PDA

View Full Version : The World's Ending



beachbum21k
03-17-2014, 07:50 PM
I know it's all cyclical but it's beginning to be a little depressing how prevalent and popular apocalypse stories are becoming in popular culture.

I know that the stories are more focused on escapism and being that special lone survivor but it's still kind of a bummer that everybody wishes that everyone else would just go away.

Just a thought.

Anninyn
03-17-2014, 07:56 PM
As a person into the post-apocalypse genre and interested in that kind of narrative (seriously, I run a blog about it) I can say there's nothing about the romance of being the lone survivor or wishing everyone would just go away in mine.

(One of my most popular post was about how all the romantic lone survivors would probably die of blood poisoning).

However, apocalyptic narratives DO become very popular during recessions and at the ends od old centuries/beginnings of new. Something about a genuine 'start afresh' thing.

My interest (and my work on teh subject) is all about the human spirit, human ingenuity and the way it sometimes takes catastrophe to recognise what is best in ourselves. It's about people in an awful situation doing the best they can to build a safe world again. It's a simple 'what if', just more extreme than others.

beachbum21k
03-17-2014, 08:04 PM
Interesting. Thanks for the response!

asroc
03-17-2014, 08:20 PM
I think it's also a liberating setting. In a story set in present times you always have to deal with the rules and institutions that regulate it: parents, the police etc. Those can make many cool plot points unrealistic or impossible. But in a post-apocalyptic setting the rules of the real world don't apply anymore and you get to create your own.

Myrealana
03-17-2014, 08:27 PM
I'm working on a post-apocalyptic scenario for much the same reasons asroc stated.

I want the characters to be unrestrained by modern social mores, and things like mortgages, job interviews, and traffic laws. It's not becuase I really think the world is going to end in nuclear war, but because the setting turns the "important" human dilemmas up to 11, while leaving me free to ignore the boring parts of modern life.

RNJ
03-17-2014, 09:39 PM
There are so many variations on societies that form in post-apocalypse novels. It's interesting to see how different people interpret what those societies would be.

I also think a lot of people get tired of life the "way it is". Endless commercialism gets old fast. Seeing the cruelty and stupidity of a few people who make life frightening and uncertain make us want something different to happen; even if it destroys the life we are accustomed to.

We can fantasize how we would remake the world in our image. That's one of the main theme's PA novels, including mine. How do people deal with power when they actually do get it?

Lavern08
03-17-2014, 10:33 PM
Noah, starring Russell Crowe. ;)

beachbum21k
03-17-2014, 10:35 PM
Noah, starring Russell Crowe. ;)

Noah with explosions!

Vito
03-17-2014, 11:31 PM
I'm not sure if the world is heading for some kind of apocalyptic extravaganza, but something strange is definitely happening. I talked to my older sister (aka Chatterbox) and my younger brother (aka Motormouth) on the phone yesterday and actually managed to squeeze in a few words, edgewise.

So yeah, maybe it's all coming to an end -- fire and brimstone coming down from the sky, rivers and seas boiling, dogs and cats living together, etc.

beachbum21k
03-18-2014, 12:57 AM
This turned out to be somewhat enlightening for me. It seems like most people don't see it as such a terribly depressing setting. That's nice to know.

Honestly as I analyze some stories that I write I seem to focus on settings in which the end of the world is near but not yet unavoidable, or the world is on the verge of an unstoppable event that will change everything but not kill everyone.

Brightdreamer
03-18-2014, 01:07 AM
GOING TO THE DOGS

My granddad, viewing earth's worn cogs,
Said things were going to the dogs;
His granddad in his house of logs,
Said things were going to the dogs;
His granddad in the Flemish bogs.
Said things were going to the dogs;
His granddad in his old skin togs,
Said things were going to the dogs;
There's one thing that I have to state
The dogs have had a good long wait.

(Anon. - unable to find an original source, though I've seen it reprinted in a few places, including The Dog Lover's Literary Companion)

Ambrosia
03-18-2014, 01:25 AM
And, then again, it may actually be ending as we know it.


NASA-Funded Study Predicts Impending Collapse of Industrial Civilization (http://inhabitat.com/nasa-funded-study-predicts-impending-collapse-of-industrial-civilization/)

Nymtoc
03-18-2014, 01:46 AM
I think it's also a liberating setting. In a story set in present times you always have to deal with the rules and institutions that regulate it: parents, the police etc. Those can make many cool plot points unrealistic or impossible. But in a post-apocalyptic setting the rules of the real world don't apply anymore and you get to create your own.

I write in present times, and I actually enjoy dealing with "the rules and institutions that regulate it." Not necessarily parents (I don't write for children or YA), but the police (I do write mysteries). I like making my way through the tangles and traps of the present world. It's like solving a puzzle.

But that's just me. I recognize that post-apocalyptic stories are big these days, and people enjoy them, so who am I to spoil the party?

:partyguy:

Vito
03-18-2014, 01:57 AM
This turned out to be somewhat enlightening for me. It seems like most people don't see it as such a terribly depressing setting. That's nice to know.

Honestly as I analyze some stories that I write I seem to focus on settings in which the end of the world is near but not yet unavoidable, or the world is on the verge of an unstoppable event that will change everything but not kill everyone.

When it comes to the apocalypse, I confidently tell myself "No worries!" I can deal with the whole thing, except for the dogs-and-cats-living-together situation. That would be sort of trippy. :scared:

Gringa
03-18-2014, 02:06 AM
was thinking this the other day, called up a friend to discuss this trend....

asroc
03-18-2014, 02:22 AM
I write in present times, and I actually enjoy dealing with "the rules and institutions that regulate it." Not necessarily parents (I don't write for children or YA), but the police (I do write mysteries). I like making my way through the tangles and traps of the present world. It's like solving a puzzle.


Ditto. I write present-day mysteries, too. I just imagine that's why people like to write post-apocalyptic fiction.

Anninyn
03-18-2014, 03:29 AM
Ditto. I write present-day mysteries, too. I just imagine that's why people like to write post-apocalyptic fiction.

Ah, the current rules and regulations don't exist, but there are new ones, more dangerous ones that can really make a story go into interesting places.

For example, if you are in area a do not cross clan b, or BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. A newcomer might not know that, and you ahve at least an interesting subplot to play with.

How does a scavenger decide between risk and reward? The riskier places are less rooted through, but how far do you go before it isn't worth it? A saviour type with a desire to do good can sure find a lot of it to do, but there will be barriers like resources and corrupt petty tyrants to bypass. Maybe there's a person who ahs never left their walled and guarded secure enclosure and has grown up with a series of bizarre restrictions they believe keep them safe.

I just love applying my mind to how these things could develop and what effect they'd have. My stories tend to be set a long time after the apocalyptic event and concern people who are doing normal-to-them things and unexpectedly come across a big problem that wouldn't exist in our world.

(in my current WIP the apocalypse is never named, but it did Weird Things (tm) to the world and now it's all gone a bit magical realism)

jjdebenedictis
03-18-2014, 05:30 AM
Studies have shown that people who are not imaginative tend to experience more anxiety, because they can't imagine what they'd do if their worst fears came true.

So, in hand-waving conjecture, I submit that maybe that's why we evolved an imagination -- to help us deal with our fears and, maybe, survive a little better when the worst happens.

Given that making people worried is a great way to grab an audience, and the media uses this to full effect with doom and gloom stories, the prevalence of post-apocalyptic novels and movies may be because creative people everywhere are exposed to this doom and gloom in the media, and their creative little brains start mulling over the questions, "How would I survive that? What would I do?"

And the answers are, in some cases, involved and gripping enough to warrant being turned into a book or a movie. Just a thought. :)

Snitchcat
03-18-2014, 06:15 AM
I love writing post-apocalyptic stories, reading them, watching them. I find the concepts, the chance to explore, and so on, make PA fascinating, regardless of era.

Last film I watched on this was "After Earth" (Will Smith and Jaden Smith). I'm not sure about the characters, but my interest was in the vision of Earth after humans had left. "Water World" (Kevin Costner) wasn't a great film, but again, I was after the concept. Same with the disaster film "The Day After Tomorrow" (ignore the inaccurate science).

There was also a documentary. The title escapes me, but presented a view of the world if humans became extinct. (Either NatGeo or the BBC.)

A series of books I'm reading at the moment deals with a time travel agency, but one story focuses on post-apocalyptic situations. The series isTime Riders by Alex Scarrow.