The second book in the post economic collapse novel series World Made by Hand written by James Kunstler called The Witch of Hebron further delves into the story of survivors in a small upstate New York town after the total collapse of the United States. (Read About Book One Here) As the title implies, this post economic collapse novel crosses into some supernatural territory with the introduction of a witch (or is she a prostitute) that has some rather “unique” abilities. A comment made about our review of World Made by Hand seems even more relevant with this book: “I took a lot of the behavior to be more in keeping with the wish fulfillment of a libertine aging boomer author.” (Thanks Russell1200) This witch just happens to be the most beautiful and seductive woman alive! (paraphrasing the inner commentary of every man who sees her). While this reader has no problems with a writer embellishing their story to explore some fantasies, it could be annoying to some, especially to the female gender. But alas, surely most fans of apocalyptic fiction would not be terribly offended by some fairly descriptive scenes? Anyway, the book is more of a coming of age story following a boy that runs away from home and gets involved with a sociopath, villainous thief and wannabe cowboy who happens to be on a murderous rampage. If you liked World Made by Hand, you will probably enjoy The Witch of Hebron. It isn’t the best post shit hit the fan novel but it is entertaining.
Tag Archives: shtf
World Made by Hand
World Made by Hand is a captivating post apocalyptic novel written by peak oil speculator James Howard Kunstler who is perhaps best known for his non-fiction work The Long Emergency. World Made by Hand provides some interesting speculation about life in a post-cheap-oil America where a series of terrorist attacks, subsequent wars and an uncontrolled pandemic brings the world economy to a grinding halt. The story follows Robert Earle through some of his post apocalyptic trials and tribulations in a small northeastern New York town. While Union Grove is not without serious problems it has fared well relative to other regions, perhaps due to its more remote location and its distance from the terrorist attacks. Actually, in some ways it is thriving. With the recent arrival of a resourceful and well-organized religious sect, the town is in the midst of a rebirth of sorts, only as the title implies, this world is made without the benefit of machines. In some ways World Made by Hand explores some topics that aren’t often considered in this type of fiction. For example, with the often brutally shortened lifespans, particularly among the male population, the protagonist Robert sees more than his fair share of “activity” with the ladies shall we say. Though there is a certain religious vein throughout the book, Robert, who is a basically good man, is not necessarily a subscriber to God and acts somewhere on the fringes of Christian morality. For the people left in this world, the abundance of “free love”, pot and alcohol offers them only a small reprieve from their violent and sometimes brutal existence. A certain ingenuity and pioneering spirit flows through the story that this reader found energizing and somehow inspiring. If people can accomplish so much with their bare hands through cooperation, surely we can do even more with all of the machinery and energy at our disposal. World Made by Hand is a good book that should be added to your “must read” post apocalyptic reading list!
Click Here for the Audiobook Version
New Year Giveaway!
To celebrate the start of a new year, we are running a giveaway for a great new compilation of apocalyptic short stories called The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse. This is an excellent short story collection featuring thirteen unique tales of destruction. We are giving away an electronic version of this book. Use the form below to enter the giveaway:
299 Days Giveaway!
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:
299 Days Giveaway for Books 1 to 4
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:
The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 5 Say the Word
Ladies and Gentlemen! The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 5 Say the Word introduces us to an entirely new fighting sport that is destined to take the post apocalyptic world by storm! While the official name for this debauchery has yet to be announced, I would vote to call it Zombie Fight Club (ZFC) […if it’s already taken, I propose that a PA is added for post apocalypse PAZFC]. Standing as a testament to the pure genius of the writers of TWD, the sport is similar to a “no holds barred” cage fight, only instead of a cage, the “ring” is made up of chained zombies! As the fight progresses, the zombies are given more chain, thereby making the “ring” smaller with each interval. We haven’t seen this type of imagination since the post apocalyptic world of Mad Max at Thunderdome. Sure it’s depraved and barbaric but it sure is fun! People need some way to blow off steam when they have lost all of their family, friends, homes, civilization and minds. Sure, you can sit on your “high horse” and judge this sport to be unsavory, but after a year of hanging on to life by a thread in the zombie apocalypse what do you expect? I say cut these people some slack and grant them a little morale booster fun and games! For this and other zombie apocalypse awesomeness check out the latest episode of The Walking Dead below:
In R.P. Ruggiero’s new apocalyptic novel Brushfire Plague, a highly contagious, lethal new virus is spreading across the world, forcing civilization to its knees. The virus is aptly named the Brushfire Plague after its ability to spread extremely fast and its very high mortality rate.
In Brushfire Plague, there are no bugout locations and there is no safety. The virus attacks indiscriminately and kills fast. This apocalyptic story follows the early stages of a rapidly spreading pandemic and the violent beginnings of civil breakdown in suburban Portland, Oregon. Cooper, a combat veteran, is unable leave his recently buried wife and decides to make a stand at his suburban home. In an attempt to fend off the seemingly never-ending waves of violent incursions, Cooper works to organize his neighbors. With the help of his best friend and neighbor, Dranko, they are able to equip a small neighborhood defensive force.
Right from the beginning of Brushfire Plague, violent threats are met with deadly force. R.P. Ruggiero presents a fight or die type of scenario that I suspect is quite similar to what it would be like in a war zone. With no time for deliberation, one must choose to stand up against those with harmful intent or be at their mercy.
Brushfire Plague really captures the sense of panic and sadness that would undoubtedly accompany such a large-scale disaster. For an added twist, Cooper discovers that the plague may not be a random occurrence and may actually have its origins in a laboratory.
Ruggiero has written a very entertaining apocalyptic novel that presents an entirely possible pandemic scenario through a cast of interesting and likable characters. Bring on the sequel!
Brushfire Plague Giveaway
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:
299 Days Book Two The Collapse
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!
299 Days The Preparation
In the first book in Glen Tate’s 299 Days Series, The Preparation, we are introduced to a world, much like our own, that is on the verge of an economic collapse. As the economy deteriorates, Grant Matson, an otherwise average suburbanite lawyer, awakens to the reality that he alone is ultimately responsible for the well-being of his family. We are given an insider’s view through Grant, who works in the political arena and has a very unique perspective on the political and economic situation in Washington State. With the economy failing, federal, state and local governments simply cannot meet their obligations to fully fund pensions while providing social services for an ever burgeoning unemployed population. While there is a certain politically conservative tone to 299 Days, the ultimate realization that the current economic system is unsustainable and that the government will not be able to save us if and when the shit hits the fan is very difficult to argue against, regardless of your political leanings. For instance with local governments around the country laying off police officers and firefighters, how can we expect help to arrive in a timely manner when we call 911? After hurricane Katrina, how is it that anyone expects someone to save them if and when a disaster strikes? 299 Days is a very well thought out, rational exploration of how the state of the current economy in the United States could deteriorate into a full-blown depression. In addition to its realistic “play by-play” of an economic collapse scenario, 299 Days provides a wealth of practical information for those wanting to prepare for any number of disaster scenarios. Without a doubt, 299 Days will appeal to those inclined to like apocalyptic fiction, however, those that would benefit most from reading this book are those that are just beginning to consider the possibility that the current economic system is unsustainable. The message of personal responsibility is a good one and Glen Tate makes an excellent messenger in this well written, thoroughly enjoyable book. 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.
Watch the Pilot episode of Revolution now on NBC’s website here:
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!
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:
Falling Skies Episode 17 Molon Labe
The unpredictability of human actions turns out to be an advantage when dealing with purely logical aliens. The human emotional wildcard always seems to spoil wicked plans, at least that is the case in the latest episode of Falling Skies, Molon Labe. The human resistance against the alien invasion is able to capture one of the so-called “masters” that seem to be at the top of the alien hierarchy. Unfortunately, the aliens have some new tricks up their sleeves as they are willing to go to great lengths to save their leader. This is the best episode yet. They scaled back on the drama and went full throttle with the action. In fact, the action/battle scenes are very well done and are nearly as good as scenes from a blockbuster movie. Watch this episode through TNT’s website here or you can get on Amazon through the link below:
Additionally, TNT is having a Falling Skies Marathon this Sunday 7/29/12 if you want to catch up on the entire season. Check your local listings.
Hostile aliens now control the planet as Falling Skies enters its second season. TNT has created an enjoyable apocalyptic tv show that follows a large group of refugee survivors as they struggle against their alien invaders. While their intentions are not perfectly clear yet, the aliens of Falling Skies have killed almost all of the adult human population and have made the children into their slaves using some type of parasitic lizard. One of the interesting aspects to this series is that the alien invaders do not consist of one particular type of alien. It seems that there is some type of hierarchy of alien beings that are led by creatures that are similar in appearance to “the greys” that have become the typical portrayal of aliens in our modern civilization. Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), is a former college history professor who lost his wife in the invasion and struggles to raise his 3 children alone in the post apocalyptic landscape while providing some historical perspective and guiding the survivors in their struggle. Falling Skies has plenty of action and while some of the acting is a little overly dramatic, it is your best bet for alien invasion apocalypse and science fiction television this summer.
If you need to catch up on the series, The complete first season is available on DVD through the link below:
The Last Pilgrims
The Last Pilgrims by Michael Bunker is a well constructed, detailed account of a hypothetical post-apocalyptic future. The story follows the development of two apparently ethically opposed groups the Vallenses and the Ghost Militia, as they struggle to survive twenty years after the collapse of modern civilization in a post-apocalyptic Texas. The Vallenses are peaceful farmers while the Ghost Militia is made up of a group of military men that in many ways are descendants of present day special forces. While they share a similar belief in God and a self-sufficient lifestyle, they fundamentally differ in their beliefs on how to survive. The Vallenses are pacifists. The Ghost Militia are soldiers. In many ways, The Last Pilgrims plays out an internal conflict that I am sure many of us share. While we may long for a peaceful, agrarian lifestyle, it is hard to imagine a world in which such a society could exist without pressure from the more violently-inclined portion of humanity. As it turns out, the Ghost Militia and the Vallenses have formed an unspoken alliance in which the Ghost Militia protects the Vallenses from the more hostile, violent elements and in return the Vallenses share their abundant food and resources. In the new Dark Age of mankind, The Vallenses and Ghost Militia are under constant threat from The Kingdom of Aztlan which is ruthless in its quest to expand its territory, influence and resources. War, spies, traitors and assassins…give a warm welcome to Michael Bunker, the new Tom Clancy of post-apocalyptic fiction.