Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time Enough at Last - apocalyptic views

First, my good news! My tongue-in-cheek space opera, Awesome Lavratt, is now available for Kindle! You can read the first chapter on my website. Then, once you're hooked on the adventures of Horace Whistlestop and the evil Aranna Navna, you can scoot on over to Amazon and download it. I'm working on the another tale in that universe now which will reprise many of those characters. It's also available as an app for Android and iPhone/iPad.

I've been reading apocalyptical books one right after another. I picked up Soft Apocalypse from the Night Shades table at FOGcon -playing my reviewer card, of course. Jeremy Lassen, Editor in Chief, said he's the author to watch. He told no lies! You'll be seeing a review and possibly an interview with author Will McIntosh in May.

Penguin had sent me Daybreak Zero by John Barnes. I had just finished my just-for-fun historical fiction novel and it looked interesting. And why not stay with the whole apocalyptic theme? I was half-way through when I read on the one-sheet that the first Daybreak book (Daybreak Zero is the second) was just released in paperback. I asked for that, too, since I was reading Daybreak Zero. But alas, I'm reading them out of order because Daybreak Zero was so good I couldn't put it down to wait for and read Directive 51.

Soft Apocalypse gives the personal, close-up view of a deterioration of society from a convergence of many devastating events while Daybreak Zero looks at an apocalypse from a single, yet unknown, source from an ensemble cast that ranges across the former United States.

The historical fiction book, The Seekers by John Jakes, is set in the new US of the early 19th century. It made for some interesting parallels. I have no romantic notions about the past. Having our washer out of commission for a month (in spite of two previous visits by repairmen) was enough deprivation, thank you. I like my modern conveniences. No matter how tired or sick I am, I can still feed my machines and have clean dishes and clothes. A vacuum bot would be a nice addition. It's on my wish list. I put the rest of my wish list into a flash fiction piece that has all kinds of fun gadgets including a robotic lizard that eats the spiders and other bugs in the house.

But what would we do if we were suddenly without power for an extended period? Like at least a decade? We've become very dependent on those gadgets. Both of those books dealt with this issue along with that of survival. The most compelling thing about both was: How far will people go to save themselves and their loved ones in a world turned upside down?

And imagine your whole library is on your Kindle. It's the 21st Century version of Twilight Zone's Time Enough at Last with Burgess Meredith.

If your power was cut for a decade or so, what would you miss the most? What would you gain from going without for a while?

And more importantly, would you be an every man for himself coper or would you be organizing the neighborhood?


Ed (sloweddi) said...

This is why one has a bunker... I mean... gee, what an interesting question you have asked us non-bunker owning, heavily armed individuals :)

I think I would go along with the Eric Flint or John Ringo(I think, the brain is just too full) version... those that do the work get the food, then the support staff, then the old and children, and if there is any left over... the whiners.

If anyone knows this book please remind me so I do not spend hrs doing research.

Ed (sloweddi) said...

Thanks to Google and my brain being empty enough to function, the book is The Last Centurian by John Ringo. It talks about two natural world wide disasters and polititians that believe in junk science vs fact. A very good read