Guest Post from Evan T Pickering Author of Hood

This guest post is from Evan T. Pickering, author of the post-apocalyptic novel Hood: American Rebirth Series Book 1. Evan skillfully shares a profound personal experience with us. He shows us how this experience has influenced him and how it relates to his unique perspective and writing. Thank you Evan for describing end of the world fiction in a way that fans and newcomers alike can and will appreciate!

Our Own Destroyed World

Doesn’t it feel like the end of the world sometimes?

For us, I mean. For us as individuals in our own lives. The longer we live, the probability that we make some catastrophically bad choice for ourselves will eventually reach 100%.

It’s part of existence. We fuck it all up. Hopefully it doesn’t kill us. When I was 13 I jumped into the street on my BMX bike and got smashed by a car. Because, y’know, I was thirteen and a dumbass. I had to have my leg rebuilt but otherwise I was still alive. In some realities, maybe I or someone like me would have been brokenlegkilled. It seemed like an easy decision: there’s no one in the road, I want to bomb this gap. Oh wait, a car came while I wasn’t looking. Smash. Lying bloody in the middle of road, unsure of who I was, so deep in shock.

We can all look back at our lives and point to events that caused our world to fracture and collapse around us. A ruined relationship and the profound emptiness that follows. A terrible life decision that destroys a career. There’s many, many creative ways to fuck up your own life.

And from those personal tragedies comes a deep satisfaction in reading/watching apocalypse narratives–all our great mistakes and convoluted modern lives have been wiped away. We are reborn in our survival. The world has changed. In Apocalyptic scenarios, the earth is like me on the bike jumping in front of a car. It limps on, injured but coalescing, turning into something else. Reborn.

rickrebornBecause that’s what happens to us, isn’t it? Or at least, it can be. In the wake of whatever catastrophic event we have in our personal lives, there is an opportunity. A window wherein we can be reborn, change profoundly and become someone different than who we were before.

As I lay in the road with my shattered leg, I quietly observed the world around me. People came to me and asked me questions and called an ambulance, but I was not me. Deep in shock and under the influence of whatever drugs my brain had dispensed to keep me from losing my mind, I was no one. I distinctly remember thinking:

“This sucks for whoever this is happening to.”

I didn’t even realize that I was me. A feeling that lies somewhere in the realm of holy shit territory. But eventually when I attributed my consciousness to myself again, I had to deal with the implications of what had happened to me. My life was changed, forever altered, and already I started to question what I was doing, what I wanted moving forward, what my life would be like from then on out.

newlifeindeadstumpMy take on Apocalyptic fiction in general is one that is obsessed with rebirth. With the idea that apocalypse narratives are just macrocosms of our own lives. Sometimes it feels like we’ve destroyed our own world, that we feel so distant from who we used to be and what we used to believe. But where something is lost the opportunity for something new to be born arises. A new life can come from the part of us or our world that has died. That’s what I write about. That’s the story I want to tell of the apocalypse.

-Evan Pickeringhood

www.EvanPickeringAuthor.com
https://twitter.com/EvanTP87
https://www.facebook.com/EPAuthor/

Follow Evan on his social media above and check out his post-apocalyptic American Rebirth Series. Book 1 Hood is shown right and book 2 Whiskey is also available. They are both currently on Kindle Unlimited.

Guest Post from Ron Welch Author of Theradlands.com

This next guest post is from Ron Welch, blogger and author at Theradlands.com . Ron is a purveyor of all things wasteland. That is, to say he is a sort of aficionado of a fictional post apocalyptic, post nuclear war Earth. A planet completely devastated by nuclear war, civilization reduced to rubble, radiation pollution, the whole works! Think of the world of Mad Max or Fallout and you will get the idea.

I reached out to Ron after reading some of his well written and interesting posts and realized that I hadn’t really focused nearly enough on the so far fictional wasteland. The idea of the wasteland is prominent throughout all types of post apocalyptic fiction and it certainly deserves a place here!

I really enjoyed reading Ron’s insightful commentary. He actually puts the wasteland in a new sort of perspective that I hadn’t really considered before. Please enjoy his article and make sure to follow him on Twitter @The_radlands and visit his site theradlands.com . Thanks Ron!

The Power of Post-Nuclear Fiction

by Ron Welch

Post-nuclear fiction is unique; it captivates us with tales of inhumanity, survival, and occasionally grotesque mutations. Although each writer creates a different post-nuclear world, there are always a handful of similarities throughout to define sandstormthe genre and keep the audience anchored into the setting. Because a post-nuclear world necessarily requires advanced technology, the genre finds itself at a crossroad between sci-fi and fantasy, utilizing the social commentary of the former with the fantasticism of the latter.

From Mad Max to Fallout, post-nuclear worlds are generally rooted in techno-feudalism. Great leaders rise to power, protecting slaves and serfs from the horrors of the wasteland. Typically, walled villages are mandatory to keep out monsters (both human and beast). Bandits and raiders are present in every wasteland incarnation, similar to pirates radiationin both sci-fi and fantasy. Although outwardly techno-feudalism outwardly looks identical to traditional feudalism, where it diverges in post-nuclear fiction is at the means of collecting resources. Traditional feudalism is rooted in farming and the production of resources. Techno-feudalism is rooted in the scavenging of resources, both for convenience and because the secret to advanced (and even primitive) technology is lost on uneducated wastelanders. Scavenging is key to the setting.

falloutWhile exploring the wasteland, scavengers often come across pockets of radiation. In reality, radiation from nuclear weapons dissipates after a few months. In fiction, radiation is used as a placeholder for magic (again calling on traditional fantasy). Mutants (both human and beast), psychic powers, and unexplained anomalies are engrained in post-nuclear fiction.

From the burnpit screamers in A Boy and His Dog to Ghouls, mutants have been critical to the success of the post-nuclear genre. The existence of these creatures captures our imagination in a way that fantasy monsters and sci-fi boyanddogaliens cannot. Mutants, by their nature, rely on body horror. Generally, mutant designs are just a twist on something that already exists. For example, the Fallout franchise combined dogs and men into centaurs. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise has grotesque chimera and pseudogiants. A handful of franchises go a step further, adding sentient mutant races to interact with humans, filling a roll similar to Elves and Dwarves in fantasy or aliens in sci-fi. Mutants are engaging, as they encourage the audience to think about what other animals would look like in the setting.

Although less common than mutants, some post-nuclear settings also include psychic powers. This again calls back to the cross between sci-fi and fantasy. Psychic powers are effectively sci-fi magic. The difference is that mutant powers are often sporadic and uncontrolled (see Psykers in Warhammer 40k or Dark Ones in Metro 2033). Likewise, some settings (specifically S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro 2033) have anomalies that split from traditional radioactive horror and merge toward something more mysterious and occasionally spiritual. Anomalies rarely have a scientific explanation (even a super-scientific explanation that works within the universe), but they reflect something critical to the genre. After a nuclear war, the world will never be the same again.

madmaxvehicles In many ways post-nuclear fiction is similar to sci-fi and fantasy. They all reflect societies where governments are loose, territorial, or non-existent. They all have monsters, but the manner in which those monsters express themselves through design and intelligence varies widely. All of these things help the audience to better connect with the genre, because although fictional, it is rooted in reality. The locations are the same, but they are presented in through the filter of destruction and radioactive horror. Given the opportunity, post-nuclear fiction can define the post-apocalyptic genre the same way Tolkien defined fantasy and Frank Herbert defined sci-fi.

What do you think makes the post-nuclear genre unique? Tell us in the comments!

If you enjoyed this piece, you can read more specific articles at www.theradlands.com or follow us on Twitter @The_RadLands .

 

Guest Post from Chad A. Clark Author of Behind our Walls

This guest post is by Chad A. Clark, author of the end of the world novel Behind Our Walls. It’s fascinating and encouraging to see some of the influences that inspire people to write books. Growing up in the 80’s, I can sure relate to a lot of Chad’s inspiration! Thanks for sharing Chad! I encourage all of you other guest posters and readers to chime in and leave a comment and follow/say hi to Chad A. Clark.

behindourwallsSeveral years ago, I wrote a short story, titled Tomorrow’s Memory. It is set in an apocalyptic future following some undefined event in which the governments and societies of the world have collapsed. The main character is a man in his early twenties, traveling with a female companion. Along the way, he decides to start keeping a journal and the story consists of his entries in that journal.

I have always been fascinated with what the landscape of the end of the world might look like. And what I mean by that is, we have seen no shortage of films and books, laying out scenarios by which our society could meet its ultimate destruction. And while I have certainly enjoyed these stories, I also wanted to try going in a different direction. I was interested in the perspective of the people on the ground and how their lives are affected, where they go from here.

Just as an example, one thing that has always captivated me about the film Cloverfield is how it is essentially the telling of the Godzilla story, but from the perspective of the screaming mob trying to get away from the monster. This was the sensibility I tried to bring to this story. In an age where we depend so much on technology for our information, what happens when the world crashes down around us and the only means of learning about things is from the mouths of people you encounter on the road. People you may or may not be able to trust.

These were my favorite aspects of writing Tomorrow’s Memory and it would eventually spark my desire to write a full length novel in that same universe. It was from the seeds of that initial story that Behind Our Walls would eventually grow.

I didn’t want this to be a supernatural story. There are no zombies. I didn’t want this to be a techno-thriller. I wanted it to be a human story. I wanted to take genuine characters and see how they handled complete immersion in a hostile and violent environment. What would it look like if a group of survivors were to try and rebuild on the ashes of a society and start over?

The book I wrote was originally much longer and offered a few more backstory and clues as to what caused society’s downfall. In the end, I decided that I was being too ambitious and that it would be better to quickly immerse the reader in the world of this story. I wanted to challenge myself to bring the reader closer to the experiences of the characters.

Behind Our Walls is a dark book. It presents a bleak picture of our humanity and what people could be capable of, if left alone with each other and to their own devices. But I think there is also a hint of optimism there as well. As I wrote this, I definitely wanted to bring to bear all of the beautifully grim fiction I had read over the years but I also wanted to avoid the idea that all hope was lost. At the end of the day, I still believe in the inherent goodness of ourselves and I think that should be evident as the story draws to a close.

This book, as the rest of my writing in general, is driven by my love for dark fiction. There are any number of sources I could point to as the origins for my narrative sensibilities. As a child, I was reading at a very early age and by the time I was ten or eleven, I was given a fair amount of liberty in terms of what I was allowed to read. It wasn’t long before I found my way to the likes of Stephen King and Robert McCammon.

And of course, no discussion of the eighties can rightfully leave out the incredible horror movie franchises that came about. There was a special immediacy and dark reality of the practical special effects of the day. Watching slasher or zombie movies, you had an uncomfortable feeling that you were being made privy to something that you weren’t supposed to see.

All of this acted as a brine of sorts, in which my narrative outlook would start to develop. I love the visceral experience of the horror genre. I love the view you get of humanity in the reflection of horrific events of a story. I love reading and writing books with dark content because it forces you to be a part of the process. You have to bring your own morality to bear and evaluate the things that are happening and how they make you feel. That’s what I think all good art should do.

And if I can accomplish that at least some of the time with my own writing, I will consider myself to be a success.

 

Chad A. Clark

cclarkfiction.wixsite.com/chad-clark

Follow Chad A. Clark on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Google+.

Guest Post from M.L. Cain Author of Dead Salvage Series

Our latest guest post is from M.L. Cain, author of the post apocalyptic book series Dead Salvage of which the first book called Mourning is now available. M.L. Cain told me that he wrote this on his phone which I must say is impressive! Thanks to M.L. Cain for sharing his very unique perspective with us below!

deadsalvageAlright, my name is ML Cain, an author within the Post apocalyptic/ Military Sci-fi genre, though I don’t like to limit myself. I typically don’t talk about myself much, so forgive me if the awkwardness bleeds through.

Oddly enough I’m not a fan of fiction books (there are a couple of exceptions, of course), when it comes to books I prefer non-fiction, usually within the realm of Military History, Ancient Greek history/mythology, and books about killers or other strange happenings and subjects based somewhat in reality.
 
So what was my motivation to create a post-apocalyptic fiction series? Simply and honestly put, I enjoy entertaining the idea of human extinction, and the path or struggle to extinction. I grew up on Horror movies, and the gory, adult themed Anime of the 70s- 90s era. I’ve always been fascinated by dark stories of gore, horror and the annihilation of the human race via movies and anime. I’m sure I can attribute some of my inspiration to these films and series which held me spellbound in my early childhood and teen years.
 
For me, personally, I look at writing as a form of art, as self expression… I don’t play an instrument, I don’t draw or paint, so I write, it is my release… more than communicating a message, I may want to communicate an emotion or ask a question, or maybe i just want to assault the reader in a non physical way. I’m someone that writes without care for social or moral norms, or rules of a genre. My works are an outlet for my thoughts, emotions and philosophies.
 
Dead Salvage is my first work of fiction, and my first series. My goal with the Dead Salvage series is to tell the story of human extinction, in a unique, meaningful and interesting way.  With this and my other up coming works I hope to define/refine myself and my style as a writer,thank you.
 
Official page: Authormlcain.com
 

Guest Post From E. Rachael Hardcastle Author of the Aeon Infinitum Series

This guest post is from E. Rachael Hardcastle, author of the post apocalyptic book series Aeon Infinitum. E. Rachael Hardcastle offers us some great insight into her motivation and inspiration for writing. It’s very encouraging to see that she shares similar motivations with our previous guest post author Michael Poeltl and considers her post apocalyptic book series somewhat of a cautionary tale. I encourage all of you, fans and other authors to follow E. Rachael Hardcastle on social media after reading her guest post below!

The Meaning of Life and Writing

My name is E. Rachael Hardcastle. I’m a British indie author of high fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels.

aeoninfinitumI write in these creative genres because I believe the human race is capable of change. I’d like to play my part in initiating it by showing you what I predict could happen if we don’t. Through my work, my aim is to transport you through time and space to a variety of desperate futures; to show you them through my eyes.

Between the lines of my most recent release, Aeon Infinitum: Run For Your Life, I’ll introduce you to Ad Infinitum, a planet suffering six months of night and day. I’ll show you mutant creatures driven mad by unbearable temperatures, the ruins of a once flourishing society and a community forced underground, starved and overpopulated, to escape what their own ancestors created. I’ll ask if we are really the dominant species in a universe so vast and endless.

Although my novels don’t follow a religious theme, they invite readers to be open-minded and imaginative, using creation, survival and the overall meaning of our existence to guide my  characters through various life or death scenarios.

Writing is also a means for me to empty my chaotic mind and an outlet for the ideas I hoard. Authors like J. R. R. Tolkien, Stephen King, Charlaine Harris and countless others have imprinted on me just as much as their other fans – only difference is I feel it my duty to turn that positive influence into something new, exciting and memorable.

Aeon Infinitum: Run For Your Life is book one in a trilogy that’s published out of order. Book One, the story of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world, is actually the second along the time line of Earth’s fall. Aeon Infinitum: The Wanted, the explanation behind the end of the world is the prequel. Aeon Infinitum: Faded Realm is the continuing adventure of the survivors and the sequel.

Book one is now available with Amazon Kindle and in paperback (even with Prime). Visit www.erachaelhardcastle.com to read my mission statement, learn more about writing and publishing with my author interviews or check out my other published novels.

Follow E. Rachael Hardcastle on Facebook and Twitter

Apocalyptic Books

In an attempt to provide a relatively comprehensive apocalyptic book list , I have scoured the internet and come up with what I believe to be a substantial list of books divided into the following categories: Nuclear War, Zombies, Plague, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), Asteroids/Comets and Economic Collapse. Please understand that I use the term “apocalyptic” to cover a wide variety of fiction that includes post-apocalyptic and many other sub genres. You may or may not agree that all of these books belong lumped into the apocalyptic category and that is fine. My intent is not to split hairs with semantics but to provide a resource for fans of “end of the world as we know it” fiction. Keep in mind that this list is a work in progress and I will add new books as I find them. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a book that you would like added to the apocalyptic book list. Thanks and enjoy!

Nuclear War

Many of these books were written during the height of the cold war and as such have some dated subject matter. In case you weren’t alive during this time, people around the world lived with the possibility of widespread, instantaneous nuclear destruction by fire, blast wave and radiation. It’s no surprise that some of this preoccupation with nuclear destruction was expressed in the fiction of the time.

Zombies

For some reason, which is clearly beyond the scope of this website, the zombie fiction genre has really taken off in the last 20 years. Possibly fueled by some great remakes of zombie movies like Dawn of the Dead and some awesome originals like 28 Days Later and Zombieland. Whatever the reason for the zombie insurgence, we now have enough zombie apocalypse entertainment to fill the rest of our days.

Plague/Pandemic 

 

EMP

Asteroids/Comets

Economic Collapse

Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse

go go girls of the apocalypse A chaotic romp through the post apocalypse, Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse straddles a line of laugh out loud funny and brutally-dead serious. Written as a comedy/parody, Victor Gischler really goes over the top at times. From the steroid/amphetamine infused human train engine to the outlandish operations of Joey Armageddon’s Sassy A-Go-Go, this is a crazy, frenzied and fantastic tale. 

Mortimer Tate is swept up in the new post apocalypse when he ventures down from his fully outfitted mountain retreat where he has lived for the last ten years in relative comfort, sheltered from the worst of the destruction and downfall of modern civilization. In this version of the post apocalypse, Joey Armageddon’s, a saloon/strip club ,has become a hub for economic activity, along with its own currency, elite memberships cards and even a franchise policy to facilitate its expansion to a number of different cities. The idea that a Go-Go franchise could be the foundation for commerce and a new civilization is both disturbing and intriguing. On the one hand, it is logical that such a venture would be profitable and would bring people together, especially in a decimated world, without entertainment. On the other hand, it is rather depressing that booze and naked ladies would be civilization building motivators. Regardless, the post apocalypse Go-Go franchise is certainly one of the most unusual and original ideas that this apocalypse fanatic has stumbled upon.

As long as you aren’t easily offended or especially bothered by the occasional lack of realism, Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse is a funny and enjoyable post apocalyptic novel that you should add to your reading list.

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