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.
For those of you that enjoy a good Youtube video you might want to take a look at this one. It features a variety of scenes from a number of apocalyptic movies including Terminator 2, Signs, The Day After, Resident Evil, War of the Worlds and a lot more. Journey to the Plains by Shels is played in the background which is a pretty cool song! Watch the video below:
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:
Sarah Connor’s Gift in death (guns in the coffin) in T3
Sarah Connor Chronicles
Who are your favorite post apocalyptic characters from the movies? And the winner is…Sarah Connor from The Terminator series! Over the course of the series, Sarah Connor develops into a seriously tough lady. Her role in the series is unforgettable from the moment that she discovers that her son will be an important leader in the fight against the machines. She even had a television series based on her efforts to protect her son called The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It was a good show, another one that they cancelled too soon. Thanks to everyone that voted in this week’s poll!
In second book of the After the Fall series by John Phillip Backus, Hunter and his newly pregnant wife, Elise, leave the relative comfort and safety of their mountain home and travel to the West Coast to live with Elise’s sister Anna in post apocalyptic British Columbia.
The West Coast of North America is bustling with economic activity, organized around an enormous marketplace that is known as The Gathering. Unfortunately, along with the renewal of economic activity, trade in human beings has become commonplace. Women and children are frequently kidnapped and sold to the highest bidder. The novel revolves around the quest to rescue Elise’s sister, who is kidnapped by these slave traders.
Backus has created a truly fascinating post apocalyptic land. Vivid descriptions of the beautiful West Coast landscapes and a uniquely detailed, even plausible, burgeoning economy make for a thoroughly entertaining read. A fully restored steam locomotive, female ninja vigilantes and a rich Native American cultural element will keep you anxiously flipping through the pages until the shocking, catastrophic conclusion!
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:
The results are in for the Apocalyptic Fiction Poll 2: “What is your favorite apocalyptic tv series ?” Jericho is the clear winner with a total of 230 votes! The Walking Dead came in a distant second place, followed by Falling Skies, Survivors and The Colony. It seems that people were not ready for Jericho to be cancelled. In fact, there is a large movement to revive the show and apparently Netflix is in negotiations right now with CBS to bring back some new episodes. If you want to support the effort to bring this excellent show back on tv, follow Jericho Rising on Facebook. Thanks to everyone that voted and left comments in last week’s Apocalyptic Fiction Poll!
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:
Well it is clear that most of you feel The Road is the most realistic post-apocalyptic book from the list of choices. In many respects, I would agree with you all. The Road certainly presents one of the bleakest scenarios possible. It doesn’t go into a lot of detail about the initial disaster event but whatever occurred killed most of the plant life and led to the starvation of most of the survivors. The widespread cannibalism present in this book is most disturbing. The Road is frightening and will certainly leave a haunting impression in your mind. I hope for all of our sakes that an event such as the one that occurs in The Road never happens. A lifetime of prepping wouldn’t prepare us for a world so bleak. Thanks to all of you that participated and stay tuned for the next Apocalyptic Fiction Poll.