I note that flu is now probably the most common (and let’s face it, most plausible) cause of the end of the world on my bookshelf. Aliens and nuclear holocaust are starting to look quite dated, although I’m sure this is largely my own selection bias.

It did get me thinking though: if you accept that rapid-onset / high-mortality flu contagion can rip through densely settled areas (add modern globalisation for a good apocalypse), where in the world might dodge the bullet because there is a sizeable population living in remote areas with relatively little and/or more easily regulated contact with urban centres? I’m not sure I’ve read any stories that use this premise; if any leap to mind, I’d love to.

I’m specifically not thinking remote US / survivalist stories – more the possibilities for Africa and the Pacific islands, although there’s probably an argument for any desert / seriously (continental-collision) mountainous / Arctic regions. A Brief History of the Dead made the case for the Antarctic, but that’s not the easiest place to get home or survive long-term!

I always appreciated that World War Z gave thought to shipping (not that it was a happy thought in the end), and props to Mandel for likewise considering the Air Gradia flight.