Tuesday, August 02, 2005

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Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you got those two crappy "comments", what the heck, how very very....

anywho, I myself do enjoy the appocolypse book & movie. I do realize I wouldn't make it, I don't have the might. For awhile, when younger, I wanted skills that would be needed for rebuilding society.

The book "Lucifer's Hammer" is about asteriod hits earth. One part said, when the Hammer hit, women's lib went out the window . Another part had people going to a refuge camp/fort...and they were asked what skills they had. And if they didn't, they were told to move along.


Pravritti said...

Another appeal of post apocalypse fiction is the escape with immediacy. The world is over and you are either trying to be one of the survivors. "Panic in Year Zero!" or "War of the Worlds" or "Day of the Triffids." These might be put in the same category as disaster stories. Everything going on your life gets reduced to immediate survival. The social consequences, What ideals can you take with you? That grows out of the survival part. When you flee your home from the volcano what do you take with you?


So it is a question of how big a scale is the end of the world, or just your part of it? The emotional appeal is the same.

"Farnham's Freehold" with the leap through time has the tension of, what makes us civilized? The question arises with survival, and the values (familial, social, political) emerge from the circumstances.

Survival as a measure of character, and ego appeal, with more drama through twists. Other elements are there, but the survival story is the root.

The slow collapse story is under done, such as society heading into and through civil war, maybe the real story "Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir," by Jean Said Makdisi. For this type of reduction, trying to keep one's perspective/awareness, inner identity and values in the face of reality and trauma, "Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi.

"Earth Abides" by George R. Stewart, takes away from the immediate and creates some distance. It has more a focus on the keeping grounded amidst possibilities. The grand ideals, wonderful plans, that aren't in the cards. The measure of how effective you can be, part of your place in the world. Part of getting old is what is left undone? "The Scarlet Plague" by Jack London seems not to far away, trying to get the kids to understand.

There is also the grander scope of a prolonged war, such as Well's "Things to Come" or slow collapse, Asimov's "Foundation" series, and "First and Last Men" by Olaf Stapledon. Here the appeal is the far future, and the themes from history brought out into fiction form. You get to participate even as spectator in the civilizations that rise and fall. Hence in Video Games, the immediate, "Shadow of Chernobyl" or the turn based "Civilization."

One to note here is the mood appeal in the "Carter of Mars" series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. These start with characters who have a sense of a transition from the destruction of the Native American world, the civil war, the end of the frontier, to something beyond as that becomes history, but it lives on...strangely a call for modern adventure, that there is still something unconquered, or to conquer!

There is also the emotional appeal of the dark, "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. To think the unthinkable and find an emotional appeal. Dark Horror! It ends badly even if postponed for awhile.

That might also bring into the fold "The Omega Man" with Charlton Heston as the sacrifice, the more mythical aspects of tragedy and its dramatic appeal.

There is also a few that create spaces to project into for other emotional themes, for instance "White Plague" by Frank Herbert reads differently if you know about his wife.