Wargaming the Apocalypse – Readyman

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Wargaming the Apocalypse

Posted on December 07 2018

Jeff Kirkham, 28-year Green Beret and relentless tactician, says he reads and writes apocalyptic fiction because it’s the best way to “predict the collapse of America.”

“When we want to predict the outcome of an engagement in war, we game it out—run through the target, the threats and the ways we might get kicked in the junk. ‘Prepper Fiction’ is exactly that: a way to game how America might look under civil disorder.”

By that logic, we should all be wargaming the apocalypse—preparing our minds for the unpredictable outcome if our economy, or our technology, slip a cog. 

Today, we’re sitting on a bumper crop of epic preparedness fiction with ever-increasing quality and realism. On the Facebook Group DD12 you can hobnob with a dozen different authors of prepper fiction. Plus, the folks on DD12 put the fun in “fundamentalism.” 

Okay. They’re not remotely fundamentalists. It’s pretty much a party over there. 

If you love reading or not, wargaming the apocalypse through fiction is the only way to prep at night in bed with the wife or husband. You might watch Jericho or The Walking Dead, but reading prepper fiction will take you further, faster. 

Plus, I’ve never read a prepper fiction book without turning around and buying some new preps. That’s what happens when you get your world rocked—you get challenged by new perspectives. That’s wargaming at its finest. 

For wargaming the apocalypse, we present a few of our favorite novels (apologies to all the great authors we haven’t read yet. We know you’re out there and we’re reading as fast as we can.) For the strongest list of prepper authors, go to DD12 and join the club.

Here’s our little list, in no particular order:

Boyd Craven, Blackout.
Trigger Event: Coronal Mass Ejection (solar storm)
An easy-going, slow-talking southern poacher and moonshiner sashays into the apocalypse as the power grid takes a header. You’ll learn about distillation, community building and how post-apocalyptic scenarios don’t necessarily result in paroxysms of mass violence.


Lisa Akers, Fight Like A Man
Trigger Event: Cyber Attack
A prepared family faces their worst nightmare: being separated by hundreds of miles when the lights suddenly go out and the gasoline dries up. Forced to rely on whatever “bug out” preparations sit in their trunk (or not), an extended family struggles to reconnect, absolutely in-the-dark about the whereabouts of those they love.


Jeff Kirkham and Jason Ross, Black Autumn
Trigger Event: Black Swan Event
The disastrous economic domino effect known as “Black Autumn” threatens a group of Special Forces vets, their families, and friends, leaving serious doubt that their skills and fortitude will be enough to bridge the deadly gap between modern society and an epoch of American savagery.


William Forstchen, One Second After
Trigger Event: EMP (nuclear first strike)
In the hills of North Carolina, a college professor suddenly becomes judge, jury and executioner when civil disorder thrusts his bucolic home into a cauldron of crime and viciousness. The book that singlehandedly brought the phrase “EMP” into the modern lexicon, One Second After sets the standard for the genre.


A. American, Going Home
Trigger Event: Mysterious Collapse of the Power Grid
Traversing the American south with nothing more than his wits and his “get home bag,” Morgan Carter faces everyday evil from desperate folks. But nothing prepares him for the evil of a government turned against its citizens.



James Rawles, Patriots
Trigger Event: Stock Market Collapse
Among the first novels in the genre, what Patriots lacks in literary pizazz, it makes up for in hardscrabble preparedness know-how. Not only will you enjoy the hair-raising story of the heroes fighting their way toward the “American Redoubt,” but you’ll come away with one of the best lists of basic preparations from any book, before or since.


Easily, over a hundred great reads populate this genre, with most of the authors doing stellar “indie author” work. In the case of prepper fiction, independent authorship isn’t a sign of marginal quality—not in the slightest. Check out the Amazon reviews, but more than anything, become a member of DD12 and your fellow readers will give you the unvarnished low-down on their favorite books.



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  • Mary Licata: January 05, 2022

    Is there still a Readymen facebook group? Readymen-Kansas doesn’t seem to be active.

  • Chris Yetter: July 11, 2021

    Thoroughly enjoy the genre!!! Pretty sure Black Autumn was the first book I read or I should say listened to. Either way I’ve purchased and listened to over 90 titles….and man what a ride!!! Thank you all for your hard work!!!!!!

  • Michael Witty: May 18, 2019

    Thanks for the read offerings. Also took away a couple of things I hadn’t considered.

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