Graph… of DOOM

One last piece of dystopiana: Research Reveals That Apocalyptic Stories Changed Dramatically 20 Years Ago.

Chanda Phelan wrote this article based on her thesis, for which she looked at a ton of apocalyptic literature from 1826 to 2007 and charted the nature of the apocalypse. Click the image at the top of the article for a full-size version of her amazing chart.

See the spike in natural apocalypses right around the publication of Silent Spring (1962)! Note all the divine apocalypses when the first Left Behind book came out (1996)! I’m dying to get a look at her raw data, but just the graph is fun enough.

(All this discussion of doom books has inspired me to re-read some gems from my YA post-apocalyptic bookshelf. Old-skool apocalypse theme month coming in April!)

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4 Responses to Graph… of DOOM

  1. Pingback: Old-School Apocalypse April!

  2. Greg says:

    She seems to be claiming that unexplained disasters are on the rise, but I don’t really see how that’s borne out by the graph.

  3. Lenore says:

    How fun! And looking forward to April.

    I read the Left Behind series, but never thought of them as being part of the genre, hmmm.

  4. Lance says:

    That’s a really lovely chart…though I think it feels a little bit weirdly misleading to do it in terms of percentages rather than raw numbers, because I can’t help the feeling that the 75/25 split in ’36 to ’44 means that there were about four books a year, and that number increased after ’44. (It’s also weirdly constant during that eight-year span.) Neat nevertheless.

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