Top 10 end-of-the-world novels

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Fresh from writing his own first sci-fi thriller, physicist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili chooses favourite books that tackle the Earth in peril

Having written a number of popular science books, I decided three years ago to try my hand at fiction. How hard could it be, I reasoned arrogantly. Well, harder than I thought. But I enjoyed writing Sunfall because it’s precisely the sort of book I enjoy reading, even though lacking zombies, vampires or teenagers with superpowers, I guess Netflix won’t be buying the rights.

I’ve always been a fan of near-future “hard sci-fi”. I prefer the science to be believable, and grew up on the books of Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Larry Niven. So, when it came to writing my own sci-fi thriller, I felt I was very well placed to put in a lot of science and get it right. Setting the story two decades from now means I can make a reasonably reliable prediction of what the world might be like and extrapolate the science and tech of today into a plausible future.

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  • May 14, 2019