In 1978, Stephen King wrote a novel called The Stand. Salon.com has an interesting article about the book:
…it’s “The Stand” that strikes me as the cornerstone of his legacy, an oft-criticized epic of a uniquely American apocalypse, a quasi-religious vision that has cast its shadow over everything from Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” to the “Left Behind” series of the Rev. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Its traces can be felt in the Hellmouth horrors of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and has been cited by the creators of the ABC series “Lost” as a model for their dystopian island fantasy. The late David Foster Wallace cited the novel as one of his favorites.
Mr. King, in the interview portion, takes the time to tell us how it’s all going to end:
Nuclear weapons. No doubt about it. There are days when I get up and say, I cannot believe, I cannot fucking believe that it’s been more than 50 years since one of those things got popped on an actual population. There are too many out there. One will get away, or someone will make one from spare parts and put it in a knapsack or blow it in Bombay or New York or San Francisco.