I give up. The premise of the show was unbeatable. The power grid goes down all over the world and in the blink of an eye civilization plunges into a new dark age. With a mainstream budget and resources how could it go wrong? Being such a fan of apocalyptic fiction, I really tried to like this show, but alas, I must admit defeat. Now that the villain is on a quest to obtain the twelve magical amulets or talismans that inhibit the energy dampening field that is responsible for the blackout I think I am officially out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy fantasy fiction and am perfectly willing to accept some magical or religious-like powers so long as it is relevant and adds to a good plot. It is beyond me though why the writers would veer off into this direction when there are so many plausible, scientific reasons for a worldwide black out, like an EMP or CME. To top it off, the actual storyline is weak. I don’t care for any of the characters and basically don’t care what happens to them or their messed up world. After the first couple of episodes, they haven’t even been showing any good post apocalyptic scenery. I think the final nail in the coffin was when my wife, who gets scared when a horror movie commercial comes on tv said “this is kind of a lightweight show”. I offer my apologies to those of you that think the show is great…I tried, I really did try to like this show but we all have our limits. I might not go so far as to cancel the scheduled recording of future episodes on the DVR but I won’t be at all upset when my wife “accidentally” deletes them.
Can’t we have just one good day? The world answers Glenn back with a resounding NO in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 4 titled Killer Within when they discover that the prison walls have been breached by hundreds of bloodthirsty zombies. Maybe that’s what is so great about apocalyptic fiction in general, no matter how bad your day is, it can always be a LOT worse. What could be worse than being stuck in a prison full of flesh-eating zombies? How about getting your throat ripped out by one of those zombies…
The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3 titled Walk With Me introduces us to a whole new group of survivors and their well-kept, relatively safe community of Woodbury. Andrea and her friend, Michonne, are first captured and later welcomed by the leader of Woodbury known as “The Governor”. The characters in The Walking Dead really show their battle hardened/seasoned nature after a year of struggling to survive the zombie apocalypse. These are characters forged in a constant life and death struggle. The writers and actors deserve a lot credit for continuing to create this awesome television show. Thank you! Watch the episode through the link below:
What’s the difference between a walker and a blood crazed sociopath? Not much. Which is why Rick has to eliminate some holed up human monsters in their new-found prison sanctuary. In The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2 titled Sick, Rick and our small band of survivors stumble upon a group of prisoners that don’t understand the full scope of the zombie problem. Apparently, the fact that Rick and the crew actually broke into a prison wasn’t enough for these dim wits to realize that the world had gone bad. It was amusing to hear these prisoners that had been isolated since the start of the zombie apocalypse asking questions like “why don’t you go to the hospital?” or “where’s the National Guard?” all while acting like they are so tough. A dark apocalyptic sense of humor is greatly appreciated by this fan, though I’m sure prisoners the world over were offended by the apparent assault on their intelligence. Watch this episode at Amazon through the link below:
Brushfire Plague, written by R.P. Ruggiero follows the early stages of a worst case viral pandemic that devastates the population. The publisher, Prepper Press, has provided us with a hard copy of Brushfire Plague to review but I will be giving this copy away unscathed since I am reading this on my Kindle. I’m thoroughly enjoying this book so far (I’ve read approximately 3/4 of it) and will be posting a review when I finish it. In the meantime, enter the giveaway by liking Apocalyptic Fiction and Brushfire Plague on Facebook through the Rafflecopter widget below:
I just had the chance to watch the last few episodes of the Revolution tv series that have been sitting on the DVR for a while. A number of people have left comments on how they have been disappointed in the show for a variety of reasons. Some complain that the characters are too well-groomed and that the acting is sub par. While I agree with some of the criticism, I still enjoyed the episodes. Maybe my expectations for realism in fiction are low. In terms of tone, Revolution is much less ominous than The Walking Dead. In fact, many of the settings are bright and sunlit, as if speculating on how nature might take things back, though there is no mention of melted down nuclear reactors or other industrial processes left unattended. The Walking Dead has a gloomy end of the world feeling that is completely lacking in Revolution. Clearly Revolution is written more for a mainstream audience and may not appeal to the more traditional post apocalyptic and horror fiction fans. If nothing else, maybe it will make some people out there question their total dependence on electricity. I’ll continue to watch the series for its moderate entertainment value, not for its acting or realism.
Wool Omnibus Edition, a collection of the first five books in the Wool Series, written by Hugh Howey, is a truly impressive post apocalyptic science fiction saga.
The Wool Series vividly describes the detailed inner workings of a society that has been living in a massive underground survival shelter called a “silo” for hundreds of years. Every conceivable detail has been considered in the construction of this fictional underground civilization that was created to sustain human life after some unfathomable cataclysmic event.
Intricate human relationships develop within the massive 140 floor underground silo that is mostly self-sufficient as though it were some deep space colony. Indeed, the surface of the Earth has been made so inhospitable that it might as well be another planet. The detail and consideration that went into this silo is almost unimaginable. Even the physical features of the silo were designed deliberately to impede communication and cooperation among the residents. The truth is deliberately concealed from the general population as if it was a virus that would destroy the fragile remnants of civilization. So much thought, planning and effort has been made to keep the truth hidden from the general population, supposedly for their own good.
Like other great science fiction, Wool explores the idea of how a new discovery might impact the delicately constructed framework of human reality. Hugh Howey deserves a great deal of credit for the thought and imagination that he poured into the incredibly intelligent story that is destined to become a science fiction classic. Remarkable in its breadth and scope, it is certain that Wool will leave a lasting impression in your mind.
NBC’s new post apocalyptic tv show Revolution kicked off last night to good ratings with an estimated 11.7 million people watching according to Huffington Post. I watched this episode on a laptop during the pre-release online but it was much more enjoyable to watch on the larger screen in high-definition. In this episode we are introduced to a small group of survivors 15 years after an unknown event disables everything that is run by electricity. Unfortunately, we get to see only bits and pieces of the story during and immediately after the event through character “flashbacks”. The details are vague but it appears as though the cause of the 15 year blackout involves some type of conspiracy. Most of the people we encounter have resorted to a more agrarian lifestyle and are ruled by a “militia” in a feudal type of system. Revolution features some great scenes of a post apocalyptic Chicago from an abandoned O’Hare airport to an overgrown Wrigley field. I’m really looking forward to watching more episodes. There’s something about the anticipation of a weekly show that keeps me interested in tv. If only Revolution and The Walking Dead could push out some of “The Real Housewives of…” shows, the world would be a much better place. Watch this episode through NBC’s website . Leave a comment to let me know what you thought of this show so far.
Commentary: This is going to be a great show! Most of the story takes place 15 years after some unknown event has disabled everything electronic. The event that caused the blackout seems to involve some type of man-made conspiracy. The Pilot episode has a good mixture of action and character/plot development. This might be our new favorite tv show! (after The Walking Dead, that is 🙂 Thank you NBC for releasing this show early! We can’t wait for more episodes!
On the Beach, written by Nevil Shute and published in 1957 is a somber post apocalyptic novel that follows survivors in Australia after a nuclear war and subsequent radioactive fallout has contaminated most of the world.
Much of the story revolves around an American nuclear submarine, the last of the US Navy, docked in Melbourne and under the command of Captain Dwight Towers. The post apocalyptic world has been contaminated with high levels of radiation stemming from the use of cobalt bombs by the Russian and Chinese military forces.
This story is character driven, focusing on the struggle for people to maintain some sense of purpose in spite of their doom. It was slightly disappointing that most of the people in On the Beach basically give up and passively accept death. Why didn’t they attempt to create a shelter in which some people could survive until the levels of radioactivity decreased? (scientists mention several times that the radioactive cobalt has a 5-10 year half-life)
Released at the height of the Cold War, On the Beach has elements of a warning or cautionary tale and is clearly written with some political intentions in mind. While On the Beach is a well written novel that explores some important ideas worthy of consideration, it is slow-paced and uneventful at times. If you are looking for excitement and entertainment you may want to look at some other reading options.
Collapse, written by Richard Stephenson, is a highly entertaining apocalyptic action/adventure novel that follows the fall of the United States some fifteen years into the future. A series of catastrophic natural disasters, an ongoing war with a rising power in the Middle East and multiple terrorist attacks forces the US to the brink of destruction. Collapse is a unique mixture of geopolitical intrigue, advanced technology and nature’s destructive forces. Taking place fifteen years into the future, this story contains a heavy dose of a science fiction. Science fiction fans will be particularly delighted with the frequent references to Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you are looking for a very realistic apocalyptic scenario, Collapse might not be for you for a couple of reasons. First, while the idea of a rising Middle Eastern power is not hard to imagine, it seems unlikely that such a power would be on the verge of world domination any time soon. Additionally, in terms of realism, it is hard to imagine so many catastrophes happening in such a short time span. To those of you that don’t get too hung up on realism (which I suspect is the vast majority, considering the popularity of zombie apocalypse fiction) I would highly recommend this book. Collapse is a thoroughly entertaining, engaging and compelling action driven story that is told through a number of fascinating, well-developed and likable characters.
Last week’s Apocalyptic Fiction Poll results are back! We asked you to vote for your favorite character from The Walking Dead Season 2….and the winner is Maggie Greene!…Ok…I’ll admit that I voted a couple of extra times for her because I think she is pretty cool…but I never claimed these polls would be statistically accurate! 🙂 In the tv series, Maggie is portrayed as a rugged “farm girl”, the eldest daughter of Hershel Greene. For some reason she really likes Glen, who is perhaps one of the more “geeky” survivors, and by the end of the season they are in a relationship. I admit that I was surprised when I heard Maggie, played by Lauren Cohen, speak in her english accent in an interview. She has a smooth southern accent in the show, but grew up in Britain. Thanks to everyone that voted in the poll! See the results below:
299 Days is an exciting new book series written by Glen Tate that is set to be released in the beginning of September, 2012. 299 Days is a fictional series based on current events which follows the progression of the economic collapse of the United States. This will be a unique series in that it does not portray the complete and utter destruction of civilization, but rather a smaller, somewhat more realistic economic decline, similar to what occurred in the Great Depression of the 1930’s. While I haven’t had the opportunity to read the first book in the series, I have listened to a number of podcast interviews in which the author Glen Tate discusses his new series (see below for links to those interviews). I was impressed. As a matter of fact, one of the most fascinating interviews that I have listened to in some time was when Glen Tate is interviewed by Jack Spirko on The Survival Podcast. This series is truly a case of fact meeting fiction. From what I have learned about 299 Days, people in many areas of the US will continue to have electricity and other utilities provided. The government will also remain in control in the early stages of the breakdown, though it is forced to accept a less significant role due to its lack of resources and crushing debt. I am really looking forward to reading this new series. The publisher, Prepper Press, will be releasing a total of ten books over approximately a one year time span. In honor of what I believe will be an excellent shit hits the fan, semi-apocalyptic book series I will be giving away a copy of Book One:The Preparation to a lucky person that participates in the Rafflecopter giveaway below:
In the Season 2 Finale of TNT’s alien invasion series Falling Skies, A More Perfect Union, the human resistance has an opportunity to strike at the heart of the alien leadership and to disrupt their operations on the post apocalyptic Earth. The ending is a real cliffhanger with the brief introduction to a new alien species…are they friend or foe? Watch the Falling Skies Season 2 finale on TNT’s website by clicking here or on Amazon instant video through the link below: