I love John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris.
The Day of the Triffids, The Midwich Cuckoos, The Chrysalids, Trouble With Lichen, Chocky. He doesn’t write cosy, cheerful stuff.
I’m old enough to remember the (far superior, despite the model-plant-on-a-skateboard effects) 1981 TV version of DoTT – still genuinely menacing.
The Kraken Wakes, a marine ecology disaster tale, over many years, has a very modern touch despite being published in 1953. The signs of disaster being ignored and misunderstood; (Cold War) blame being attributed to different ‘sides’; the failure of preventative and protective measures; the environmental catastrophe and humanity’s selfishness when resources are scarce. Wyndham’s characters are very real, their mental health isn’t always great, and he doesn’t shy away from weaving a good measure of horror into his tales. I do wonder of all the careers he tried, what brought him to writing apocalyptic stories!
It’s the small threads of optimism and kindness that lift Wyndham’s books out of complete and utter despair. You hope that if it were you in that situation, you’d be one of the goodies, helping your fellows, and not hoarding food in your appropriated penthouse apartment with the aid of a shotgun.
It’s nice to read older books where a phone call can’t solve all problems and misunderstandings. Where there isn’t a technology McGuffin around every plot corner. I do recommend that you seek out Wyndham’s books, they are often on 99p rotation on Kindle if you can’t spot them in a charity shop. I have read that the US and UK versions differ, so now I have to track a US one down!