No, this is not the prelude to a political rant about how the current administration is sending us on a collision course with disaster. But this is a blog about my beginnings with The End. As in The End of Times. As in the Apocalypse.
My fascination with the apocalypse could have begun as early as six years old when I read and reread the Chicken Little story.
“The sky is falling,” Chicken Little warned his friends Goosey Loosey and Ducky Lucky. I guess I’ve been waiting for the sky to fall ever since.
Apparently I’m not waiting alone. Sales of George Orwell’s novel, 1984 have drastically increased in recent months. From my early years of Chicken Little’s foreboding prophecy, I’ve been contemplating the world’s demise via one dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel after the next. Stories that explore our humanity, or lack thereof, in the midst of crisis, make me flip the pages as fast as my fingers can turn. From The Lord of the Flies to The Giver, to every single Planet of the Apes film ever made, imagining a future world overly reliant on technology, or a world absent of it, makes me ponder my own chances of survival. The possibility of electromagnetic pulse malfunction, drought, virus, plague, nuclear weapons, governmental manipulation, political upheaval, or natural disasters have led me to think more about boosting my skill set in gardening, stockpiling, medicinal plants, self-defense, game hunting and archery.
The flip side to writing for children, is the exploration of the darkest parts of ourselves. And how can we celebrate the best parts without understanding the worst? Somehow, the darkest dystopian novels make me feel safe. The world may be close to collapse, but I am still here, cooking, cleaning, parenting, writing.
I have reasoned that if I just read just one more book about how civilization can survive in the wake of a mysterious plague, I’ll at least have a store of knowledge, useful when the world comes crashing down around me.
Dozens of books later, I’m still reading and preparing and waiting. Lucky for me there are no shortage of new titles for me and my fellow fatalists emerging each month.
Then again, maybe this is a blog about how the current administration is sending us a collision course with disaster….
Below some of my favs to read before the end arrives:
Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
One Second After by William R. Forstchen
The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman
California by Edan Lepucki
Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
The Long Walk by Stephen King
Kindred by Octavia Butler
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
City of Savages by Lee Kelley
Underground Airlines by Ben Winter
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver
Station Eleven by John Mandel
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Life as we Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch