorism, both of whom they are punished cruelly for their dastardly deeds. Earth eventually restores itself after its eco-Doomsday.
  • ‘Weir’s sci-fi novel’ The Martian follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on March and must improvise in order to survive. It has been described as Apollo 13 meets Cast Away . [Ridley Scott]] directed an eponymous 2015 movie adaptation starring Matt Damon .

Television programs


  • 24 is a TV series about a federal agent named Jack Bauer and his attempts foil terrorist plots in Los Angeles. During Season 2 Jack’s daughter, Kim Bauer , is on the run and finds shelter with a survivalist.
  • The TNT series Falling Skies tells the story of the aftermath of a global invasion by extraterrestrials. Within a few days the invaders neutralize the world’s power grid and technology, destroy the armies of the world’s nations, and apparently kill over 90% of the human population. The aliens’ objectives are not explained. The story picks up six months after the invasion and a group of survivors who band together to fight back.
  • Jericho (2006) is a TV series that portrays a small town in Kansas after a series of nuclear explosions across the United States. In the series, the character Robert Hawkins uses his prior planning and survival skills. Most of the episodes in the middle of the sudden collapse of the American society resulting in a six-way split of the country. The town usually has to fight in order to preserve their food and supplies. Jericho , as well as other media fiction (as Oddworld ) also focuses on scavenging.
  • Lost , a group of crash survivors are stranded on an island. Over the race of the series, the survivors adapt to life on the jungle isle while some even welcome it. One of the main characters in the series, John Locke , appears to be a survivalist before the events of the crash, and is known to be a bearer of possession and tracking skills. in life.
  • Revolution is an NBC science fiction television series that takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. Fifteen years earlier, an unknown phenomenon in the field of jet engines, and batteries. People have been forced to adapt to a world without technology, and to the collapse of public order, many areas are ruled by warlords and militias. The series focuses on the Matheson family, which is an important part of the story, but also has a way to reverse its effects. However, they must elude various enemy groups who want to possess that power for themselves.
  • In the HBO TV series Six Feet Under , George Sibley ‘s delusions manifests itself as a form of survivalism, and it becomes terrified that a number of apocalyptic or damaging events, ranging from nuclear war and the disappearance of water to earthquakes, are imminent it is beyond the limits of obsession.
  • Survivor (2000-present) is a reality television game show which places a group of contestants in remote location and awards a prize to the one which lasts the longest. Generally, the game is structured such that a player’s social skills are more important to winning than survival skills.
  • The BBC TV series Survivors , which ran from 1975-1977, suggested a view of survivability to a small band of survivors emerging from more than 95% of the population. In 2008 and 2009 the BBC aired a new updated Survivors series . This new series was more hard-edged than the original, but still shows the protagonist “Abby Grant” and her ad hoc survival group as reluctant to arm themselves, even after being confronted by armed adversaries on numerous occasions. In Episode 6 (which aired on Dec. 29, 2008) Abby’s group is forced to abandon their quasi- retreat-a country estate-following a confrontation and kidnapping by a provisional government.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008) is a science fiction show involving a future nuclear war.
  • Sheldon Cooper , a character in The Big Bang Theory is a paranoid survivalist, he keeps at least two survival kits in his bedroom. He also keeps a “Bug Out” bag in the box for the time being, as such a course of action is “recommended by the Department of Homeland Security and Sarah Connor “.
  • Discovery Channel HAS aired two seasons of reality show The Colony in qui a group of survivors try to survive in a “post apocalyptic world” where has majorité of Earth’s population is killed by a hypothetical “viruses” and attempt to “rebuild”. [6]
  • Two made-for-TV movies made during the 1980s, The Day After the US and Threads in the UK, portray a nuclear war and its aftermath of social chaos and economic collapse. Both movies were, at the time, among the most controversial ever made for television.
  • The Fire Next Time (1993) made for television mini-series set in 2017 global warming caused global disasters. The story follows the Morgan family, as they try to escape the floods, hurricanes and droughts and find a way to survive together against all odds. The starred movie Craig T. Nelson , Bonnie Bedelia and Justin Whalin .
  • The AMC series The Walking Dead (2010-present) Rick Grimes of a worldwide zombie apocalypse. The group moves together, scavenging what they can from the remains of society, while fighting off a seemingly endless number of zombies (which they refer to as “walkers”). The group starts off as a camp outside the city of Atlanta , Georgia.
  • The 100 (2014-present), the series is set 97 years after a devastating nuclear apocalypse wiped out almost all life on Earth. The only known survivors lived on 12 space stations in Earth’s orbit prior to the apocalyptic event. After the Ark’s life-support systems are found to be Critically failing, 100 juvenile prisoners are Declared “expendable” and feel to the area – near train Washington, DC – in a last ditch attempt to determine whether Earth is habitable again, in a program called “The 100”. The teens arrives in a drop ship on a seemingly pristine planet they have only seen from space. They attempt to find shelter and supplies at an old military installation, Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains .


  • Fear the Walking Dead , season 3, episode 3: ” TEOTWAKI “, shows the origins of a community of survivors founded pre-apocalypse.


  1. Jump up^ [JennyP (July 5, 1962). “Panic in Year Zero! (1962)]” . IMDb .
  2. Jump up^ The Unknown Movies –
  3. Jump up^ Frank, Pat (1962). How To Survive The Bomb And Why ? Philadelphia: JB Lippincott Company.
  4. Jump up^ “World Made by Hand and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction: A Perspective Perspective” . C1 control characterat position 59 ( help ) |title=
  5. Jump up^ Kermode, Mark (6 May 2007). “A capital place for panic attacks” . Guardian News and Media Limited . London. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007 . Retrieved 12 May 2007 .
  6. Jump up^ – The Colony, discovery program