This seminal 1949
novel by George R. Stewart
is credited by Stephen King
as a major influence on The Stand
. It is one of, if not the
first novels of a depopulated world
After the human population of the world is destroyed by plague, the narrator (who survives by the plot device of spending two weeks holed up in the mountains recovering from snakebite) explores the quiet Earth. Small groups of survivors coalesce and begin carving a new society out of the wilderness of the cities. This book hits all the cliches of the genre -- but, since it created the genre, there were no cliches yet.