“The Fire is coming! Get to the shelter!” The basement shelter vaguely resembles some places where I have lived but always expands into a much larger and more complex space. Looking through a small window, just above ground level, I can see the fire rolling over land, engulfing everything in its path. More vivid and detailed than the best Hollywood cgi effects, the image is etched into my mind. I can hear someone yelling, telling me to get back from the window but I am transfixed. Just as I begin to wake up to leave this place I begin to consider the implications of ‘radiation’ in some type of ‘mental’ image.
Dreams of the apocalypse have haunted me for as long as I can remember. After a fairly significant hiatus from apocalyptic type fiction (as is reflected in the obvious neglect of this site), I’m back here pondering the significance of my horribly vivid dreamworld. The dreams serve as reminders of some type.
Rationally, who would want to willingly fuel a dark preoccupation with the end of civilization and death with fictional depictions of such? It is as if I am seeking out some meaning in the expressive imaginations of other people.
Certainly, one could argue that the apocalyptic entertainment that I have fed my brain over the years rattles around up there and is occasionally expressed in dreams. But how did I have these types of dreams before I was ever even exposed to the concept?
Collective subconscious, archetypal imprints? I really don’t know. I suppose I’ll just throw it to the internet wasteland, the pyramids of our age that will disappear into thin air leaving no trace for archeologists of the next great civilization. How many different incarnations on Earth alone? Unknowable, at least at my pitiful level of awareness.
Well, it’s been a busy year and I wanted to write a quick post regarding my intention to resume activity on this site. I’ve been preoccupied with a couple of other projects and just ‘staying afloat’, in general, but I am going to make an effort to get caught up on my reading list and reviews. I apologize to those of you that have been waiting for me to review your books and will pick up where I left off.
Fortunately, it’s not the end of the world yet, so we likely have more time to enjoy this twisted apocalyptic preoccupation. From the recent ebola scare to the ‘saber rattling’ that is reminiscent of the Cold War era, we’ve seen plenty of ‘real world’ activity that will continue to fuel a strong demand for apocalypse related fiction. Keep the review requests coming!
Follow the yellow…err…corpse littered railroad tracks to Terminus. Our ragtag group of exhausted survivors carry on down the tracks in the final episodes of Season 4 of The Walking Dead. Is Terminus real? Is it a trap? We get some answers but other questions arise as we follow these apocalyptic hobos. In a dead, haunted world, are the living really the ghosts? It’s going to be a long wait until next October. Check out the season’s last episodes below:
In The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 12 titled ‘Still’ we are reminded of the terror and hopelessness that is the zombie apocalypse as Daryl and Beth hide in the trunk of a car for days while a herd of zombies passes. Sure, we knew that there were hordes of zombies on the loose but with the prison fences keeping most of them out its easy to forget. You know things are bad when you are safer inside a prison. Anyway, if you’re like me and really enjoy the fictional exploration of a post-apocalyptic world, you’ll love this episode. How about a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested country club with overgrown fairways, ransacked clubhouse and elite members turned zombies hanging from the ceiling! Ha! Entertainment just doesn’t get much better than that. Watch this episode on AMC’s website Here or on Amazon through the link below:
We are briefly introduced to two new groups of survivors in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 11 titled Claimed. Unfortunately, none of the new characters are among the most civilized or intelligent human beings. With no fence for protection, survivors are never safe from the endless zombie onslaught. Not to mention the threat of encountering other people that are more ruthless and violent. Those that have survived over a year into the zombie apocalypse ought to be hardened killers by now. We get some interesting pieces of information in this episode and some hints as to where our friends in The Walking Dead may be heading. Watch this episode through AMC’s website here or on Amazon through the link below.
Forced to abandon the relative safety of their prison home and separated during the chaos and destruction following the Governor’s attack, small, fragmented groups of survivors struggle to find hope and safety in the second half of the 4th season of the post apocalyptic tv series The Walking Dead. A complete and utter destruction of one’s home, the illusion of safety, a careful, delicate construct of the mind created to comfort and shelter us from the harsh reality of our often short, brutal lives. The word apocalypse itself, translated from its Greek origin meaning ‘the disclosure of something hidden’, points to this truth and was only later incorporated into english taking on its current, more religious, end of the world context. Isn’t the apocalypse indeed the destruction of our carefully constructed sense of reality, revealing the often cold, hard reality of our situation that we survive on a small speck of life within the vast, empty void of space.
A profound lesson is encoded into apocalyptic fiction that is easily missed. On a surface level, end of the world fiction highlights the necessity to prepare for disaster by storing food, water and having the ability to protect your family which are certainly worthy goals. Going a little deeper though, the real gem concealed within apocalyptic fiction relates to the transient and fragile nature of life itself. While we aren’t forced to face the illusory nature of safety and ‘home’ on a daily basis like the survivors in The Walking Dead, inevitably, even if it isn’t until our time of death, we must face these illusions. Perhaps if we can incorporate and cultivate an awareness of the fantasy nature of true safety, we will be more liberated and able to live more fully in the moment.
To assist you in your contemplation of reality and your own mortality [ ], follow the links below to watch the latest episodes of The Walking Dead titled ‘After’ and ‘Inmates’.
These episodes are also available for free through the AMC website through this link: http://www.amctv.com/full-episodes/the-walking-dead but there is some way you need to login using your cable company account that I find both annoying and confusing and they are only available there for a limited period of time.
If you had unlimited money and resources to prepare for the zombie apocalypse you might be lucky enough to have a setup like the protagonist does in the apocalyptic book Voyage of the Dead, book one in the Sovereign Spirit Saga, written by David Forsyth. As fortune would have it, Scott Allen, who won hundreds of millions of dollars in a lottery, is on a worldwide cruise on his massive ship with all of his family and friends when the zombie pandemic begins. His resources are formidable: a completely modernized and retrofitted cruise ship with enough weapons and ammo for a small army, a helicopter, amphibious vehicles, a cigarette boat, a seaplane, a ships hold full of cars and trucks (and later an armored personnel carrier), months worth of food and enough fuel to travel half way around the world. On their voyage up to the California from the Mexican coast on an official government mission to rescue a CDC scientist, they encounter many obstacles and develop quite a following of other vessels that join them in their journey, the best of which is a Coast Guard cutter, complete with its own helicopters, specialized equipment and weapons.
In stark contrast to life on the Sovereign Spirit, we get a glimpse of what life is like ashore in the “Interlude in Hell” segments as we follow Carl Stiller as he struggles to survive in post zombie apocalypse Los Angeles. Carl was one of the unlucky ones as he was about to board a plane with his wife when the zombie virus strikes. He is swept up in the chaos surviving only through his own ingenuity and sheer luck.
Voyage of the Dead is a very fun book to read. It’s easy to get caught up in this apocalyptic fantasy like a kid in a candy store. If one had to experience the zombie apocalypse, surviving with the best equipment and resources on a fully contained floating city would surely be the way to do it. Oh, and this book is free on Amazon as of this writing. Check it out and leave a review so other zombie fans will know it’s a good one!