Sci-Fi is the genre that explored both possibilities: the end of our existential crisis and the end of our existence. My novel, 'The 5th Wave,' explores the latter scenario, because, frankly, I believe it represents the likeliest outcome of an extraterrestrial encounter. In short, if they're out there, we better hope they never find us.
'The 5th Wave' is sci-fi, but I tried very hard to ground the story in very human terms and in those universal themes that transcend genre. How do we define ourselves? What, exactly, does it mean to be human? What remains after everything we trust, everything we believe in and rely upon, has been stripped away?
The way we learn to write is the way we learn to talk: We listen to others and start mimicking speech, and that's how we come to become speakers. Writers you admire, you admire the way they plot, you admire the way they create a character, you admire the way they put a sentence together, those are the writers you should be reading.