Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Post-Apocalyptia

I've recently discovered that I'm a big fan of post-apocalyptic lit.

A couple weeks ago, our town (yes our entire town) lost internet access due to someone introducing their car to a pole on a major highway. Hi car. Hi pole. Nice to meet you. BAM no internet. No one was injured...hence the jocularity. People roamed the streets like wild dogs, tearing their clothes, foraging in trash bins for a wifi connection. People sat on curbs, stared at the clouds, mindless, listless...wondering what life would be like without the internet. As amusing as it may seem, it was a little jarring, coming to the realization the utter dependence we have on the world wide web.

Fast a little forward. Hurricane Irene. No power. Hauling water from the pool, from the stream, from whatever just to be able to flush the toilet. People wandering around in PJs, fighting over jugs of water in the store. Roasting park franks over a fire in the rain. Again, it was a little jarring.

These things made me realize again my appreciation for that genre of literature. I guess what I like so much about it is that it forces you to see your life in a new perspective. If you were one of the last left, cut off from civilization, how would you be resourceful with what's around you? I used to work as a cook at a conference center and whenever I'd walk past rows and rows of canned peaches, pudding and four bean salad and into a massive walk-in cooler, I couldn't help but wonder if the world caved in, and we were suddenly I-am-legended, how long could I last on all the food that was in those coolers/pantries/freezers. Would it be a well kept secret or would people from all over town discover it and run me out of there? Would I fight? Would I flee to save my life and live off of berries and tree bark?

Now, I'm a believer in Christ, and a believer in His word...and I trust Him to take care of me, even in the most frightful of circumstances, so I'm really not too concerned about prepping for a post-apocalyptic living arrangement. I just enjoy reading about it and thinking about it sometimes.

Some good post-apocalyptia:
By the Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benet
Zombicorns by John Green (this novella was never meant to be a legit, formal novella, per the author but was a prize for a fundraising event. Listen to John Green read the first bit here.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Reading this right now. And loving it.

I'm sure there are probably more that I've read and forgotten.If you can point me in the direction of any other exemplary pieces of post-apocalyptia, I'd gladly accept.

6 comments:

Eric said...

Liz, "One Second After" is a pretty good read. - Eric

Liz said...

Thanks! I'll have to check it out! Who is it by?

Tracy Clarke said...

I recently saw someone reading "World War Z" but haven't read it myself.

I've thought about this... in the event of apocalypse or natural disaster where I might be locked in somewhere, would I be prepared, and if everything was taken away, how useful it would be to memorized a lot of scripture! Brain memory would be the only accessible resource. That'll be the day!

Liz said...

Oo - that sounds pretty interesting!

You have a very good point. The Bible's one of those resources that we sadly take for advantage. But I like that you called it a resource. Because, how could you really live without it in the case of a Zombie-pocalypse, or any other type. It'd be interesting to see how much recall you really did have after a while.

D. said...

This post reminds me of my recent desire to read books that I know of but haven't actually read. This led me to the Guetenberg Project website and I was floored by the amount of disaster sci-fi that I know of but haven't actually read.

Liz said...

Yes, I'm sure my suggestions barely scratch the surface of all there is out there.. Which is another reason it's such a fun genre :) in on the last book of the Hunger Games right now though. If you haven't read those yet... Ya gotta!