18. Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon (1987)
Robert R. McCammon was one of the most successful and prolific horror authors of the ’80s and early ’90s before an editorial dispute prompted him to take a decade-long hiatus from writing.
Swan Song – which tied with Stephen King’s Misery for a Bram Stoker Award for best novel – is a 960-page magnum opus of apocalyptic fiction that feels a bit too familiar in 2018.
As the novel opens various countries have already obliterated themselves in nuclear fire and the United States and Russia are locked in a tensely escalating standoff.
Once the bombs begin to fall McCammon follows several motley bands of survivors including ‘Swan’ a young girl who may have restorative powers necessary for mankind to emerge from the nuclear winter.
Although not as widely read as King’s The Stand – Swan Song is one of the finest examples of apocalyptic fiction (even if it hits too close to home today).