Unraveling the Tension of the Cold War: Trinity’s Child by William Prochnau

In the realm of apocalyptic fiction, few books capture the harrowing realism and psychological intensity of nuclear brinkmanship quite like William Prochnau’s “Trinity’s Child.” This novel, a masterful blend of political thriller and apocalyptic narrative, plunges the reader into the depths of Cold War-era fears and the shadow of nuclear war.

Plot and Narrative

The story unfolds with a gripping immediacy, revolving around a fictional nuclear crisis between the United States and the Soviet Union. Prochnau, with his background in journalism, brings a meticulous attention to detail that lends the narrative an almost disturbing authenticity. The plot navigates through various corridors of power, from the Pentagon to the White House, immersing the reader in a world where the unthinkable is on the brink of becoming reality.

Central to the narrative is the protagonist, Major Jake Dillon, who is thrust into a situation far beyond his control. Dillon’s character is expertly crafted, embodying the conflict between duty and moral uncertainty. Prochnau’s ability to delve deep into the psyche of his characters, particularly Dillon, elevates the story from mere political speculation to a profound exploration of human nature under extreme stress.

Themes and Insights

“Trinity’s Child” is more than a story about nuclear war; it’s a meditation on the fragility of civilization and the thin line that separates order from chaos. Prochnau skillfully weaves themes of power, responsibility, and the human cost of political gamesmanship. His insights into the bureaucratic and political mechanisms behind such a crisis are not only enlightening but also chillingly relevant, even decades after the novel’s initial publication.

The book also serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of technological advancement unmoored from ethical considerations. It challenges the reader to consider the moral implications of power, both in the hands of individuals and nations.

Rating System

  1. Originality: 4/5
    “Trinity’s Child” stands out for its realistic portrayal of a nuclear crisis. While the theme of nuclear war is not new in apocalyptic fiction, Prochnau’s background and the detailed exploration of political and military strategies bring a fresh perspective.
  2. Thoughtfulness: 5/5
    The novel excels in its depth of writing and the meaningful exploration of its themes. Prochnau’s insightful treatment of his subject matter makes this book not just a story, but a reflection on the human condition.
  3. Entertainment: 4.5/5
    Engaging and thought-provoking, the book keeps the reader hooked with its fast-paced narrative and realistic portrayal of events. It’s a compelling read that balances intellectual depth with the thrill of a political drama.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

“Trinity’s Child” by William Prochnau is an essential read for fans of apocalyptic fiction and political thrillers alike. It is a book that not only entertains but also invites reflection on the profound questions of power, morality, and the survival of humanity.

Discover “Trinity’s Child” Here

Surviving the Seas of Despair: The Last Ship by William Brinkley

“The Last Ship” by William Brinkley is a riveting piece of apocalyptic fiction that delves into the aftermath of a global nuclear catastrophe. The narrative centers around the USS Nathan James, a naval destroyer, and its crew, who find themselves among the last survivors in a world ravaged by nuclear fallout.

Brinkley’s storytelling is both intricate and expansive, offering a thorough exploration of the psychological and moral dilemmas faced by the crew. The plot unfolds with a tense, gripping pace, maintaining suspense while also allowing for profound character development. Each character is meticulously crafted, with their personal struggles and ethical quandaries adding depth to the narrative. The interactions among the crew members, as they grapple with their new reality, are both realistic and deeply moving.

A standout feature of this novel is Brinkley’s detailed depiction of naval operations and life at sea, which adds a layer of authenticity to the story. This attention to detail, combined with the evocative descriptions of a desolate, post-apocalyptic world, creates a vivid and immersive reading experience.

In terms of thematic exploration, “The Last Ship” is a rich tapestry. It delves into themes of survival, the human condition under extreme circumstances, and the resilience of the human spirit. The book poses profound questions about leadership, morality, and the essence of humanity in the face of total annihilation.

Ratings: Originality: 4/5 – Brinkley’s post apocalyptic naval perspective and detailed exploration of life aboard a destroyer is refreshingly unique.

Thoughtfulness: 4.5/5 – The novel excels in its deep psychological and ethical exploration, offering insightful commentary on human nature.

Entertainment: 4/5 – The suspenseful plot and well-developed characters ensure a captivating read, though the detailed naval jargon might slow down some readers.

Overall Rating: 4.2/5

“The Last Ship” is a compelling and thought-provoking read, perfect for fans of apocalyptic fiction seeking a novel with depth and authenticity. Brinkley’s masterful storytelling and the book’s poignant themes make it a memorable addition to the genre. Check out the audio version on Audible Here.

Daryl Dixon’s New Journey: A Fresh Take in The Walking Dead Universe

The debut episode of the much-anticipated “The Walking Dead” spin-off focusing on Daryl Dixon offers a fresh and intriguing perspective in the beloved zombie apocalypse universe. This series promises to delve deeper into the character of Daryl, a fan favorite, exploring new dimensions and challenges in a world overrun by the undead.

The episode sets the stage with Daryl finding himself in a new, unfamiliar environment, far removed from the familiar landscapes of Georgia and Virginia. This shift in setting is a breath of fresh air, offering new storytelling opportunities and a chance to explore uncharted territories within the Walking Dead world. The episode masterfully maintains the series’ trademark tension and suspense, while also introducing new characters and dynamics that promise to enrich Daryl’s narrative.

What makes this episode particularly engaging is its focus on Daryl’s character development. Long-time viewers of “The Walking Dead” have seen Daryl evolve from a solitary, guarded survivor to a key figure in the community. This spin-off allows for a deeper exploration of his psyche, his survival skills, and his ability to adapt to new challenges. The episode hints at personal growth and introspection, setting the stage for a character-driven saga.

The first episode has a balanced mix of action, drama, and character development. It retains the core elements that made “The Walking Dead” a cultural phenomenon while injecting new life into its narrative through Daryl’s unique perspective.

For fans of “The Walking Dead” and newcomers alike, this Daryl Dixon spin-off offers a compelling addition to the zombie apocalypse genre. It’s a series that promises to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating Daryl’s next move in a world where survival is everything.

Watch the first episode of The Walking Dead Daryl Dixon

Rediscovering Humanity in the Ashes: Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker

In a world where the remnants of civilization whisper through crumbling ruins and overgrown landscapes, Russell Hoban’s “Riddley Walker” stands as a poignant exploration of humanity post-catastrophe. Set in a dystopian future England, Hoban’s novel is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring quest for meaning amidst chaos.

What sets “Riddley Walker” apart is its unique narrative style. Hoban immerses the reader in a world through the eyes and language of Riddley, a young boy navigating the complexities of a society rebuilt from the ashes. The language is fragmented, echoing the broken world in which Riddley lives. This linguistic creativity not only adds depth to the novel’s atmosphere but also challenges readers to piece together the world as Riddley sees it.

The story unfolds in an England reverted to a primitive state, where folklore and myth intertwine with the remnants of a forgotten technological age. Hoban masterfully crafts a narrative that is both a coming-of-age tale and a philosophical musing on the cyclical nature of history and knowledge. Riddley’s journey is not just physical but also intellectual, as he uncovers the mysteries of the past and grapples with the implications for his future.

The magic of “Riddley Walker” lies in its ability to transport readers into a world that is at once alien and eerily familiar. The novel invites us to reflect on our own society, on the fragility of civilization, and on the stories we tell to make sense of our world.

For those seeking a deeply immersive and thought-provoking read, Russell Hoban’s “Riddley Walker” is an unparalleled journey into a future primitive world. It’s a novel that resonates with profound truths about humanity, survival, and the enduring power of stories.

Discover Russell Hoban’s “Riddley Walker” on Amazon Here

Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy: Unveiling the Mysteries of Area X

“The Southern Reach Trilogy” by Jeff VanderMeer is a mesmerizing and intricate journey through a world that defies the boundaries of traditional science fiction. Comprising “Annihilation,” “Authority,” and “Acceptance,” this trilogy delves into the surreal and the unknown, leaving readers both enthralled and unsettled.

The apocalypse type in VanderMeer’s trilogy is unique—a slow, creeping ecological and biological transformation, originating from a mysterious zone known as Area X. This entity or phenomenon, ever-expanding and altering the landscape and life within it, creates a setting that is both eerily beautiful and profoundly disturbing. VanderMeer’s depiction of Area X is a masterclass in environmental storytelling, blending elements of cosmic horror with ecological intrigue.

The trilogy’s tone shifts across the three books, mirroring the evolving nature of Area X itself. “Annihilation” is claustrophobic and intensely personal, told through the eyes of the Biologist. It’s a tale of discovery and transformation, heavy with a sense of foreboding. “Authority” switches gears to a more bureaucratic, but no less eerie, perspective, focusing on the Southern Reach, the agency tasked with understanding Area X. Finally, “Acceptance” weaves multiple viewpoints, timelines, and revelations, culminating in a finale that is as enigmatic as it is satisfying.

VanderMeer’s characters are deeply complex and flawed, each shaped by their encounters with Area X. Their development is as much a part of the story as the mysteries they unravel. The trilogy is a study in how people react to the unknown and uncontrollable, with each character’s journey adding depth to the overarching narrative.

“The Southern Reach Trilogy” is a goldmine for readers who love dense, thought-provoking, and atmospheric storytelling. VanderMeer’s prose is rich and evocative, capable of painting scenes that linger in the mind long after the book is closed.

“The Southern Reach Trilogy” is a landmark in speculative fiction, a work that defies easy categorization and stays with the reader long after the final page. It’s a journey into the unknown that asks as many questions as it answers, a fitting tribute to the power of nature and the limits of human understanding. For those intrigued by this hauntingly beautiful series, it’s available for purchase Here.

Red Alert by Peter Bryant

“Red Alert” by Peter Bryant is an intense foray into the cold, calculating world of nuclear brinkmanship, set during the peak of the Cold War. Bryant’s narrative is a chilling exploration of the political and military machinations that could lead to global annihilation.

The apocalypse type in “Red Alert” is a potential nuclear war, a theme that Bryant handles with a tension-filled and meticulous approach. The story unfolds like a high-stakes chess game, where each move could either prevent or precipitate a global catastrophe. The detailed depiction of military and political strategies adds a layer of realism to the narrative, making the threat feel palpably real.

Bryant’s tone is taut and suspenseful, masterfully capturing the razor’s edge balance between peace and global destruction. The characters, primarily military and political figures, are portrayed with a depth that goes beyond their roles in this grand chess game. Their internal conflicts, fears, and motivations add a human element to the otherwise clinical proceedings of strategic warfare.

For entertainment value, “Red Alert” is a compelling read, especially for those intrigued by military strategy and political intrigue. The book keeps readers on the edge of their seats, not with action-packed sequences, but with the intense psychological drama of near-apocalyptic scenarios.

“Red Alert” is a gripping novel that offers a stark reminder of the thin line between peace and global disaster during the Cold War. For those interested in delving into this tense narrative, the book is available for purchase Here.

Dark December by Alfred Coppel

“Dark December” by Alfred Coppel plunges the reader into a world cloaked in the grim aftermath of nuclear war. Set against a backdrop that’s both haunting and stark, Coppel’s narrative weaves a tale of survival and the human spirit’s unyielding resilience.

The apocalypse type here is nuclear, which Coppel handles with a deft touch, capturing the bleakness and desolation of a world scarred by atomic fallout. The landscapes are etched with the remnants of what once was, serving as a stark reminder of the war’s irreversible impact. This setting becomes a character in its own right, shaping the lives of those who navigate its challenges.

The tone of the story is somber yet captivating. Coppel doesn’t just tell a tale of despair; he explores the depths of human emotion and strength in the face of overwhelming odds. His characters are vividly drawn, each carrying the weight of their past and the uncertainty of their future. They are not just survivors; they are embodiments of hope and endurance.

In terms of entertainment value, “Dark December” offers a gripping narrative that keeps the reader engaged from start to finish. The balance of action, introspection, and the human drama is masterfully done, ensuring that the story is not just a bleak portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world but also a compelling exploration of humanity.

“Dark December” is a powerful addition to the canon of apocalyptic fiction, offering a poignant reflection on the human condition amidst the ruins of civilization. For readers interested in exploring this haunting yet beautifully crafted world, the book is available for purchase Here.

The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

The “Foundation” series by Isaac Asimov, while not a conventional apocalyptic narrative, weaves a fascinating tale that resonates with the core themes of apocalyptic fiction. At its heart, it’s a saga of the decline and fall of a Galactic Empire, echoing the historical cycles of rise and fall that characterize our own history. This sprawling epic is set against the backdrop of a universe teetering on the edge of a dark age, instilling a sense of impending doom that is quintessential to apocalyptic literature.

The series begins with “Foundation,” where Asimov introduces us to Hari Seldon, a visionary mathematician. Seldon’s psychohistory, a blend of history, sociology, and mathematical statistics, predicts the inevitable fall of the Empire and a subsequent dark age lasting 30,000 years. To mitigate this, he proposes the creation of the Foundation – a repository of knowledge aimed at reducing this period of barbarism to a mere 1,000 years. This premise alone is a masterful stroke, blending the intellectual thrill of seeing the future through the lens of psychohistory with the visceral dread of an impending collapse.

As the series progresses, we are treated to a rich tapestry of characters and civilizations, each grappling with the legacy of the fallen empire and the looming shadow of the future. The tone of the story fluctuates between hope and despair, capturing the existential dread of an apocalypse with the thrill of potential rebirth. The series spans centuries, allowing us to witness the evolution of societies and ideas, a rare treat in fiction.

What stands out in the “Foundation” series is not just its grand scale but its focus on the resilience and adaptability of humanity. It’s a story about how knowledge, culture, and science are beacons in the dark times. The entertainment value lies in the intricacies of the plot, the intellectual challenges posed by the problems the characters face, and the satisfaction of seeing the long arc of history bend.

For those interested in exploring this seminal work, I’d recommend starting with the first book, “Foundation,” available Here . This not only sets the stage for the rest of the series but introduces you to Asimov’s unique style of blending grand historical themes with engaging storytelling.

Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem

“Amnesia Moon” by Jonathan Lethem is a phantasmagoric journey through a post-apocalyptic America, a narrative that blends the boundaries between reality and dream. In this novel, Lethem takes us into the life of Chaos, a man living in a movie theater in a town where the color green has ceased to exist. The story unfolds as Chaos embarks on a road trip across a nation fragmented into myriad micro-realities, each dictated by the psychic dominion of individual dreamers.

Lethem’s world is a kaleidoscope of bizarre landscapes and even stranger characters. The towns Chaos visits are surreal microcosms, each governed by its own set of peculiar rules and realities. From a town where everyone shares the same dream to another where people are unable to wake up, Lethem’s America is a fragmented puzzle of existential crises and distorted perceptions.

The narrative is as much a psychological exploration as it is a physical journey. Chaos’ quest is not just to understand the fractured world around him, but also to piece together his own shattered identity. The tone of the novel is one of persistent uncertainty, a dream-like quality where the lines between reality and illusion are perpetually blurred.

For fans of speculative fiction, “Amnesia Moon” is a richly imaginative and compelling read. Its entertainment value lies in its ability to continuously surprise and challenge the reader, drawing them into a world where nothing is as it seems. The novel’s strength is its unique blend of post-apocalyptic setting with a deeply personal story of discovery and transformation.

In our accompanying image, we capture the surreal essence of “Amnesia Moon.” The small, desolate town against a backdrop of a kaleidoscopic sky represents the altered realities that pervade the novel. The odd, mismatched structures and subtle hints of strange phenomena contribute to the sense of a dream-like, altered world where reality is in a constant state of flux.

For those intrigued by the surreal and the speculative, “Amnesia Moon” is a journey worth taking. Discover this mesmerizing world here, and be prepared to question the very nature of reality and perception.

A New Look at The Road

In the desolate landscape of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” we traverse a post-apocalyptic world that is as haunting as it is harrowingly beautiful. The novel, a masterpiece of apocalyptic fiction, takes us on a journey through a land ravaged by an unspecified cataclysm. The story is centered around a father and son, traveling towards the coast, hoping for a better future amidst the ashes of the old world.

The starkness of McCarthy’s prose mirrors the barrenness of the landscape, a world where the remnants of civilization lie in ruins. The author masterfully crafts an environment where the silence is as profound as the desolation, and every breath of the wind carries a tale of lost hope and enduring love. This journey is not just a physical one but also a deep exploration into the human spirit, testing the limits of endurance, morality, and the unbreakable bond between parent and child.

The Road’s apocalyptic setting is not defined by the usual tropes of nuclear fallout or alien invasions. Instead, it’s a hauntingly realistic portrayal of a world where the rules of society have disintegrated, leaving only the instinct to survive. The tone of the story is grim, yet it’s punctuated with moments of tender warmth, serving as a poignant reminder of what it means to be human in the face of overwhelming despair.

The entertainment value in “The Road” lies not in action-packed sequences or thrilling plot twists, but in its profound emotional depth and the beauty of its sparse, poetic language. It’s a book that lingers in your mind long after you’ve turned the last page, a testament to McCarthy’s prowess as a storyteller.

In our accompanying image, we capture the essence of “The Road.” The long, empty road stretching into a horizon overshadowed by dark clouds encapsulates the journey’s ceaseless uncertainty and the faint glimmer of hope that drives our protagonists forward. The abandoned cars and barren trees, set against a backdrop of muted browns and greys, evoke the omnipresent sense of loss and the stark reality of survival in a world that has lost its color.

For readers intrigued by “The Road,” you can delve into this journey Here Be prepared for a read that is as emotionally challenging as it is rewarding, a true masterpiece in the genre of apocalyptic fiction.

October Surprise # 2

I was looking through some of my old posts and noticed a brief commentary on the time leading up to the last election that I called “October Surprise” (link) and thought that I would revisit the topic four years later. After all, we are coming up on another big election and will likely see widespread civil unrest regardless of the results. So far, this year has played out as a slow motion work of apocalyptic fiction. The pandemic has really shown some of the problems associated with the globalization of civilization and we are starting to see some cracks. While COVID-19 does not seem to be nearly as deadly as some of the fictional viruses that we have reviewed here on this site such as in Brushfire Plague by R.P. Ruggiero or George Stewart’s Earth Abides it is certainly causing widespread disruption.

I feel like I’ve read this book before. It starts off a bit slow with a novel virus that sweeps the world. What the virus lacks in widespread lethality, it makes up for in its contagion and its ability to disrupt and divide people around the world. Naturally, the protagonist in this story is ex-special forces. He starts out on team “hoaxer” but he starts to take it more seriously when one of his friends dies from the virus. Eventually, he decides to retreat with his family to their isolated and well stocked bug out location just before the shit hits the fan. Economies subsequently collapse under the strain of endless shutdowns and restrictions. Civil unrest ensues. Blame is passed around between already hostile superpowers. Of course, a world war erupts. Sure it starts off conventionally, but eventually it escalates to the use of nukes. We have plenty of variables to provide twists and turns along the way to impending doom. Heck, maybe we could even have some follow-up post apocalypse stories exploring the “aftermath”. Maybe even a short romantic episode between characters to maintain the attention of a wider audience demographic. Throw in some religious fanatics, a few sociopaths and it’s a winner!

Anyway, as the line between apocalyptic fiction and reality blurs in the coming months, many of us will maintain our normalcy bias, insisting that the worst case scenario is impossible. No doubt, these same people would have considered the prospect of mandatory face masks in public during a pandemic pure fear mongering. How many of these people now have face masks hanging from their rear view mirror for their short stops to the drug store or post office? As if a dirty, virus covered cloth mask that has been used for months has any remaining protective qualities. Judging from the way that people have reacted to COVID-19 both on a macro and micro level, I have very serious doubts about our prospects for long term survival (like I didn’t have enough doubts already!).

To anyone reading this I wish you the very best of luck in the coming months/years. I would love to have an opportunity to come back here four years from now to reflect on my paranoid world ending fears and the next October surprise. In the meantime, I hope to make a few posts about some apocalyptic fiction books that I have completed recently. Do something for your “just in case” plan today. You might be really happy someday that you planned ahead for bad scenarios no matter how unlikely you feel they might come to fruition.

man wearing gas mask standing beside store facade

Guest Post from E. E. Borton Author of the Post Apocalyptic Book Series Without

This guest post is by E. E. Borton, author of the post apocalyptic book series Without. I was excited to hear from E. E. Borton since the Without Series tells the story about the devastation following an geomagnetic storm that permanently disables all of the electrical devices on Earth. This fictional scenario happens to be one of my favorites, in part because it is a fairly common on our planet, at least as far as we know. The last time a major solar flare collided with Earth’s magnetosphere was in 1857 (see Carrington Event). If we had a geomagnetic storm of similar magnitude today, we might be looking at a scenario quite similar to E.E. Borton’s Without series. Thank you to E. E. Borton for sharing some insights into his post apocalyptic book series.

The WITHOUT series is a collaboration between friends. Sean Chase and Keith Foster pitched me the idea for the first novel over a pitcher of beer. I was hooked and finished two versions of the first chapter the next day. Once I convinced them to let me create the story in first person versus third, and change the title from WITHOUT POWER, I was off to the races. Three months later, I wrote the last page.

Before I set out to write a book, I have a detailed outline to keep myself on track. There is a certain pace and cadence a writer follows, and all of them are different. There was no outline created for WITHOUT.

Sean and Keith gave me the premise for the first chapter. The characters I created gave me the rest. They told me where they wanted to go and what they were going to do when they got there. All I had to do was write down what happened along the way. It was the most challenging novel I’ve written in my career so far, but by far the most rewarding. It taught me a lot about myself as a writer.

I served twice in Naval Intelligence. Once after school and again after 9/11. The travel and experiences were phenomenal. It showed me what the rest of the world looked like. Some of it was breathtaking. Some of it was heartbreaking.

There are 7.5 billion people on the planet. 1.2 billion of them live without power. I’ve traveled to many third world countries and have witnessed their daily struggle to survive. It intrigued me to think about how the population of our country would survive if electricity was taken away…forever. Life for those who never had it wouldn’t change much at all. Ours would be turned on its head.

My novels are works of fiction, but the amount of research I had to complete WITHOUT was extreme compared to my other books. I had to answer questions about a world few of us have experienced. The most glaring was how fast would a modern society disintegrate after a large scale catastrophic event. The answer was disturbing. In an urban environment – in a city – it would start as soon as the sun went down.

My research covered a wide range of events that were either man-made, accidental, or natural disasters that caused large-scale power outages. Most only lasting a few days, but some lasting a few weeks. In every situation, the good and the bad in people hit both ends of the spectrum. In every situation when large groups of people were plunged into darkness, things went from bad to worse within 24 hours. The downward spiral didn’t change until power was restored.

Those who were prepared – even slightly – fared much better than those who were caught off guard. A portable generator, store of batteries, or even a hand-cranked radio/charger/flashlight combo became more valuable than a pot of gold. At the very least it gave them the ability to see what went bump in the night, work in the dark, and communicate with the outside world. It may not seem like much, but it made all the difference for them.

WITHOUT and WITHOUT II – The Fall, are novels about what may happen if the lights go out…and they don’t come back. I wanted to immerse my character, and myself, into that world and push the boundaries of my creative process. I walked most of the route the character took. I lived without power for days. I was alone while doing both. I didn’t want to tell you what happened to the characters in my book. I wanted to show you.

E. E. Borton


@EEBorton on Twitter

E.E. Borton on Facebook

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:

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:

You can also reach us on all social media as @roadvirusbus

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, he especially loves to play CS:GO and he´s always on the site mycsgoboosting.com. 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


@wastesrider on Twitter

Post Apoc Wargames Forum




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


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.