V for Vendetta meets the American Patriot. Isn’t it interesting how the ideas of self-sufficiency and smaller government have indeed become revolutionary in modern times? Wouldn’t many of us be on a POI (person of interest) list In an era where taking responsibility for the well-being of yourself and your family is considered subversive by the powers that be. Glen Tate’s 299 Days series forces a person to question their ever-increasing dependence on a bloated, incompetent and corrupt government. In The Stronghold, the fourth book in the 299 Days series, the faltering economy has the government on the ropes, grasping to power through bribery, propaganda and downright thuggery. The economy has failed on a massive scale. Food, fuel and medical supplies are becoming scarce. The government is handing out electronic ration cards called “FCards” to feed the masses. These “FCards” are funded through the confiscation of funds in bank accounts and 401K’s which people can no longer access. Unfortunately, through desperation, many people, especially in larger urban areas, are happy to get help from the government and eagerly hand over the last of their civil liberties for these rations. In contrast, Pierce Point, while dealing with the same scarcity, is becoming a bastion for common sense cooperation. People are looking for a simpler, practical, common sense approach to community. Don’t misunderstand, Pierce Point isn’t some self-sufficient, Constitutional utopia but Grant Matson, his friends and neighbors are willing to work together in a fair and common sense way that might just make our grandparents proud. The Stronghold presents some compelling possibilities and is an insightful exploration into the all too real possibility of an economic collapse.
You’re probably asking yourself, “what do eggs have to do with the 299 Days series…has this guy lost his mind?…maybe he’s been reading too much of the doomer stuff?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Eggs are significant on a number of different levels but on a very basic level, leaving their genetic/reproductive aspects aside, they are simply a nice little package of nutrients and energy. These eggs just happen to be today’s harvest from our 12 hens that are starting to produce now on a regular basis. To me these eggs represent the beginning of a return to a more self-sufficient lifestyle similar to the one that Glen Tate envisions in his 299 Days series. This series presents some important and powerful ideas that I think would be beneficial to the lives of millions of people. Hopefully, through this giveaway for the first 4 books in the 299 Days series, which features a worldwide economic collapse, others will wake up to reality and start to fend for themselves rather than depending on help that may never arrive. Learn more about the 299 Days series @ http://299days.com and check out some of the podcast interviews listed below.
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Glen Tate Interviews:
In honor of the recent release of books 3 and 4 of Glen Tate’s timely new book series 299 Days, I am giving away paperback versions of books 1-4. As if torn from the current headlines, 299 Days places you on the precipice of an economic disaster and then pushes you right over the edge. Enter for your chance to win the first 4 books in this powerful and eerily realistic book series below:
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Glen Tate Interviews:
In Survivors, James Wesley Rawles explores the same economic disaster that occurs in Patriots from a different perspective, mostly through a new cast of characters. While the story covers the first years of “The Crunch” in the southwestern United States, the most interesting and unique part of Survivors is the story of the newly discharged American Army Captain Andrew Laine and his journey back home to New Mexico from Afghanistan. With fuel shortages, violence and chaos reigning, Captain Laine is forced to find his own way back to the United States. He travels through post-shit hits the fan (shtf) Germany, France, England, crosses the atlantic ocean to Belize, then finally goes through Mexico and into the US. Much like he does in Patriots, Rawles provides copious details in his descriptions and, with the steady stream of bible passages, the book seems tailored with a fairly specific reader in mind. While the in-depth, detailed information is useful in terms of gaining knowledge, it makes the reading tedious at times. For example, when a character encounters a new gun, Rawles goes into considerable details on the history, mechanics, durability, range and effectiveness of the weapon, making the internal dialogue and narration slightly monotonous and unrealistic. The conversations in morse code are downright painful to get through. To give credit where credit is due, Rawles has packed a lot of useful prepping information into this book. He provides detailed information on a variety of topics including the possible uses of gold and silver as currency, using morse code via ham radio, weapons, food, fuel and even gives basic instructions on how to make molotov cocktails. If you are able to handle the sometimes “preachy” chapter introductions, a lot can be learned from Survivors. Rawles writes informative, “how-to” books in a fictional format. Unfortunately, the fictional aspect often takes a back seat to his strong religious message and “prepping” information. That being said, I would read Survivors again for its crisis preparation advice and its interesting speculation about world travel after an economic disaster.
For those of you that are interested in learning more about James Wesley Rawles and disaster preparation, visit his blog at http://www.survivalblog.com/ . In case you aren’t familiar with his site, it is actually one of the most popular blogs in the survival/prepping arena and will provide you with a practically endless amount of useful information.
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:
In the second book of the 299 Days Series, The Collapse, we see the early stages of an economic collapse scenario. In The Collapse, Glen Tate captures some of the unpredictable nature of real life. Events seldom go as planned and they certainly don’t for Grant Matson, who has gone to great lengths to prepare for the safety of his family in the hard times ahead. With so many factors beyond his control, preparation for every situation just isn’t possible. People will make poor decisions, especially when they are blinded by their belief that everything will return to normal, otherwise known as the “normalcy bias”. This is when people just can’t accept that their situation has changed drastically. Often they will disregard or even ignore evidence from their environment that indicates that the new situation is different and indeed dangerous. Grant’s wife Lisa embodies the concept of normalcy bias perfectly. Living her entire life under the shelter of normal, civilized conditions, Lisa is unable to see that the rules have changed with the apparent lack of police and emergency response. It becomes clear after reading this book that normalcy bias is already a widespread phenomenon. How many people do you know that would ignore a collapse situation until it was no longer possible? Oh wait, that would include almost everybody, wouldn’t it?…Most people today carry on with “life as usual”, ignoring every indication that we are indeed on the precipice of some economic calamity. If such a collapse did occur, we are talking a major shift in thinking. …[start of rant…as small, personal example of how self-sufficiency goes so much against the grain, recently with the new addition of 12 hens to the family, I had someone ask me “…you ever hear of a grocery store?”, in a very sarcastic way. For a while, I actually considered this comment, even to the point where I doubted my own efforts. However, after some consideration, I realized that it was this other person that was indeed deluded…The idea that things just come from “somewhere else” with no thought of what this “somewhere else” is all about could just be part of the problem with the modern world. Collapse illustrates what happens when that “somewhere else” becomes “right here, right now”. “The buck stops here” or maybe it always did, except for the thin veil of modern society. Maybe our modern culture was constructed to keep this cold, hard reality at bay. Anyway, I digress. Rant complete]… Without going into too much detail to spoil the book, Lisa is in for a wakeup call. 299 Days: The Collapse does make some political commentary, but I think it goes beyond the traditional right/left political paradigms. I have yet to hear a good argument against the benefits of personal responsibility. So far I am very impressed with the 299 Days Series! The Collapse is a great story with an excellent message, useful information and realistic, likeable characters. I’m really looking forward to the release of the next books in the series!
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.
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:
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Follow the links below to listen to Glen Tate’s recent podcast interviews:
…with Jack Spirko on The Survival Podcast CLICK HERE
…with The Gun Runner Podcast CLICK HERE
…with The Gun Dude’s Podcast CLICK HERE
…with The Bad Quaker Podcast CLICK HERE
Also check out http://299days.com for the latest updates on the series.
Update – Book 1 and 2 of the 299 Days Series is Now available at Amazon through the links below:
The Solitary Man is Ron Foster’s latest adventure into a post-electric, post apocalyptic world. Ron’s protagonist Donald is quite similar to David from the Prepper’s Trilogy. He is an expert in emergency management that has spent a considerable amount of his time and resources preparing for a collapse of civilization following a solar storm or coronal mass ejection (CME).
While The Solitary Man does not have as many of the laugh out loud moments that were ever-present in the Prepper’s Trilogy, it does convey a new sense of urgency. Apparently, Ron Foster believes that we are getting very close to large solar event entering into 2012-2013 during what is called the solar maximum period. In fact he references the upcoming solar maximum period specifically numerous times. In the epilogue he even suggests that the next book in the series might never be released due to this impending solar event. The premise of The Solitary Man is certainly plausible but I found the plot and fictional aspects to be a little thin. It’s almost as if the story was secondary to the information contained within the book. As always though, Ron Foster, for whom I have much respect, includes some very solid advice on preparing for any type of widespread disaster. You can get it through the link below:
Survivors is a post-apocalyptic BBC television series spanning two seasons from 2008-2010 that follows a group of people struggling to stay alive after a pandemic kills 99% of the human population. I was able to watch the entire series for free when I signed up for a one month trial membership on Amazon Prime. The virus has spared a select few, with little regard to the moral standing of its victims. The main characters, brought together by chance, have diverse backgrounds, ranging from an escaped prisoner to a previously care free heir to a Kuwaiti oil fortune. This small group of survivors struggles to define their moral boundaries in their quest to stay alive. The necessity of violence is constantly in question. Most of the characters are willing to accept that sometimes violence is necessary, at least in the defense of the innocent. On some level, as humans, aren’t we all complicit to the unspeakable acts that have occurred in the defense of the lives of our ancestors? In Survivors, violence is not a forgone conclusion though, as is often the case. Through their hostile encounters with others, it becomes clear that they will need to fight to survive. Survivors is gentler in a number of ways compared to some of the other apocalyptic fiction that I have reviewed. It is “civil” in many aspects. For instance, there are minimal displays of violence. While danger is always present, violence is used sparingly and not gratuitously. The formation of relationships between the characters remains the focus throughout the development of Survivors. I would recommend the Survivors series. While it is not without its flaws, especially in terms of its realism, I found the characters and their relationships to be interesting and story to be very entertaining.
Hunter After the Fall, by John Phillip Backus, is a captivating post-apocalyptic adventure that takes place 15 years after an all out worldwide nuclear war has devastated the planet and killed the majority of its human inhabitants. After surviving the war and subsequent nuclear winter, Hunter, a former special forces operative, has made a home for himself in a long abandoned gold mine nestled into the side of a mountain. The rich detail in which Backus describes Hunter’s rocky mountain home creates the sense that Hunter is truly returning to being one with nature. Hunter’s lifestyle is similar to those that lived throughout North America for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. Much like the wolves and bears that roam the area, Hunter is deeply connected to the mountain wilderness. He is able to sustain himself from the abundant resources that the rocky mountain ecosystem provides. Hunter is content with his life until the arrival of Elise, who is the daughter of Hunter’s former commanding officer. Elise is sent by her father to find Hunter and to seek his help in the defence of their community of New Eden, which is in danger of being overtaken by an army of bloodthirsty invaders. In an effort to repay his former commanding officer for saving his life in action, before the nuclear war , Hunter is quick to offer his assistance. The story follows the many adventures of Hunter and his counterpart, the strong and beautiful Elise, as they fight to save New Eden. In Hunter, the first book in his After the Fall series, Backus combines a unique blend of Native American shamanism and post-apocalyptic action that makes for a very thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining story.
Apocalypse Law 2 by John Grit is the second book in the series following the Ex-Army Ranger, Nate, as he struggles to keep his family safe in a post-apocalyptic world. This is a very fast paced and enjoyable read. Nate is a humble, reluctant hero that in many ways is the post-apocalyptic version of John Rambo. With Apocalypse Law, John Grit brings me back to the action movies of my younger years that I remember so fondly. Being vastly outnumbered and overpowered by an unrelenting, extremely violent group of ex-military raiders, Nate is forced to pull out all of the stops and resorts to using some “unconventional” weapons in defense of his farm. Nate and his female fighting companion, Deni, are truly stretched beyond their limits as they take on this gang of marauders. While you might be tempted to see this story line as cliché, Apocalypse Law 2 is full of surprises and will hold your interest until the end. If there is a post-apocalyptic action sub-genre (which there may very well be, excuse my ignorance), the Apocalypse Law series would certainly rate at the top of the list!
Apocalypse Law by John Grit is a very entertaining story about a man and his son struggling to survive on a small farm after an influenza strain kills a large part of the human population. After the last few books that I have read, it was truly fun that the main character in Apocalypse Law, Nate, is a retired Army Ranger that can kick some major ass! (what can I say, sometimes I get tired of the bad guys running the show!:) Naturally, some unsavory types make their way past the farm in the period following the outbreak and Nate is willing and able to defend himself and his son. Apocalypse Law reads more like an action movie. It is fast paced and full of suspense. This is a good book to read after you finish The Road by Cormac McCarthy. You could argue that The Road may be more realistic but Apocalypse Law sure is a lot more fun!
The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 6, Secrets explores the dynamics between a number of characters in this group of survivors in the post-apocalyptic, zombie infested world. Human relationships sure do get complicated, especially when secrets are kept and this show holds nothing back. Shane sets the tone for this show when he reminds Dale that the world is no longer a place to make casual threats when he says “…if I would shoot my best friend, imagine what I would do to someone that I don’t even like…” Tailgaters beware: if civilization ever deteriorates to this point, we all better be careful with our words and actions.
Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse, written by James Wesley Rawles tells a story about a group of people struggling to survive a drastic collapse in the financial system which leads to the worst depression in history. JWR is certainly one of the pioneers in economic collapse fiction and is perhaps one of the best known “preppers” in America. In some ways, Patriots is used by James Wesley Rawles as a pulpit where he is able to express his views on issues such as gun control and organized militias. However, if you can get past the long legal/political rants throughout the book, there is a good deal of useful information. In fact one of the criticisms about the book is that the characters are constantly going into great detail about the weapons and equipment that they use. If you approach this book with the intent to learn something about how to prepare for a disaster, you will get more out of it than if you are looking for a work of fine fiction. The characters in Patriots are developed on a very shallow level and lack any depth whatsoever. I would recommend this book only to those that are looking for information on ways that they could prepare for a disaster. The lack of character depth and the extensive politcal ranting left me less than satisfied in terms of entertainment value and fictional merit.