On a whim I picked up Dies the Fire, the first book in a post-apocalyptic series by S.M. Stirling. I wound up enjoying it quite a bit, enough that I took the kids to the bookstore and bought the next two in the series.
Stirling's series tells the tale of Oregon and Washington-area survivors of The Change, a mysterious event that stops all modern technology (including gunpowder and steam power) from working. As in most post-apocalypse narratives, the best and the worst in humanity emerge, and the good guys struggle to survive and build new communities while the bad guys lust for power. Stirling's Oregon is rather suspiciously well-populated with hobbyist bowyers and fletchers and Ren-Faire enthusiasts who are well equipped for combat at 14th-century tech levels, but he has a sense of humor about it, and carries the whole thing off quite well. It's not great literature — it's not even at the level of The Stand, a post-apocalypse classic — but it's a good pulp read for when you are in the mood for such a thing.
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