Being a huge fan of the original Red Dawn, released in 1984, I was excited to watch the latest incarnation of this fictional World War 3 invasion of America. Let’s just take it as a given that the logistics of such an invasion make it practically impossible. With that said, the idea of a small group of regular people engaging in guerrilla warfare tactics on familiar turf has a certain appeal to the John Rambo kid within all of us! Obviously, with the Cold War era behind us, the threat of such an invasion is even more unlikely. Not to mention, why would anyone bother to invade a country physically when they already own it economically? Though the invaders are North Korean, the implication is that they have the full support of China. With practical matters out-of-the-way, the recycled story of resistance against a superior enemy is enjoyable. Though it has its share of superficial relationships and some teenage “corny” moments, Red Dawn is packed solid with action and the scenery is much more enjoyable in high-definition compared to watching it on the giant old 200 lb 24 inch tv on the videocassette recorder! Part of the enjoyment in this remake is nostalgia, I suppose, but as long as your expectations aren’t too high and you are able to accept an unrealistic plot, Red Dawn is a fun diversion.
Written as a prequel to The Last Pilgrims, W1CK is a compelling story that takes place just days before the devastating apocalyptic war that leads to the return of a new Dark Age. Though W1CK started as a short story, Michael Bunker and Chris Awalt have created a thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly thoughtful and contemplative apocalyptic novel.
W1CK begins as Clay Richter, a disenchanted widower, makes his way through the devastation and aftermath left by Hurricane Sandy as he travels to his country home in Ithaca, New York. Unfortunately, Clay, who is hopelessly unprepared for his journey, stumbles upon a decades old plot, set in motion by secret forces in the former Soviet Union, to destroy the United States. This dark apocalyptic conspiracy is depicted through a steady stream of colorful metaphors and dialogue, creating a deeply human story.
In some ways W1CK is a fictional exploration of the very notion of imprisonment. Initially Clay seeks to escape an invisible prison ruled by consumerism. Later, through a series of unfortunate events, he finds himself in an actual prison filled with dangerous sociopaths. Through his imprisonment, Clay has an epiphany of sorts and realizes that he is indeed imprisoned mainly by his own desires. Regardless of ones political or religious views, isn’t it, in fact our desire for safety and comfort that is the very structure of our jail cell? One of the very causes of our suffering is our constant struggle to escape from suffering. (as if spoken by the Buddha himself! 🙂 )
Conspiracy, espionage, survival and understanding in the early days of the apocalypse, W1CK is quite an enjoyable and insightful book that I can easily recommend.
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.
It looks like the Governor bit off more than he can chew in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 7 “When the Dead Come Knocking”. Rick and his crew have seen their fair share of hard times and won’t be bowing down to Woodbury and its cronies. There is some undeniable karmic righteousness when evildoers underestimate their victims. Call it what you will but a natural order exists that is inevitably restored to all circumstances, eventually. The Walking Dead is like so many other well told stories and stirs up some ancient archetype that we recognize unconsciously and find so appealing. Or maybe it’s just some good old zombie skull crushing fun. You choose, either way, or both is just fine with me! Enjoy!
The Reawakening puts a brand new slant on the zombie apocalypse. Joseph Souza’s mutant monsters, which come to be known as “fuckers” are different from traditional zombies in that they often take on features of the infected animals that bite them. Not only that, in the moments preceding their “reawakening” these creatures have some type of unearthly insight into the true nature of reality. I think that mutant zombie is an appropriate name for these reawakened creatures as it becomes apparent that their origin involves some type of genetic experimentation that has gone horribly wrong. Shortly after Thom and his daughter Dar arrive on a trip to visit Thom’s brother in rural Maine, animals and people begin to act very strangely and become increasingly violent. Apparently this abhorrent behavior is caused by some type of new disease that turns the infected into violent maniacs. Worse than that, the diseased are somehow able to reanimate after death and turn into monsters that are driven to consume human flesh. Under constant threat of attack from these reawakened creatures, Thom, his daughter and a small group of survivors are forced to spend a nightmarish winter barricaded in a fortified cabin that is surrounded by an improvised perimeter wall made up of snow, ice and rotting mutant zombies.
Faced with their own destruction and the insanity of their disgusting new world, the survivors have some “reawakenings” of their own. Like some other post-apocalyptic, kick ass female characters, Thom’s daughter Dar discovers her true purpose through the traumatic, violent events in the early stages of the apocalypse. In the spirit of Stephen King’s Cell ( is something in the water up that way? 🙂 ), Joseph Souza reinvents the traditional zombie and creates an entirely new mutant freak. He deserves a great deal of credit for venturing out in his own direction instead of recycling the standard zombie concept. While it may upset some zombie purists (if there is such a thing?), I think most fans of zombie fiction will find The Reawakening to be a bold, surprisingly refreshing and thoroughly entertaining story.
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:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Glen Tate Interviews:
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 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!
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:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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 Second Mass reaches Charleston, South Carolina, the new capital of the post apocalyptic United States. While the weary travellers are delighted to find many modern conveniences still available, they are somewhat disheartened when they realize that the fight against the aliens is on hold as they rebuild their ranks. The new president is a former college history professor who intends to keep the power with the people and away from the military leaders. This is a good episode. Watch it here through the Falling Skies web site or through Amazon at the link below:
In Episode 8 of the second season of Falling Skies, Death March, the resistance fighters from the post apocalyptic Northeast US, AKA The Second Mass, makes its way to Charleston, South Carolina, in hopes of connecting up with a larger alliance. What will they find? This one has less action but is interesting. Watch the full episode of the alien invasion, post apocalyptic series through TNT’s Falling Skies site or at Amazon through the link below:
The Postman is an insightful and inspiring story of a man in his quest to protect the flickering flame of civilization from the imposing dark ages of a post apocalyptic world.
As Gordon Krantz makes his way across the apocalyptic wasteland, barely surviving among the ruins of civilization, he stumbles upon an old United States Postal vehicle that forever changes the direction of his life.
What starts out as a lie to simply gain shelter and food becomes an idea that ignites a revolution. This is a story more about ideas that any particular ideology. In fact, David Brin often presents ideology as being part of the reason for civilization’s demise. For instance, the term “survivalist” becomes derogatory as some radical elements of the community have embraced the fall of civilization as an opportunity to subdue, pillage and conquer. Don’t fret preppers: The Postman was written in 1985, before the more recent, positive culture of self-sufficiency and permaculture which has become more widespread in recent years spreading through good people like Jack Spirko at The Survival Podcast.
The power of ideas should not be underestimated. While it is easy to focus on the more negative examples of crooked idealism gone astray such as the case with hitler and the nazis (disrespect intended), Brin proposes that ideas can have an equally positive effect as he presents the United States as a successful society structured upon ideas that actually lead to a decrease in human suffering. Civilization is presented as an idea or a collection of ideas rather than a physical manifestation.
The Postman is a substantial work of fiction that will provide you with considerable grist for the mill of contemplation, if you are so inclined. Alternatively, if you are simply seeking a great story with likable characters, you will not be disappointed.
And if you want to listen to the audiobook follow the link below:
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.