I read large quantities of fantasy because reading for myself is an escape. I want something dramatic to happen quickly, I want magic, “mythical” creatures and/or futuristic technology, and I want the bad guy to die violently (even if reincarnated for the next book) in the end. I’m a big fan of the Paranormal and Urban Fantasy sections of the bookstore.
Recently, I read a couple of post-apocalypses novels that resonated with me. Well, one post-apocalypse and one on-the-brink-of apocalypse.
Birthmarked, by Caragh O’Brien, takes place on the shores of Unlake Superior – it would require water to be Lake Superior. The “haves” are the descendants of a group of very smart people who created a thriving community after everything went to heck. The “have nots” descend from a group that came upon that community; rather than bringing that group in, the community members deemed them too stupid and only allowed them to live outside the wall and survive on the scraps. Problems arise when, after enough generations of not letting anyone new inside their wall, the “haves” develop a gene pool problem.
Next, we have All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders. This one culminates in San Francisco just as the environment stops giving warnings and really flips its lid. The science people are looking for an escape plan to preserve what’s great about Earth. The possible solution, however, is a tightly held secrete owned by a super-rich genius who may not be willing to share. On the other hand, a group of magic practitioners think the science geeks are creating a self-destruct device.
Why do I bring these two books together in my blog, you ask. Well, I can easily see how the situation in All the Birds in the Sky could lead to Birthmarked. The cause of flooding in San Francisco could certainly also result in the total loss of Lake Superior. Similarly, if the science geeks can’t get off the planet, they seem to have the mentality to create a safe bubble that would bar any other accidental survivors.
Additionally, while I wouldn’t dare to predict the results of Mother Nature truly flipping her lid, we are currently seeing the warning signs as well as the mentalities that could easily transform the post-apocalyptic fantasy genre into current events.
As a tangent, have you noticed that the apocalypse imagined by most authors seems to result from either a natural disaster that’s a result of humans being stupid or, just by humans being stupid? What’s worse, the tragedy of heroes of the post-apocalypse is overcoming the stupidity that caused the problem in the first place. Why don’t we learn?
Finally, this topic has been taking up space in my head and wanted writing before I tried to do something business oriented.
So, what are you reading?
– Lorrie Nicoles