Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Post-ap book group

You now have less than ten days to read John Wyndham's The Chrysalids before it's discussed at the next meeting of the Brooklyn post-apocalyptic book group. This will be on January 22 at Freebird Books & Goods in Red Hook. Typically for Red Hook, the convoluted directions from the subway stop include the likes of walking "until you can't go any further" to a venue located "across from the packing containers." This, of course, is perfectly appropriate to the subject at hand.

My fondness for post-apocalyptic fiction has long been in evidence on this blog, and I share it with my esteemed colleague Joshua Rothkopf. (We can often be seen huddled by a desk, discussing reissues of obscure novels and relevant new movies.) And so we were both psyched to hear about the book group. Clearly we are not the only ones who dream of the day after.

Also, to clarify: I am not particularly interested in End of Days scenarios—the religious element pretty much leaves me cold, as it does in real life. I'm also not that into the catastrophe itself, so I tend to pass on descriptions of meteors hitting Earth or plagues unleashing out of a lab.

That said, I'd definitely read a book about the last three days before nuclear armageddon, and I'd watch any movie involving Christina Hendricks in a lab coat saying, "We only have two minutes before the virus wipes out humanity." It hasn't been made? Well, what are you waiting for, Hollywood?

9 comments:

Bec said...

Hi Elisabeth - if you are also into post-apocalyptic TV, you might want to check out last year's BBC series 'Survivors', the remake of the classic 70 BBC series 'Survivors'. Some of it is laughable, some of it is awful but most of it is mildly panic inducing when you happen to be walking to work the next day and don't see any other signs of life for, ooh, 4 minutes. We did have a powercut before the holidays and it is testament to the series that I was quickly getting out the candles, huddling up in the 'warm room' of the house, counting the tins of food and picking which shops to loot.
Also, in post-ap stuff this side of the pond, there is a noticable 'class' element - society breaks down and the middle classes bond into mini-democracies, dividing up the wine & cheese while hiding in terror from the roaming working classes who, when offered a level playing field tend to go feral. It strikes me that the opposite is far more likely in real life. I am not sure if I will ever find out (and I can't make up my mind if I want to...!)

Elisabeth Vincentelli said...

I've heard about Survivors and am dying to see it. Alas, I don't think it's being shown in the US. I may be wrong. Any American reader out there who knows?

So, which shop would you loot first? And which side would you join? Law & order or the feral ones?

Bec said...

Hmm - I decided the camping store would be one of the first places to loot, after taking a truck in which to put all the stuff. I had an argument with a colleague who said he would go straight to the policestation to get guns, I pointed out he would be set upon by people already there. As for law and order or feral, I would have to set our on my own (with nearest and dearest, naturally) and we would find some wild wooded lakeside home (with good library) to become sniper-hermits. And the on lower floor of the home we would keep the cattle & sheep. However I know that at some point I will over-stretch myself, get a God complex, think I can fly a helicopter, and die in a terrible 'copter/livestock accident.

Elisabeth Vincentelli said...

Good point about the camping store. I'd do that too, along with a supermarket (obviously) for canned goods.
While I do like the idea of being a sniper-hermit, practically speaking I think it's better to join forces with others. It'd have to be a group small enough to be manageable, but big enough to fend off attacks from those coveting our goods and our women.

Torry said...

Of course the main reason the Survivors remake is worth watching is that it stars the lovely Zoe Tapper.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/survivors/characters-anya.shtml

Elisabeth Vincentelli said...

Must you taunt me?

Torry said...

She's like a cross between Gillian Anderson and Keeley Hawes.

Torry said...

And by the way, her character on the program is a lesbian (a rare thing on British screens these days).

Elisabeth Vincentelli said...

Stop right there!