Guest Post From Emily at The Road Virus theroadvirus.com

I’m excited to introduce our next guest post from Emily at The Road Virus. Emily contacted me in regards to a very cool project that her and a friend are starting and I was instantly interested in the concept. The Road Virus is on a mission to share and exhibit some of the best fringe literature available (which includes some of our favorite post-apocalyptic stories). Thank you Emily for sharing The Road Virus with us and we wish you all the best of luck in your adventures! I encourage all of you to support The Road Virus in any way you can. Follow them on social media and share the links with your friends. Thanks!

 

trv-bus-logo-stickerIt began as a wistful conversation about how awesome it would be to open a bookstore between two best friends. We’ve always been book lovers, one of us was a librarian (Em), the other is an author (Sade). But it was impossible in outrageously expensive San Francisco, and that’s when we started joking about mashing together the concept of a tiny home – like a bus or boat or rv – and bookstore. And so germinated The Road Virus, a mobile bookstore dedicated to fringe literature like horror, apocalyptic lit, sci-fi, queer studies & fiction, and fantasy.

We purchased a bus, retired and revamped into a library’s bookmobile, then set out to pasture before being purchased by us to make her into a big, rolling bookstore. She’s been kitted out with generator already so she runs 110V, both the gennie and motor are diesel and we plan on swapping her over to veggie oil and solar asap. She’s also got book shelves installed that are built like a bomb shelter – truly – we had to remove two small shelves to make space for our beds to fit, and had a KILLER time doing so because the materials were so durable, and construction was impeccable. We can climb the shelves like a ladder and they do not budge.

TheRoadVirusNaturally the first things put into her were our mobile preps, 72 hour bug out bags, first aide kits, solar and crank powered lights and radios, extra bottles of all fluids the bus needs (like fuel additive, coolant, quick start spray, etc), and about a week’s worth the dry/canned goods. We’re not getting stranded if the bus breaks down, zombies rise up, solar flare or EMP takes out all electronic devices!

Along with our preps we’re bringing our books, naturally. Some of our favorites are The Road, The Stand, Lucifer’s Hammer, How We Live Now, Dies the Fire, Desperation, and I Am Legend. Em’s surprise favorite is The Last Tribe by Brad Manuel, a global pandemic EOTWAWKI novel that was self published by the author. It follows the few survivors of the plague – specifically one family – trying to reunite with one son who was away at boarding school in the Northeast. As someone who grew up in Massachusetts (where a lot of the book is set), the idea of trying to survive a winter as a young teen while things like heating, plumbing, sanitation break down is enough to send a chill down Em’s spine.

theroadvirusposterThere’s lots left to do in the bus, whom we’ve named Jolene Lenore Freebird – including installing plumbing, propane cooktop, and tanks so she can either be shored at a park, or go off-grid without losing the basics of a home. We also need to have her vinyl wrapped so our store is recognizable, and she has some work that needs to be done on her electrical system. We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to help us achieve these goals – along with help us do some really awesome programming to help The Road Virus give back to the communities she visits, like literacy outreach, movie screenings, and a little free library. Please consider backing us – and bring the plague of literacy to a community near you!

Read more about our vision and goals for The Road Virus at our Kickstarter here:
theroadvirus.com/ks 

Also, check out my friend’s earthquake preparedness site Earthquakebag.me . They’ve got some great kits for those of us living in earthquake prone areas.

We’re also documenting our journey, and telling folks where they can find us via our website here:
theroadvirus.com

You can also reach us on all social media as @roadvirusbus
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Love and Pathogens,
The Road Virus Crew

Guest Post by Danny Stevenson Post Apocalyptic Model Maker and Tabletop Wargamer

This guest post is from Danny Stevenson, the founder of the Post Apoc Wargames Forum, a post apocalyptic model maker and wargamer. Danny posted a comment on Twitter in response to Evan T Pickering’s guest post, describing how he related to the notion of rebirth and rebuilding after the apocalypse. The idea of post apocalyptic rebirth resonated with Danny, so I asked him if he would write a guest post to carry on that theme. He has created some really awesome post apocalyptic models that he displays on his blog here and I’ve posted some images below. Thank you to Danny for sharing his thoughts and insights!

model2Rebirth after the Apocalypse? This is a question a few people have asked me when they see or read my work.

Chatting to many people down the years, many people associate the Apocalypse with whole scale death and destruction. That this is it. Nothing more. Any remaining humans are reduced to scavenging savages. They seem surprised that in the world I created humanity is slowly trying to rebuild. Looking to recover. Rebuilding from the ashes and anarchy.

For me, one of the joys of the Post Apocalyptic genre is the ability to explore and create new societies with freedom. The destruction of what was removes the existing rules. Some of the societies that I have created are realistic in nature, others are real life in a satirical way and some are purely for fun.

tarotdeathIn the Tarot, the death card doesn’t mean just death and destruction. It can mean change or a new way of looking at things. From this death, change follows rebirth and growth. It happens again and again around us every day in every aspect of our lives. The Apocalypse is in many ways the death card for the whole planet.

Looking at the past, it is clear that our dear old planet has survived many apocalyptic events in one form or another. Mother Nature springs back. Life clings on and becomes abundant once again. Often these apocalyptic events remove one dominate life form and allows other (often weaker) life forms to flourish and survive.

Recovery of nature is essential for rebirth after an apocalyptic event. The process could take anything from a few years to centuries. Once the recovery of nature starts it will help support plant and animal life. These in turn will help any human societies starting to form.

What about the plant and animal life? Would an apocalyptic event destroy them all? Have any of the other apocalyptic events in history? Massive amounts of species were wiped out but many survived. When you look at our world, animal life is everywhere, even places that appear barren and dead. Once the spark of life is there it will fight to hang on. Look at the area around Chernobyl. The area was evacuated when the disaster happened. It was heavily contaminated. In less than twenty years plant and animal life has returned to all but the most contaminated areas.

model4The last piece of our jigsaw puzzle is humanity. When you view a single human and compare them to similar sized animals, humans have no natural weapons, armour or fur. We often have poorer vision, no night vision, poorer hearing, slower movement and little sense of smell. Our success lies in our adaptability, ability to work together and use tools. We instinctively come together as groups and work together. We can build things to help our survival. These instincts won’t go away in times of adversity but often are strengthened.

History provides us with plenty of clues about how humanity can come back from the brink. The main difference is that now some humans would have access to knowledge, weapons and tools from the modern age. These may give our survivors more of a edge.

model1One thing that takes people aback is in my settings the new societies are often rebuilding. I find it odd that people wouldn’t consider it. After all mankind is a builder. Maybe my real life job as an Engineer has coloured my view. In my experience there will always be someone who can fix, repair and build things. I have met many amazing individuals who despite no formal education can fix anything and build amazing looking vehicles. Not all knowledge would be lost. There will be people with things rattling around in their heads. Things that may help your group of survivors rebuild.

The Apocalypse brings death and destruction. It brings great change which in turn triggers rebirth of the post apocalyptic world . Of course the Apocalypse may allow a new rival to evolve to claim the top of the pile and push humanity into history.

Danny Stevenson

http://mattblackgodsworld.blogspot.co.uk/

@wastesrider on Twitter

Post Apoc Wargames Forum

model3

 

 

October Surprise

squirrelDoom is in the air this fall. Wait…wasn’t it in the air last year?…and the year before that?

It seems as though Autumn is the “doom” time of year. Perhaps humans have coexisted with the rise and fall of seasons for so long now that we sense the death and destruction that comes with winter on an almost instinctual level. Isn’t it possible that we transpose this sense of impending doom onto our world view. That is to say, our perception may have a built in doom filter this time of the year.

Going hand in hand with sense of impending doom is our nesting, preparation tendency that seems to come forth in the fall. Our harvest is in and it is time to secure and preserve our resources for the long winter. As much as we’d like to believe that we exist apart from nature, we are clearly “hardwired” to our environment in more ways than we realize.

Of course, this could all be learned behavior, instilled in us from our childhood. How many of us watched our mothers pickling, canning, freezing and preserving the bounty of the summer’s garden? My mother always likened fall preparation to squirrels burying nuts for the winter, hence the term “squirrelling away” in my family.

No doubt, these nesting behaviors have been passed down many generations and it is most likely the reason that we are alive today. It wasn’t that long ago when the seemingly simple task of eating involved a great deal of planning and effort. Dinner wasn’t a simple matter of going to the nearest grocery store or restaurant for our predecessors.

Once again this fall we are hearing the term “October Surprise” all over the mainstream media and through a lot of alternative sources as well. While the term has its roots in the idea that newly released information could influence a US November presidential election, it has taken on a broader meaning in recent years to include all types of devastating scenarios ranging from economic collapse to World War 3.

Not to understate this particularly chaotic and tumultuous time in history, but having witnessed a few periods of doom frenzy, I’m not convinced that this upcoming period is any different. My sense is that a large scale events occur when we least expect them. Then again, who knows? More than likely we will have some time left to enjoy our strange apocalyptic preoccupation. Speaking of which, I have a few guest posts coming up that I’m sure you will enjoy! 

t2fire

Calling All Apocalyptic Bloggers, Writers and Enthusiasts!

helpwantedCalling all apocalyptic bloggers and writers!

Doomers unite!

Write a guest post for us about your favorite apocalyptic fiction and we will add you to our blogroll and you can post all of your contact and website information along with your article. That includes all of your social media links.

Ideally, your post would be about 500 words and would be related to some work of apocalyptic fiction that you are passionate about. It could also be some type of fiction that inspired you to be more “prepared” for large scale disasters, wars and that type of thing.

Additionally, if you are an author, you could write an article about your book, what inspired you, that sort of thing. Naturally, you could link to your book, interviews, whatever is pertinent. 

Please reply to this post or contact me at apocalypticfiction@gmail.com or through Twitter @apocalypticfict . Thanks!

Divide and Conquer

Divide and conquer. An organization of any type is greatly weakened when it is divided. When a group of people, whatever size, does not share a common goal, cohesiveness is lost. Logically, an enemy seeks to further divide such a group by emphasizing differences and minimizing similarities.divide_conquer-228x228

Consider the simple concept of divide and conquer when applied to the current situation in the US. With so many so called “leaks” emerging during this presidential election, it seems likely that the public is under the spell of a massive manipulation effort on a scope that has never been seen before in history. 

This is truly a “can’t see the forest for the trees” moment in history. While the identity of the attacker is unclear (at least to most of us), it seems obvious that an ongoing effort of some type is underway. A divide and conquer strategy has been implemented. Using the tools of this “networked” age, a steady stream of manipulative information is sent to our smart devices for consumption.

Perhaps this is a strange post for an apocalyptic fiction web site but it occurred to me that the early stages of World War 3 might be a bit more subtle than we anticipated.

 

Reminders

“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.

It’s Not the End of the World Yet…

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!