Fallout 4 News, Rumors, New Images & Videos:
3D print your own working Pip-Boy: http://ytec3d.com/pip-boy-3000-mark-iv/
A completely 3D printable version of the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV from the upcoming game, Fallout 4. It is fully wearable, is capable of holding most smartphones and comes with an opening Tape mechanism.
Fallout 4 won’t launch with modding tools – Read more (VG247)
Fallout 4 will support mods on PC and Xbox One – but not at launch.
Fallout 4 will have more room for non-violent play styles – Read more (PC Gamer)
Todd Howard said Bethesda is working to make Fallout 4 “feel as good in your hands as the best first-person shooters.”
“You can avoid [killing] a lot,” he said. “I can’t tell you that you can play the whole game without violence—that’s not necessarily a goal of ours—but we want to support different play styles as much as we can.”
Fallout 4 Was “Basically Done” Before Bethesda Even Announced It – Read more (Gamespot)
“You’re not adding new features in May, June, July in the year you’re releasing; you’re trying to get everything fixed.”
(Gene Szafran’s atrocious cover for the 1974 edition)
“The men heard, and they rejoiced to find an enemy they could conquer at last. One night, as planned, they pulled all the women from sleep, herded them together, and harangued them, saying, remember, you caused the Wasting” (3).
Suzy McKee Charnas’ Walk to the End of the World (1974) is the first of four novels in her Holdfast Chronicles sequence (1974-1999) that charts the slow forces of change in a post-apocalyptical future where women (“fems”) are chattel. Kate Macdonald, in her wonderful review of Ammonite (1993) characterized Nicola Griffith’s novel as “instantly […] feminist: not stealth, or muted, or sub-conscious.” Walk to the End of the World falls squarely, and powerfully into this category. Told with intensity and vigor, Charnas brands the reader with her vision, a searing and festering landscape where white men have either exterminated the remaining “unmen” (the “Dirties”) or subjugated them (the “fems”) after a manmade cataclysm. Complex societal institutions maintain control in a mostly illiterate world via appeals to collective memory, intensive drug facilitated indoctrination, and the deconstruction of the family unit in favor of exclusively homosocial relationships.
Walk to the End of the World does not hold back its punches—this is a serious and disturbing novel. “Fems” are subjected to horrific violence as slaves to man and are forced to great extremes to survive.
Brief Plot Summary/Analysis
In the grand historical narrative espoused by the men who control the community of Holdfast, a past rebellion facilitated by “fems” and other unmen overthrew the Ancients, already weakened by the betrayal of their own sons. The survivors blamed the cataclysmic and vaguely understood Wasting that created an impoverished, polluted, and devastated world on the surviving “fems”. The community the emerges is highly regimented and authoritarian. They espouse a “heroic” and “pioneering” tradition—Holdfast is an “anchoring tendril” that holds back the forces of destruction (4). The position of men vs. women is reinforced by this narrative: men must hold back the destructive power of women embodied by the destroyed world and the wastelands that surround Holdfast.
Walk to the End of the World is comprised of five sections placed in chronological order. The first three are from the perspectives of the male characters—Captain Kelmz, Servan D Layo, Eykar Bek. The fourth, is from the perspective of the “fem” Alldera. The fifth and final section is a composite that shifts between the surviving characters and ends, again, with Alldera. The carefully planned structure is wedded to the narratological and ideological aims of the novel. None of the characters fit neatly into the post-Wasting world where rigid binaries—between man vs. woman, Senior vs. Junior, white vs. non-white, man vs. animal—dominate the society in which they restlessly inhabit.
The first character Captain Kelmz, blurs the position between Seniors and Juniors by retaining his position into old age over a band of Rovers, “the powerful defenders of the Seniors and their interests” (10). More dangerously, Kelmz sees other men in “beast shapes.” More than simply a flight of imagination, “to think of the beast was like willfully calling up the ghosts of dead enemies” (8). Man conquers beasts. Men are not beasts. Kelmz’s visions violate this central tenet profoundly troubling his sense of the world.
The second, d Layo the DarkDreamer, “has no company, no order, and no legitimate use to his fellows” (7). He also encourages and facilitates drug induced dreams outside of those taught in the Boyhouse (where all boys are taught to develop their manly souls and survive in the regimented world). Rather than “dreams of victorious battles against monsters” (45), the dreamer is free to dream what his soul desires. Under d Layo’s guidance, Kelmz dreams that he is emasculated and is but a pathetic perversion of other men (46).
The third, Eykar Bek is the Endtendant at Endpath. At Endpath Seniors—and Juniors manipulated by Seniors—end their lives when their “souls [are] ripe for departure” (17). To dream a drug induced dream was to “assure the life of one’s name among younger generations” (17). However, Eykar Bek has other interests—he seeks to uncover the reason why he knows his fathers name. In Holdfast, the “mass-divison of Seniors and Juniors” is more important than blood-ties. All men are brothers, some older, some younger…. In the grand narrative, the Ancients were overthrown by their sons: In a perversion of the Biblical story, “even God’s own Son, in the old story, had earned punishment from his Father” (22). Eykar and d Layo were friends at the Boyhouse. d Layo was thrown out into the Wild while Eykar was condemned to serve at Endpath after the scandal caused by his father. The quest for Eykar’s father forms the thrust of the narrative.
The final character Alldera, although perceived because of her gender by the male characters as a beast suitable for bearing sons and working the fields (56), is highly intelligent and an important cog in the communication networks between groups of desperate women. She leaves her world where woman are forced to be self-sustaining after drastic reductions of food after previous famines blamed on the fems. In an era of incredible deprivation, “fems” build up their numbers due to ingenious methods of preserving their own milk and consuming their own dead (59). The men who see the process declare that “it was too beautiful, too efficient to be a product of the fems’ own thinking” (65). Alldera has ulterior motives for joining the three male main characters in their trek to discover Eykar’s father.
Despite the lack of popular awareness of the novel in comparison to later feminist masterpieces such as Russ’ The Female Man (1975*) and Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1984), analysis of Walk to the End of the World does appear in some scholarly circles—for example, Bill Clemente’s article, “Apprehending Identity in the Alldera Novels of Suzy McKee Charnas” in The Utopian Fantastic ed. Martha Bartter (2004).
Feminist importance aside, I will focus on a handful of ideas that really resonated with me and elevate Charnas’ novel to its great heights: the role of songs + chants reinforcing/challenging collective memory and the focus on the ideological underpinnings of the society.
Charnas explores a variety of ways of reinforcing the master values in a mostly illiterate society. One of more prevalent is the notion of a collective memory (at least propagated by men) that reinforces a grand narrative of the past and thus the position of the present in relation to the past. For example, in the Boyhouse the boys recite the three categories of people (“unmen”) defeated in the post-Wasting world by white man: the “Dirties” i.e. “Gooks, Dagos, Chinks” etc., the “Freaks,” which includes “Faggas, Hibbies, Famlies, Kids; Junkies, Skinheads, Collegeists: Ef-eet Iron-mentalists” and finally “fems” known by “beasts’ names,” “Bird, Cat, Chick, Sow; Filly, Tigress, Bitch, Cow […]” The chant ends with a warning about the dreadful weapons of the unmen, “Cancer, raybees, deedeetee” (112). Man in the present holds back these forces of destruction.
Each social group has their own chants that play into this narrative. Captain Kelmz in order to fight off his visions silently recites the “Chant Protective” that starts with “a reckoning of the size and reach of the Holdfast and of all the fellowship of men living in it” in order to “remind a man of his brothers and of what they expected from him” (8). The ferrymen keep a “Chants Celebratory” which includes the names of the men who dare enter the empty lands to obtain wood for the ferries, “part of a fabric of custom intended to hold ferrycrews together in manly order” (33).
The songs of women fall into different patterns although they serve similar functions in creating collective cohesion. For the women who still have tongues— “muteness in fems was a fashion in demand among masters” (141)—songs, spoken in obfuscated “fem speak,” serve to transmit news. Work songs are more than entertainment, they tell of the hell wrought by the “wonderful knowledge” of men (158). They posit historical narratives counter to those of men: “Those of the unmen who realized what was happening and rose up to fight, the Ancient men slaughtered” (159). Other work songs directly mock the songs of men and the heroic founding of Holdfast, “Heroes […] The unmen are not gone; you are more predictable than the thoughtless beasts, though not as beautiful” (159). Although the chattel of man, songs sung working for their masters are a powerful medium for rebellion.
Charnas also weaves ancient theories of generation and matter into the ideological underpinnings of her society. This creates an unnerving familiarity of thought between ancient Western Thought and this dystopic future. The male soul is a “fragment of eternal energy” that is fixed inside a woman’s body by “the act of intercourse.” As the soul is alien to the woman, her body surrounds it with a physical form in order for the soul to be expelled. Thus, “a man’s life” is a struggle between the “flesh-caged soul” not to be seduced by the concerns of the fem generated “brute-body” (103). Historical narrative combines with pseudo-scientific theories of matter to generate the iron-clad boundaries, enforced by the victors, between genders.
I recommend Walk to the End of the World to all fans of feminist fiction. I fervently hope a more mainstream SF audience will be open to Charnas’ brilliantly conceived world filled with interesting characters, biting prose, and disturbing social systems with twisted philosophical underpinnings. But after reading online reviews and engaging in debates with readers over the years, I cannot help reiterate that a double standard exists when readers approach feminist SF from this era—most readers seem to be fine with other polemical male 60s/70s science fiction authors from across the political spectrum (Robert A. Heinlein, Norman Spinrad, R. A. Lafferty, John Brunner, etc). However, when a woman author takes a dystopic future scenario and weaves a poignant and harrowing experience with a powerful feminist message suddenly it is best avoided. Alas.
Walk to the End of the World is firmly among my top ten 70s SF novels.*
*note: Russ wrote The Female Man earlier but was unable to find a publisher.
*David Pingle placed it in his top 100 SF novels written between 1949 and 1984 [list].
For more book reviews consult the INDEX
(Uncredited atrocious cover for the 1981 edition)
(John Sullivan’s cover for the 1999 edition)
If you’ve read William R. Forstchen’s One Second After, you know that the very real city of Black Mountain, NC is an integral part of the plot. It is difficult not to imagine walking down the historic district of Black Mountain with it’s eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, visualize the grand architecture of Montreat College or think about how beautiful Asheville was before Forstchen’s characters lives were changed for ever.
Don’t you want to go and see Black Mountain for yourself?
Now you can, and just in time to get a copy of Forstchen’s long awaited sequel to One Second After. One Year After returns to the small town of Black Mountain, where in an act of terrorism an EMP was detonated over the United States of America. The follow up features John Matherson – the man who struggled so hard to rebuild his adopted home of Black Mountain in the wake of devastation.
This apocalyptic thriller has inspired us to create a Bookish Travel event that explores the cities of Black Mountain and Asheville while reading and discussing the story. Highlights of the trip include food, wine and historical-themed tours.
Get ready for a lot of food, wine art and history in this quaint mountainous region of North Carolina. A Year Later In Black Mountain + Asheville is scheduled for Sept. 16 – 20, 2015.
In Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel dives into post-apocalyptic fiction sans the zombies. It’s a novel choice that not many writers actually make: usually there’s always some terrible creature stalking the husk of civilization in the aftermath of a fill in the blank cataclysmic event. Instead Mandel just leaves normal people to wander, perform Shakespeare and concerts as they go, and learn to survive. Her intentions are good: to create a story that stresses the importance of art in a barren world, and to viscerally show you what the apocalypse really is through all the mundane activities and efforts now necessary after the loss of technology. Oddly, this intention proves to provide some of the novels better representations of survival, but also is its greatest weakness. Despite this post-apocalyptic element being such a highly advertised aspect of the novel, most of it is really taken up by descriptions of people before the fall or leading up to the moment of. The reader quickly begins to realize that this is the novels most engaging area, offering a myriad of characters with varied and quietly extrapolated dreams and desires that the characters that live on after the onslaught of the “Georgia Flu” simply do not possess. And maybe that’s the point. Unfortunately, occasional bouts of lucid character progression and accurate portrayals of the world crumbling apart aren’t quite enough to entirely excuse a narrative that is unavoidably dull.
It’s the prose that is largely to blame. Mandel seems determined to tell her tale in the most atypical way possible, trying hard to avoid adding any zest that could be sprinkled throughout her sentences. No matter what time period the reader is currently experiencing the tone remains completely level, perhaps to incur some kind of feeling of inevitability or inertness. This is fine, but the bare bones description and articulation of feelings borders on the unnecessarily repetitive at times. One wonders why the author insists on saying things like “Robert, his boyfriend” every time “Robert” is mentioned, or why a sentence must be laden with the wording of “Tyler’s Nintendo console” whenever the thing is brought up. There’s no liberty taken here, no freedom acted upon, a thing is simply the thing that it is and cannot be described in any poetic, subtle, or varied way. Mandel might indeed achieve the feeling she’s looking for, but how she gets there is an unfortunate literary choice.
The characters also lie within this unvaried tone, but some of them manage to be somewhat eye-catching as they meander through their palatable idiosyncrasies. There’s Miranda, who marries into a celebrity life she can’t hack but really just wants to continue on in her pleasantly easy office job where she can work at her graphic novel project; Jeevan, a former paparazzi that decides he wants to be an EMT just as everything goes to hell, thus being left to ride it out with his brother while locked in an apartment for weeks; and of course Arthur, the slightly pompous, romantic, and regretful former film star that dies on stage during a performance of King Lear and who all of the novels events seem to swirl around. There are others, but these characters offer the most potent dose of enjoyable character development as well as exposure to the literary themes that Mandel is doling out. Miranda has a private and personal appreciation for art, Arthur likes being publicly appreciated for doing art. Jeevan is welcome simply for his strange out of place-ness, seeming to just be caught up in events that stem beyond his pervasive average Joe nature but never fully conquer it. They bring light to the book, and gladly make it so that there are some humans worth caring for in a novel about the preservation of art, neatly dodging that looming hypocrisy that the writing style might suggest.
Though Station Eleven is advertized as a post-apocalyptic tale of traveling actors and musicians keeping art alive in a dead world, this really turns out to be nothing more than an elaborate device. The real performance lies before the world ends, in the lives of several ordinary people, and one extraordinary one. Though their actions and daily goings are described with little enthusiasm, they struggle to pursue their truest passions in a world awash with emotionally dampening technology and so very many other people. And yet, it’s this fight to find themselves in the midst of a tumultuous sea of sameness and false images that makes them feel alive to the reader, while those fighting and killing for survival in the apocalyptic world seem bland and token, like the stereotypical Christian fundamentalist antagonist. By the end of the novel the hope on the horizon seems to be the prospect that technology will return, offering up the question of what art would become without the glittering lights and stardom. A question among others that is perhaps not inadequately, maybe even clearly, presented, but in the mundane method of its asking is lacklustre and dulled, and no realization of intention can sharpen that dearth of thematic impact.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “Battlefield Earth? Isn’t that that movie that always tops the lists for the worst movies of all time?” Yes. Yes it is. It also happens to be a novel, which comes recommended by quite a few people including Neil Gaiman. Was it weird? Yes. Beyond a doubt one of the odder novels I’ve ever read, in a number of categories. But it was also strangely entertaining. For the record, I received a free copy for review purposes from Galaxy Press.
In the 1980s, Earth was invaded by the Psychlo Empire. Humanity was mostly exterminated, the few survivors retreating to the hills and other inaccessible locations. So long as they didn’t make trouble for the Psychlo’s mining operations they were mostly ignored aside from the occasional sport-hunting expedition, and over the next millennium human society slowly devolved back to the primitive. Now, as the year 3000 dawns, events are set in motion that will forever destroy this status quo. Terl, the greedy head of security for the Earth-based mining corporation, has hatched a scheme to make himself one of the wealthiest monsters on Psychlo when he makes it back home. This scheme, however, hinges on the obedience of captured human Jonnie Goodboy Tyler. But Tyler has his own plans, and they mostly involve kicking the Pschlos off his planet and making sure they never return….
On the one hand, Hubbard’s pulp pedigree is on full display here, offering a massive yet delightfully-readable adventure. On the other hand, this gets weird fast. The book clocks in at over a thousand pages, but it takes just over four hundred to reclaim the Earth. Then comes the hard part: preparing for the inevitable counterstrike from Psychlo. Hold onto your seat for a thrilling journey featuring such topics as diplomacy, vengeance, political scheming, and intergalactic finance! What, that doesn’t sound all that entertaining? You’d be surprised, actually. A lot of the time you just have to focus on the subplot at hand, shutting off that voice in the back of your head that is persistently asking what the heck this has to do with anything–it all makes sense by the end, I promise. Despite its reputation, the book didn’t involve nearly as much Scientology craziness as I’d expected–if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you might miss it entirely. On the other hand, referring to the field of Psychology as “an ancient cult” is about as subtle as a brick in the face. The characters are all pretty two-dimensional, but that’s honestly to be expected. This is a return to the pulps, after all, albeit on a grander scale. The names are ridiculous, but I think that was intentional. The science is surprisingly sound, from what I can gather. In short, this is a ridiculously amusing ride…if you can lift it.
CONTENT: Mild profanity. Mild sexual innuendo. Some violence, including the gruesome aftermath of a torture session.
[The Enzian did not pay me to write this entry, I just love going there and have for years, and wanted to spread the word!]
The Enzian’s been around since 1985. I saw my first film there in 1997, Ma Vie En Rose, so right away you can see it has quite a variety. It’s the kind of place for people who just flat out love movies and good stories, like the Alamo Drafthouse. During the Florida FiIm Festival (yes, Florida has a film festival and it’s not just police dash cam vids of drunk people falling down or setting things on fire) the Enzian becomes a nerve center of activities: they show a lot of films there, and they have discussions with filmmakers and actors. Gabriel Byrne and Helen Mirren have attended, and I believe my former Creative Writing teacher Pat Rushin did an appearance as well.
The Enzian has a sweet bar outside with all kinds of drinks from domestic beers to cocktails containing absinthe, flavored whiskey, and moonshine. Inside, they offer a full menu of oodles of goodies, like sandwiches, tomato cream soup, and/or truffle parmesan fries. They also do free movies on the lawn sometimes, or other film events around town, like Movies in the park or special matinee showings for children. The theater is shaded by gigantic live oaks and other Florida plants and has a fountain, so it’s a nice place to unwind.
Films I’ve seen at the Enzian:
And so many more! I can’t list them all!
As mentioned above, the Enzian does horror movies during the month of October – I’m already planning to see Shaun of the Dead and probably Beetlejuice, too.
I met up with a bunch of friends who are movie nerds like myself and we had a damn good time. I thought I saw Road Warrior like 20 years ago but apparently I was thinking of the first Mad Max, when he’s a cop. Ah well!
In lieu of a real review, here are my thoughts:
SO! If you find yourself in Orlando you might consider taking a day off from a theme park and hitting the Enzian for some REAL Central Florida flavor. I like roller coasters as much as the next person, but if you need a break from the sweaty throngs then head to the Enzian for air conditioning and delicious food.
[EDIT: It only hit me this morning, the delicious irony of going to a high art movie theater to watch nitro-cannibals ride around on flaming motorcycles in assless chaps. But whatev- they wouldn’t show it if they didn’t love movies!]
Men are from Mars & Women from Venus?
I was reading a NY Times article the other day called It’s the End of the World as She Knows it, and it got me thinking about how popular the apocalyptic/dystopian genre is right now. I wonder what our obsession is with the “end times.” Is it because we all know great civilizations eventually fall, and we cannot help wondering what life would be like after ours does?
The author talks about how she thinks female writers and male writers imagine the post-apocalyptic world to be very different. Men usually focus on the physical dangers like violence, rape, and cannibalism. Meanwhile, the ladies tend to focus on the psychological and social aspects like fear, survival, love, isolation, and despair. This basically speaks to the old stereotype suggesting that men are generally physical/external in nature, while women are generally emotional/internal (I don’t think that’s always true). If that’s true, then what is it about guys that makes them want to explore all of the blood, gore, and violence society could be capable of at the fall of our civilization? And what makes ladies more interested in how the individual human psyche would handle such a fall?
I don’t necessarily agree it’s a men-vs-women thing, at least in the YA books I’ve been reading. For example, Kresley Cole’s Poison Princess shows a very physical side to post-apocalyptic life where physical threats are very important to the story, while Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky deals heavily with the internal and social aspects.
What do you guys think? Do women and men handle this genre differently? Which approach do you like more?
So let’s talk about our favorite way the world ends, and why we like it, shall we?
Ok, I’ve been on kind of a Zombie kick lately. I haven’t even seen The Walking Dead yet but am still enjoying the rise in popularity of zombies. What is it about zombies that is so thrilling and enjoyable, yet creepy and disgusting at the same time? It’s probably because, at least subconsciously, we realize how truly horrific it would be to be a walking corpse whose hunger for human organs knows no bounds…..
Of course there are a billion and two other end of the world books, movies, TV shows, games, etc out there I’ve never heard of. So what is your favorite type of Apocalypse story?
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper
– T.S. Elliot
Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition includes highly anticipated game plus:
Pip-Boy Replica, Stand and Capsule Case. This wearable device faithfully replicates the in-game model and comes complete with RobCo Industries stand, custom-printed capsule, adjustable foam cuff, rotating knobs and lights. Designed to accommodate a variety of smartphone devices* with customizable foam inserts, the Pip-Boy is the ultimate accessory for the official Pip-Boy companion mobile app that allows players to manage their in-game inventory, perks, holotapes, and more.
Physical Pip-Boy Pocket Guide. Featuring handy illustrations and chock full of Vault-Tec® approved tips, this manual is the ultimate how-to pocket guide for using and maintaining your new Pip-Boy.
Physical Vault-Tec® Perk Poster. Keep track of your perks with your very own physical Vault-Tec perk poster, fully colorized retro fun for the quintessential Wasteland survivor.
Power Armor Collectible Metal Packaging. Exclusive to the Pip-Boy Edition, this decorated metal case is the ultimate fan collectible.
Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, welcome you to the world of Fallout 4 – their most ambitious game ever, and the next generation of open-world gaming.
As the sole survivor of Vault 111, you enter a world destroyed by nuclear war. Every second is a fight for survival, and every choice is yours. Only you can rebuild and determine the fate of the Wasteland. Welcome home.
FALLOUT 4 KEY FEATURES:
Freedom and Liberty!
Do whatever you want in a massive open world with hundreds of locations, characters, and quests. Join multiple factions vying for power or go it alone, the choices are all yours.
Be whoever you want with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character system. From a Power Armored soldier to the charismatic smooth talker, you can choose from hundreds of Perks and develop your own playstyle.
Super Deluxe Pixels!
An all-new next generation graphics and lighting engine brings to life the world of Fallout like never before. From the blasted forests of the Commonwealth to the ruins of Boston, every location is packed with dynamic detail.
Violence and V.A.T.S.!
Intense first or third person combat can also be slowed down with the new dynamic Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S) that lets you choose your attacks and enjoy cinematic carnage.
Collect and Build!
Collect, upgrade, and build thousands of items in the most advanced crafting system ever. Weapons, armor, chemicals, and food are just the beginning – you can even build and manage entire settlements.
FALLOUT 4 RELEASE DATE
Fallout 4, the fifth major installment in the Fallout series, will be released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 10, 2015.
Painting ai did for The Last Of Us, one of most rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on
The decision to become a stay-at-home dad was not an easy one. This was back before the apocalypse and before Lizzie. I was a regulation wage slave at the time and had reached something of a ceiling in my career, a career that I garnered as much satisfaction from as a compulsive nose-picker garners diamonds. Tara, conversely, was flying, but family is everything to Tara, so it was no small thing when she made the offer for me to stay at home and try to make a go of my writing.
I was determined to pull my weight. I would do the school run, take Samantha to her activities, cook the routine meals, take care of the yard work and clean the house. Tara would have done the same if the positions were reversed. We feel that it is important to show our daughters that traditional gender roles are irrelevant, and I’ve never been struck by the hysterical fucktardedness many men seem to suffer from at the mention of housework. Sure, it sucks, but it needs doing so you do it.
That being said, Tara and I do have slightly different standards when it comes to keeping house. Tara whirls through the house like a paradoxically tidy dervish. She’s the anti-Lizzie. I’m a little less methodical, a little less precise in my domestic purge. We made the decision when we began that I would endeavour to lift my standards, and Tara would endeavour to relax hers. Lizzie came along after the agreement was made, and was therefore not a party to it. She resolved to remain neutral and aloof, much life Germany in the Second World War.
I think in that analogy I get to be France. The house gets routinely destroyed and I get my teeth kicked in now and then to remind me of my place. I put up the odd show of resistance, but there is little to be done before the might of our little Aryan wunderkind.
Wow. Nice job comparing my own child to the Third Reich. Father of the year yet again.
Anyway, I still clean the house every week, and five minutes after I’m done Lizzie swoops through and levels the joint. It’s probably for the best that Tara isn’t the one at home. I suspect if she and Lizzie ever met up in the middle of their respective maelstroms they’d collapse into a singularity and take the rest of the universe with them.
Despite being a figment of your imagination which you so lovingly put to paper, your characters and your story are missing something entirely simple–and not all that easy to write.
Recently in my writing (which, now that we mention it, has become a fully fledged habit over the time in which I haven’t updated this blog, but more on that later) I have noticed something that I seem to have forgotten over the small period of time that my characters have been trying to survive. What is this tiny little moment-out-of-your-day secret that has somehow eluded both me and many other writers for decades and centuries?
The very basics of survival, the stuff that makes all of us human. That’s right, dearest writer, the icky stuff no one likes to mention. The very stuff that I hate writing. That stuff. The stuffy stuff. “Oh, but sequelfire, what stuff do you mean?” I hear you back there, writer, so I’ve compiled a list.
Here’s a list of the most non-action-packed things your character should probably do once in a while:
1. I Gotta Pee!
Your characters are only human, and unless they have a diet of just water and wear a bag strapped to their leg, they’re going to need to do this. Even then, that bag would have to be emptied or changed from time to time. Unless it’s attached to something that can convert it into something drinkable (gross, but sci-fi writers might get a kick out of it).
And hey, maybe that little trip could turn up some conflict. Take it from J.K. Rowling’s Hermione.
2. I Could Definitely Eat Two Large Pizzas All To Myself Right Now
When was the last time your character ate something? A little snack here, a full course meal there, a drink of water maybe? Are they okay? They’re looking a little thin. Oh–oh no. They’ve fainted.
You might be writing about a rebellion in a rather dystopian society. How far can your band of rebels get without that supply of food they could have intercepted on its delivery route? Maybe a few days, but there are always alternatives. They could go cannibalistic. Again, a need to eat can spark a whole lot of conflict. The hunt for food doesn’t have to be boring. Want to know what a revolution is like when there’s a lack of food? The French Revolution might have some answers for you. Or any sort of historic famine or siege.
3. It’s Been Four Weeks. I Need A Bath. A Long One.
Sticking to the idea of the post-apocalyptic style story, your characters probably don’t have access to showers and soap and all that good stuff that we take for granted. They stink, their hair must be a matted and greasy mess, their breath most likely isn’t the greatest, their teeth may not be perfect, et cetera, et cetera. What can you do about this?
There are several ways to keep clean when out in the wild, as this post on hygienic camping will tell you: 5 Tips For Hygienic Camping
4. Hey, Writer? I’m Female. Female? Yeah. I Have A Menstrual Cycle.
Your women characters might actually be thanking you for this one. I know I would, anyway, but that’s besides the point. Every once in a while, thanks to the marvelous works of mother nature (may she grace us with even more beauteous creations such as the wonder of the monthly-murder-pain-death-monster) your female characters are going to need a few extra trips to the bathroom.
Need some help figuring out how to deal with this amazingly amazing gift from the gods of human evolution in whatever time period your story takes place? You can get a general idea here: Menstrual Cycles Through The Ages: A Brief History Of Your Period.
These are just some of the basics. Think something needs to be added to the list? Add your comment below for suggestions on how to improve this post!
The Malaysian Insider
Morgan Freeman confirmed to lead post-apocalyptic action film
The Malaysian Insider
Focus Feature's Down To a Sunless Sea will feature Morgan Freeman in a post apocalyptic world about a planeload of people flying above the world as the planet is engulfed in a nuclear war. – Reuters pic, July 29, 2015.Morgan Freeman has been tapped to ...
and more »
Humans just love a post-apocalyptic story, maybe because we’re ceaselessly obsessed with our own mortality. There’s no other explanation for the success of things like Planet of the Apes, 28 Days Later, or that Beyoncé video. (Just kidding — all of those things are very good.)
To cater to our widespread preoccupation with death and destruction, Medium is collecting a series of really great stories on what our climate-screwed future looks like — named, appropriately, Climate Futures. And what does that future look like?
Well, there’s this to start, from Margaret Atwood:
The first result would be the disappearance of the word “we”: except in areas with exceptional organization and leadership, the word “I” would replace it, as the war of all against all sets in. There would be a run on the supermarkets, followed immediately by food riots and looting. There would also be a run on the banks — people would want their money out for black market purchasing, although all currencies would quickly lose value, replaced by bartering. In any case the banks would close: their electronic systems would shut down, and they’d run out of cash.
From Choire Sicha:
I realize paper isn’t going to be at the top of your priorities but when these pages run out it would be a real shame to transition in one generation from a society that recorded every fucking tweet to a society that had literally no history and no way to communicate. Paper is just… mashed up wet fibers? Don’t even think about growing papyrus, it’s actually a really fussy plant. Once again however the Wikihow on how to make paper… is about making paper from other paper, which really doesn’t help much? I found this weird recycling indoctrination thing for kids too, which is about as helpful as praying for aliens to come help.
Oh yeah, don’t bother recycling anymore. That garbage barge has sailed.
And from one particular author, this subtle reminder:
I have no advice for you since I cannot see that far ahead into the future, but I do know this: you and your fellow Earthlings will die soon via unspeakable, indescribable, untimely deaths — billions of you in a series of massive human die offs! — die to AGW impact events beyond your control. They will not be easy deaths, they will not be comfortable deaths, they will not be acceptable deaths. God bless you, although I am not sure any of you believe in God anymore there.
Sadly, inexorably, we have left you and those survivors with you in 2499 with no future and no escape hatch, and you are all going to die, all of you, en masse, soon.
But don’t take it from us — go read them where they live, while they’re still fiction! Ha ha ha ha …
Are you going to be at GenCon this weekend? If you are come find me (Apocalypse Nerd) at booth #709 and tell me “You shall ride eternal. Shiny, and chrome!” I’ll reward you with a PGAGZ bottle cap! I only have a very small amount of these so act fast!
It’s the summer of resurgent dystopia – so how could Jokerside ignore the 20th anniversary of Waterworld. Blockbuster folly, by the numbers, laugh-out loud… It’s the masthead film that has everything.
AHOY! YES, THIS POST COMES TO PRAISE KEVIN COSTNER’S SLIPPERY ANTIHERO NOT TO RECYCLE HIM TO DIRT!
What better time to have a big birthday than during this glorious resurgence of Hollywood dystopia. The Apes may be having a year off, but they’ve led a charge that’s dodged the turgid eco-sci-fi of Oblivion and Elysium to lead Mad Max and Terminator back to the multiplexes. In case you’re wondering, one of those last two was a classic.
Many films have been hit by the curse of water, but of the two most notable examples James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) rose to unprecedented success and… Kevin Reynold’s Waterworld (1995) will never lose its disaster tag. For all the wrong reasons. Of course now we all know that it wasn’t the “Kevin’s Gate” critics were quick to label it – that “Kevin” being interchangeable between Reynold and star/producer of the moment Kevin Costner. It made some money, it really did. But somehow, that was even worse, forever banning it from pity lists, a true cult following and even sneaking into snobbish, art-house speakeasies of dumbing down.
It’s a film everyone loves to hate, and that’s precisely why those immensely watchable two hours are bloody great.
How could they follow that myth-compounded action spectacular?
The two Kevs had recently emerged from the forest of ebullience surrounding Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Yes, a great film: It even had Brian Blessed in it. How could they follow that myth-compounded action spectacular with its huge sets, rather uncharismatic gruff leading man, stellar comic violence, dash of supernatural, mind-wrenching end credit song and iconic villain? Waterworld of course! It had all the above. Just without the song.
Although James Newton Howard did provide a suitably pelting percussive score. That’s one of the first things you notice, about the same time as the vast swath of ocean and just after the rather droll use of the globe in the Universal Studios logo to show the ice caps melting. And what better person to tell us it’s a whole new world than Mr Voiceover himself, the legendary Hal Douglas earning one of his easiest cheques. We’d soon find out that main antihero the Mariner wouldn’t stoop to provide a voiceover himself as we zoomed in on his rusty but fitted-out trimaran and Costner’s backside.
“Well do something, I hate sails”
What a wonderfully awkward bastard he is. Sulky, stroppy – cool as a fish. There’s even the prolonged part at the end of the second act, his trimaran’s burnt to a crisp about to be rescued by Gregor’s balloon – when he just looks like he just doesn’t want to be there. Brilliant. But first it’s important to address the huge elephant in the room, the one called Max. Yes, this film is, for the most part set on water, but it’s remarkably similar to 1981’s Mad Max 2. Well, why not borrow from the best – the smokers look familiar, their tugs have car chassis, their leader couldn’t perish in a more Mad Max way and water – pure hydro – may as well be oil. But when it comes to the main man, this gruff mariner is a different kettle of fish. He was born into this world as everyone was, and the only thing driving him not remotely mad is that he’s the only one who knows what came before. As he puts it: “The world wasn’t created in a deluge, it was covered by it”.
“Well I’ll be damned, it’s the gentleman guppy”
His lack of libido is down to mutation, or as the comics might have had it an attempt at genetic manipulation, gifting him working gills and webbed toes. He’s not stylish, doesn’t carry off the shades or leather and he talks way more than Max. He even talks to kids. He might be drifting around endlessly on a rather souped-up vehicle, but he’s not gutted of all emotion as the film’s middle act shows – he’s just dangerously pragmatic. And really, there’s something rather affecting about a guy who’s happy to sit there with nothing to trade when you know full well he can trundle down to the seabed streets and pillage some loot.
“Nothing’s free in Waterworld”
Ah yes, as one effecting sequence shows the old cities of earth have been submerged for 500 years. The effects here are as great there as they are throughout, with CGI as typically unobtrusive as it was in the mid-1990s. In the damp devastated streets there’s a submarine just lying there – presumably it drifted across rather than its crew being taken by surprise. Up above there may be atolls for refineries and barter outposts for the Bartertown of Mad Max, but between them there’s are drifter rules. The language of the blue is Portu-Greek, all very maritime, and there’s a strict code of trade. True, even with a code in place most exchanges go down the Mad Max pan, but a major hint there is: Never take a man’s fruit. Narratively, it’s the perils of being one of those drifters and one gruesome encounter in particular that causes the Mariner’s heart to go a little mushy.
“Don’t just stand there, kill something!”
It’s the concept of oil that takes us aboard the floating bastion Exxon Valdez, the base of villain… The Deacon. Yes, it really is that ship – why not? Despite being beached for dismantling in 2012, the ice caps melted a little before that… The Saint of Valdez captain Joe Hazelwood wryly sits above Deacon, a self-professed charlatan messiah in a crude distortion of Catholicism.
In the huge tank of the ship is a dwindling oil reserve manned by a lone, vitamin D deficient boatman that any other film would gut for his inner-Beckett. He’s destined for a gripping ending, a whimper of surely Smoker-blasphemous “Oh thank God” as he sees a flare drop to the tank – but it’s his earlier comedy highlight that brings the best out of Deacon. Ah yes, Dennis Hopper on full eye-popping, side of ham form. Just brilliant. True, he’d been Frank Booth for Lynch by then, he’d been Bowser (King Koopa) and in one year’s time he’d make a hell of a dent in the Speed-ometer. But this is the real villainous deal. There’s hardly any scenery to chew, but he manages it. He’s a wonderful monster –like a walking prosthetic, even before he gets the empty eye-socket he’s intent on showing off at every opportunity. His rhetoric is brilliant. Almost every utterance is a one-liner – which he lets his Kansas via California accent roll around. Hell, if one accent could survive the 500 years since the deluge, let it be that one.
From broad comedy to threatening, well, comedy – he’s forever watchable. And all from that opening onslaught on the Atoll, who can forget when he’s trying to get the out of control gun man Chuck’s attention…
“Maybe he doesn’t answer to ‘Chuck‘ – call him ‘Charles’ Charles!?”
“Nothing like a good smoke when you miss your mum”
Deacon’s key to why Waterworld is just so watchable – he anchors it in a remarkably constant tone. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that the Deacon could hold on to power. Well, except the fact that he proves twice that he can shoot really well – perhaps the only Smoker who can. Oh, and he’s pretty much always right – unbelievably tracking down the mariner’s trimaran with ease, and surely ahead of schedule. This isn’t a film afraid to subvert like that – see the brilliantly shot plane sequence that first gives away the Mariner’s whereabouts. There’s a real sense of danger, especially when the pilot, unbelievably, shoots through the harpoon just before the Mariner can dispatch him. A really lovely touch is Enola drawing the harpoon in the plane as it happens, marked for posterity on the hull the Mariner is intent on Careening. Almost as good as Enola’s later myth creation aboard the Valdez as mariner starts his take-down. It’s not that easy to build layers of water.
And the sea itself is another great example – there’s barely an animal seen in the huge oceans… until the surprising cameo of a particularly large sea eater. And later, what we all hoped when Hopper mentioned tracers – two parallel dorsal fins.
“So gullible, ha, ha!”
Hopper’s Deacon is hardly a villain who’s read a different script from everyone else. There are great jump-cuts, from the Mariner’s unique fishing tactics to the comic hair chopping. Bouncing from tension to comedy in a couple of shots. And on the side of the heroes there’s always Michael Jeter’s Gregor, a broad Geppetto to the young Enola – the plot’s MacGuffin.
“Well you’re a fool to believe in something you’ve never seen before”
Or rather the MacGuffin’s tattooed on Enola’s back. It’s introduced by a man who looks remarkably like Jeremy Clarkson – the map to dry land of course, no one had set a new land speed record for centuries. That knowledge is imparted to Deacon’s number two just as Mariner arrives… Waterworld may employ simple and rapid plot propulsion but it does it with the might of Poseidon.
Yeah the script. As we now know Joss Whedon was pulled in for seven weeks of “hell” as he was confronted with a final 40 pages that had barely a glimpse of the sea in it. Just one of his horrid Hollywood experiences during the 1990s – setting a tone that would arguably continue up to the recent and not exactly plain sailing Avengers: Age of Ultron. His script notes on a script that rather misses the point are inarguable, and though some brilliance shines through it’s easy to believe that no one was really listening. Why have a mutated hero and not use him – when we see Mariner swim, you wonder why he likes boats so much. Still, as a fighter who’s surely unbeatable underwater he had to be kept away from it. Other narrative mis-steps remain, like taking a trip fathoms down to the ocean floor just after escaping the Smoker fleet’s Star Trek II trap. Oh, and a remarkable amount of downtime that takes us away from the villain in the middle. There are also some lovely (gruesome) parts that don’t have a chance to sizzle on the screen for long enough, like the religion that dovetails with the Atoll’s recycling of human dead.
“Dry land is not just our destination, but it is our destiny!”
Overall, even I have to concede that solving the riddle of the map by working out that it’s in Hindu-Arabic numerals and the Earth’s poles have reversed is a bit of a one-line killer. When we reach that promised dry-land – and Heaven knows where that’s supposed to be, it’s rather a surprise too sink foot on some sand with at least the promise of Utopia. Was it ever in doubt? Well, who’d expect that extraordinary Tarzan-like reveal of Enola’s parent’s skeletal remains – pulling humanity from the Greek myth seafaring of the Deacon’s world? And using your daughter as a map – well, that’s something else…
“You’re not supposed to go yet! Infernal machine!”
But what Waterworld really succeeds at doing, unlike a lot of blockbusters, is put a lot its astounding $172 million budget on screen. Trucks on boats, water cannons, fire catapults. The money’s all there to see. Sea plane, jet ski ramps, jet skis hidden below the sea, the Young Sherlock-style hot air balloon of Gregor. The gadgets and machines that line Mariner’s boat and that hilarious taxi that tootles through the Valdez, from which Deacon deigns to throw cigarettes at his people. The atoll, the rusted Valdez itself, the oars, the flares! There’s plenty of humour in Reynold’s shots, like Mariner scooping up his tomato plant like Indy’s hat. And with the big sky everywhere you look, Reynolds even manages to pull some great performances out of that perennially shy performer: the sun.
“Children of the provider, citizens of the good ship”
Waterworld may never escape its reputation, but it’s never going to disappear. There’s a dash of Snake Pliskin, a helluva lot of Max but essentially it’s a pirate film. Eight years later Pirates of the Caribbean would pull a neat trick on the two Kevs, taking set-pieces and settings from Waterworld while hitting many of the narrative beats of Prince of Thieves. And that’s a real anomaly at the pirate box office, a very successful one. As dystopia has risen again to remind us that it’s still around sunken cities and post-apocalyptic action will continue to grace the big screen.
And really, for all the criticism, let’s not forget that the three Universal Studios are still running Waterworld attractions to this day. And inventive side-effect from an inventive film.
Never forget Waterworld’s last line: “It’s more than that” – and so it is.
Used by Transgenics, genetic splices accelerate evolution to offer the pinnacle of useful adaptive mutations without the centuries of selective breeding. Transgenics are always able to function (it’s hard to “turn off” your genetic makeup), but the strain on their bodies can take a toll after repeated instances of intense exertion. Transgenics are afflicted by a state known as their Genetic Stability. Starting at 3, this number is the basis for all mod use and remains constant no matter which mod is used.
For example, say a character has the Altruism splice.
Help others even when you can’t help yourself. Maybe once they’re feeling better, they’ll be able to patch you up in thanks!
– Heal target for ¤ HP.
¤= Tech variable: in this case, Genetic Stability. The Transgenic’s target will be healed for the total Genetic Stability of the Transgenic applying it. In the case of a level 1 character with 3¤ available to them, this would be 3HP.
Adrenaline Burst: A Transgenic can chose to administer a Genetic Stimulant (known in popular parlance as a “stim”) during any round to give themselves a boost. In doing this, the Transgenic adds 5¤ to their available Genetic Stability pool, thus immediately increasing the efficacy of any mod used during that round.
For our level 1 Transgenic, this would mean that, for that round, they would be able to use Altruism to heal 8HP (3¤ base Genetic Stability plus 5¤ from the stimulant).
Once the round has completed, their total available Genetic Stability drops by one point until they receive gene therapy at a church or ModMart. The level 1 Transgenic would then have only 2 Genetic Stability points to use for the rest of the encounter and in any subsequent ones.
Title: Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles Book 1
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic
She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen-year-old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….
The Arcana Chronicles is a striking paranormal sentiment that comes to fruition after a post prophetically apocalyptic event triggers a game of life and death. The ‘players’ are based off of a tarot card deck, specifically the major arcana, or trump cards. Twenty-two cards, meaning twenty-two, kids whom each represent an arcana card, each with a unique power they must figure out how to wield so as to wreck the others. They must fight and beat one another as they attempt to survive the risks of their post-apocalyptic world. It’s a kill-or-be-killed world where there can only be one winner.
The book begins with a chilling prologue. I was snared. Attracted by a haunting record of a girl being bamboozled by a sociopath named Arthur. We meet 16-year-old Evie Green, through her discussion with Arthur, the story unfolds, taking us back to the prior days everything changed.
“She’s so lovely, so fragile. Those haunted eyes.
Those rosebud lips…they’ll scream so prettily.”
Evie begins as this southern royalty with a sweet if not shallow attitude that starts seeing things that can’t be real–terrifying things. At a youthful age, Evie’s grandma was gradually educating her in what her part will be the point at which the world finishes, but Evie’s mom has prohibited Evie to have any contact with her grandmother.
Little did she realize that the subtle elements being passed on from grandma to granddaughter was essential data that Evie would need to make sense of her life after the ‘flash‘. Evie must pretend to be her normal self all while her dreams caution her of a pending apocalypse that has something to do with the figures of the Major Arcana in Tarot cards. The Fool shows up in her dreams, he is a younger teenager who seems to be absolutely insane when you initially meet him, and despite being able to see the future sometimes, the Fool is rather damaged, but of his own choosing usually and tends to know more about what is going on than he chooses to reveal.
“Crazy like a fox.”
Death, the main villain, though we rarely see him also makes appearances in her dreams; we know that he is the forerunner of the ‘game’, he can kill with a single touch of his skin. Being winner of the past, he contains knowledge of past games and players aiding in his advantage and fueling a revengeful fire. Could he become a potential ally later instead of an enemy or is the past to set in stone?
Why are the Tarot cards apparently becoming so active all of a sudden?
“You and your secrets. Ah, peekôn, just when I think I’ve solved one mystery about you, up comes another one. I will figure you out one day. En garde, cher. Consider yourself warned.”
Enter Cajun bad boy, Jackson Deveaux.
Before the flash, Jack is just a poor Cajun boy who is transferred the Evie’s school with a few of his bayou friends. What he lacks in natural charm he makes up in physical appearance. He’s arrogant and angry at the world. Despite the attraction between Evie and Himself there’s no doubt that a relationship of any kind would have worked in their current worlds. The cheerleader and the bad-boy cliché much? After the Flash, Jack and Evie’s relationship is riddled with conflict, misunderstandings, fighting and undeniable attraction. Their journey is challenging and thrilling, bringing experiences that continuously thrust them closer together whilst attempting to tear them apart. With Jack, Evie learns to be strong. More confident. More certain in herself and her abilities.
“If you touch me like that again, Evangeline,” he began in a husky tone, dropping to his seat once more, “in the space of a heartbeat, I will have you off this bike and onto the closest horizontal surface. And I woan be picky, no.”
Jack is determined to learn her secrets and Evie is focused on figuring out everything that is happening to her. She’s the Empress, which means she carries life within in her blood and controls plants.
What powers does she hold?
Who are the others?
What is the endgame?
“Come touch…but you’ll a price”
An ancient fight of good vs. evil, with teenagers battling it out. Who would you like to win? The answer may seem simple but with Kresley Cole, her books are so so mind boggling and sincerely depleting, you simply don’t have the foggiest idea. If your expecting a bland run of the mill post-apocalyptic YA novel than you will be sadly disappointed in this one of a kind super creative storyline.
“The Empress doesn’t get collared, or caged, or tortured. How artfully she beckons, how perfectly she punishes….”
Side note: It drives me absolutely BONKERS that they changed the initial cover, that was stunning fyi, after the second book discontinuing it completely! Couldn’t they wait in till the series in its entirety was completed before coming out with another edition of the cover? I hate that i cannot get the third book Dead of Winter in anything but the new cover whilst I have the first two books in the old. If you’re like me, then you like your series sets all to MATCH which has been made impossible therefore I went out and got all three in the new covers.
The first series of award-nominated US post-apocalyptic comedy The Last Man on Earth airs in the UK on Dave in August. Creators the Fox network renewed the show for a second series in April before transmission of the first had completed.
In the UK, The Last Man on Earth will premiere on Dave with a double-episode beginning at 21:00 on Monday 10 August 2015.
Set in 2020, The Last Man on Earth follows the story of former bank employee Phil Miller, played by Will Forte (Saturday Night Live), who finds himself all alone following a viral pandemic. Travelling through every state in the US in the hope of finding other alive, Miller finally concludes that he must indeed be the last man left alive on the planet. However, just when all hope seems lost (and Miller’s sanity is in doubt), he discovers that he is not alone after all…
This week has already been pretty busy. School has me editing and revising, reading and writing. I had an entirely new chapter critiqued, revised, and edited last week. Thus, I decided to give you all another bit of Coyote Sunset. The following is the first half of Chapter V: Cerberus. Here, our travelers are introduced to their future coyote companion. Give it a read. I hope you enjoy it.
The land before them rolled gently onward, disappearing into the horizon. The plains of dead grass and shrubs were once dyed sage, moss, and lime with hints of bronze and copper. The wild flowers and local noxious weeds accented the fields with purple and white. What stretched for miles before them was but a ghost of what once was, the color and splendor had faded to browns and greys, a portrait of the despair that had befallen the earth.
The dust and dirt had swallowed much of the brush that formerly dotted the terrain. Joshua, Risa, and Paulie marched eastward, moving through the valleys that snaked around what once was southwest New Mexico. The party was in good spirits. Joshua and Paulie walked side-by-side discussing every minute detail of Joshua’s gun and Paulie’s first time shooting. Joshua had set up a series of bottles and cans he had gathered from throughout the city. Paulie fired Joshua’s .45 at each target from varying distances, all the while listening intently to Joshua’s pointers and suggestions. While Joshua and Paulie conversed, Risa kept several yards ahead, scouting the path. Every hour that passed drove them further into the nothingness. The barren plains gave way to small, desolate and dry river beds with all manner of rock resting in their wake. The dried river segued to more of the same, bone-dry, dusty plains, complete with a colorless mosaic of clay beneath their feet.
The day’s march was winding to a close, signaled by the approaching twilight. Risa began to scour ahead for a decent place to stop. Joshua and Paulie, still deep in conversation about the history of the rifle, were almost oblivious to Risa’s search. She had stopped at a culvert that lay a football field ahead of them, transfixed on the field that lay beyond. When the two pals finally arrived next to her, they quickly assumed the same stance. Several hundred acres of former pasture land lay before them, enclosed by a rusted and dilapidated barbed wire fence. The furthest end of the pasture was also fenced in by a row of petrified trees, standing like angels and gargoyles over the field below. Between the barbed wire and the petrified guardians were the countless carcasses of a herd of cattle. The white washed skulls and horns shone bright in the sun’s dying light. Some bodies were still intact, complete with shriveled strips of leather stretched thin across the ribs. Other spots of the field had skulls, bull and sow, resting in unholy piles; their construction was like an altar to some pagan deity.
They stood speechless, gazing in horror at the graveyard before them. “We should stick to the perimeter,” Joshua suggested through the silence. “Let’s not disturb their sleep.” Risa and Paulie shook their heads gravely, agreeing with Joshua’s insight.
They kept to the fence line, circling the pasture to the south, then east. At the southern-most end of the field, they spotted the remains of a highway. “Probably old 180,” Joshua said in passing. The pavement was remarkably intact, showing minimal wear from years of disuse. The few potholes that Paulie pointed out buckled the road around them, but left the rest of the slab unharmed.
“Why don’t we follow the road?” Paulie suggested. “We could cover more ground that way.”
Joshua fervently shook his head. He stared at the strip of pavement that stretched to the horizon like he had just seen ghost. “No,” he barked, rather harshly. “The roads are too open, too dangerous. No cover.” Paulie shrugged and dropped his head, adjusting his backpack in the process. Take it easy on the kid. How could he have known that? Night was fully upon them by the time they reached the row of trees.
“We need to find shelter before the winds kick up,” Risa stated emphatically.
Joshua stretched his arm parallel to the trees and pointed. “I noticed a few buildings in the distance. Maybe a ranch house?”
“Let’s check it out,” she responded.
The trees lead them to a small cluster of wind torn buildings that made up the ranch house, barn, and shed that belonged to the pasture and the cows. The moon graciously lit the entire area, sharing her light before the brown skies blocked her out. The main house was two stories high and stretched longer than any house Risa and Paulie had ever seen. The wind storms had long since stripped the paint off the siding, revealing a naked and stressed exterior. The windows were still boarded, save a curious few on the second floor. The front door still bore a cross of two-by-fours to keep potential looters from entering. The state of the house gave Joshua the chills. How could this house stay untouched after so many years? He, instead, led them to the barn which towered over the ranch house. The roof had caved in and many of the boards and planks that served as walls had collapsed in on themselves. Yet the frame appeared sturdy and inviting. Inside, the barn was barren, save a multitude of dust and tumbleweeds that had squeezed their way through the cracks. Joshua looked at Risa and Paulie and smiled. “This’ll do.”
Risa shot a skeptical glare at her uncle. “Not much protection from the wind Uncks.”
Paulie, who had squeezed through an opening near the ground, was already at the furthest corner, cranking his LED lamp and shouting, “This corner is still intact sis! Plus we can use the extra planks for protection!”
Joshua bowed his head and panned his arm forward, giving Risa a smug look that screamed, “After you, my dear.” She scowled at him and slipped under the boards into the barn. The three ate quickly and huddled together just in time for the storm. The corner served them well. Paulie and Risa even dozed off towards the end of the tumult. Joshua, on the other hand, remained vigilant, more out of a fear of his dreams than a desire to protect. He sat with his back to the kids. The siblings had shifted from leaning against each other’s backs to lying on their sides. They had been so worn out that neither had placed their bed rolls. Joshua had his knees to his chest, with the butt of his rifle at his feet, barrel resting on his shoulder. He stared out through the misplaced planks at the wasteland beyond. The moon had disappeared behind a sheet of haze. Joshua felt thirsty, but not for water. He wanted some of Goss’ home brew. His muscles ached for it. His brain punched and kicked his skull in anger. He closed his eyes and imagined the taste, the sweet burning feel of the moonshine. He could smell the bouquet, feel the magic working its way through his limbs, to his fingers and toes. It made him drowsy. He drifted to sleep on the wings of that memory and the somber song of a nearby coyote.
There were no dreams that night. Perhaps it was because of the intoxicating effect of his lust for liquor, or perhaps he simply slept abnormally light. Whatever the cause, Joshua was awake just as the sun peeked through the broken and missing beams of the barn. He opened his eyes slowly and was immediately greeted by a sense of dread. There was something close, watching him. He quickly closed his eyes. He could feel the beady amber eyes searching, examining his person. The beast’s nose twitched with every inhale of Joshua’s scent. Joshua lay as motionless as possible. He tried to move his hand to the gun hiding under his sack, without drawing the attention of beast. Whatever was there had moved closer. The creature touched the heel of his boot as Joshua’s hand slid around the grip of his .45. In less than an instant, Joshua’s eye burst open. His hand sprung from under his pillow, pistol at the ready.
The coyote jumped, startled and visibly shaken, yet failed to run. His curiosity out-weighed his fear. Joshua lowered the pistol and exhaled in relief. A coyote. “Never seen something like me before, huh boy?” he whispered. The coyote simply stared. Joshua examined the coyote. He was small and thin, even by coyote standards, yet he looked powerful. Upon first glance, Joshua didn’t notice anything particularly unique to the animal, until he got up and moved closer to the mailbag full of food resting by Joshua’s head. The coyote’s tail was solid white. The flash of white…it was this coyote, not the elk. I wonder if this is the one Paulie saw.
“You can smell what’s inside here, huh?” Joshua whispered, patting the mailbag and smiling. The coyote squirmed and let out a low whine. Joshua reached into the rations and blindly searched for a strip of jerky to give to the coyote. The noise of the rummaging spooked the coyote; he bounded backwards with the sound. Joshua spoke softly, reassuring the coyote. He removed his hand from the bag revealing a strip of tender, smoky jerky. The coyote very cautiously inched forward, unsure of Joshua’s intentions. Joshua continued to beckon him until the urge to feed overpowered his fear. The coyote snatched the jerky from Joshua’s hand and began to chew right next to Joshua. Joshua took the opportunity to run his hand through the coyote’s coat, initially prompting the coyote to recoil, but relaxing to enjoyment. Paulie and Risa began stirring as soon as the coyote had finished his jerky. Frightened by the sudden noise and movement, the coyote bolted to the far end of the barn, crouching low in the shadows in an attempt to hide.
Paulie sat up and gave his uncle a curious look. Joshua was crouching, one hand extended towards him crying for silence. His other hand was low, palm up, pointing at the shadows.
“Um…Uncle Josh?” Paulie started, but was cut short by Joshua’s pumping stop sign. Paulie sat, squinting towards the shadows, anxious about what was transpiring before him. His anxiety built until Risa awoke several moments later, mirroring Paulie’s reaction to the odd scene.
“What is going on here?” she murmmered, only to be answered by two hands, one from Paulie and one from Joshua, raised for silence. Risa’s eye twitched in annoyance. She thought of giving them something to shush about, but swallowed her anger when she noticed the skittish, white-tailed coyote emerging from the corner. Risa was confused. Why had Joshua not shot that wild dog? They were only a couple of days from home. They could easily kill it, run it back to the settlement, and be welcomed back with open arms. “Meat!” they would cry as the body of the coyote is prepared and rationed. They’d be heroes. Risa would return to her post and her comrades and not have to worry about Paulie getting hurt or killed by her fool of an Uncle. Hell, maybe they’d let Paulie and Risa stay and force Joshua back out into the wilderness, alone. It was wishful thinking, a risk, but one she gambled on.
Risa slowly reached for her gun. If Joshua and Paulie distracted it long enough, she could get a clean kill and not sacrifice any of its meat in the process. The more she could take back, the better. She slipped her hand around her carbine and carefully lifted it to her shoulder. Joshua and Paulie were too engrossed with the coyote to notice her. She didn’t change position, staying crossed legged on the floor. It wasn’t the best angle on her mark; a lesser marksman would be afraid to hit Joshua. Risa, however, was not a lesser marksman. She prepared to fire, visions of a glorious homecoming playing in her head, when Paulie turned towards her.
“Risa, can you believe…” his query stopped short by his gasp. “Risa, what are you doing?”
Joshua, prompted by the concern in Paulie’s voice, turned his head to the siblings. The black M4 stared past him towards the white-tailed coyote. He instinctually shifted in front of Risa’s aim. What am I doing? She’s got that wild look in her eye. It was the same look he got when he pulled the trigger of his Winchester or his .45. He could feel his blood pressure rise. He knew she wouldn’t shoot. Or would she? It would be her ticket home, a fresh kill and a dead uncle. Joshua began to second guess his decision to defend the friend he had so recently made.
“Risa!” Paulie shouted. “Stop, you’ll hit Uncle Josh.”
Risa, visibly perturbed, raised her carbine to the sky and spoke through gritted teeth. “I won’t hit anything. The damn thing’s gone.”
Paulie and Joshua both looked to where the coyote had stood, only to see paw prints in the dust leading toward an opening in the barn walls.
Waves crash back and forth upon the rock. The Rock; a name and a title, delineated by the simple superiority of uppercase letters. At one time there had been another name for it, and she remembered her father had once said his father had called it the Giant’s Knuckle, but to her it had always been the Rock. A far better name, in her opinion, for if such an insignificant, tiny outcrop were the anatomy of a giant, then what was the sea? What enormity of being could the power of the sea possibly encapsulate if something so minute were the limb of a colossus in the eyes of man?
Such was the ineptitude of the minds of men, that their imagination could not fathom the terrible infinity of the sea. The human brain buckles under the pressures of such enormity.
No, the Rock would do just fine.
There was no romance in such literality; none of the old mysticism. Or even the abomination of emotion. Emotion brought you down, brought you low; turned your armour to paper skin, and overthrew all reason of the mind.
The Giant’s Knuckle spoke of emotion, and such emotion had been stamped out along with the generation that had borne it.
She had never known her father’s father, who had died when her father was twelve, and she did not miss him. How could she miss what she had never known? And how could she miss a man who belonged to the Last Generation?
No one missed them.
Would a mouse miss a cat?
Her mother had once used that phrase, though she had never understood it. And neither did her mother, fully. An archaic saying since lost.
Perhaps it meant like the rock would not miss the wave. As the waves battered down upon the Rock relentlessly, she could see sections of stone falling away into the sea, and she would wonder sometimes if time could be marked in the destruction of the rock through the rhythms of the sea, as well as by the passage of the sun and the moon in the sky. One day, she thought, there would be no rock, but only sea.
If it was to be seen as a battle, between geological monolith and the tempestuous body of brine, the salty warrior of wave and water would always win.
But she would be gone long before that, so there was no worry in such thoughts – only wonder. She would live her life upon the Rock and then she would die upon it, as her father had done, and as her mother had done. Her bones would be cast to the sea, as she had cast those of her forebears into the frothing mouth of the firmament, and that would be that.
She would die, and so the human race along with her.
The final Eve slipping back into the home from which her ancient ancestors had once crawled out of all those millions of years ago. In her lay the inheritance of all man’s triumphs and falls, the genius of Newton, da Vinci, Edison and Einstein, diminished into this single specimen of homo sapiens. A woman un-extraordinary in her ways and being, but entirely extraordinary in her singularity.
But that was the way of it. That was the way nature functioned; in flux. Even in her simple way she knew this, as she knew her existence was the result of her forefather’s failures.
Her father had told her of the plague that had ravaged the creatures man had once fed upon. How great beasts, fattened and engorged for mankind’s consumption had withered and festered in their populace, their meat turned putrid and their babes born lifeless. Wars had raged, but the famine that followed had snuffed out man’s rage, but that had not been the end.
She watched the waves as they slipped and slapped against the Rock, and carefully she would peel away the limpets that clung to the slick stones, licking away the slime inside. Her father had taught her the power and value of the sea, how it gave fruit, but he had always told her to fear it.
Always fear it.
Fear keeps you safe.
Fear keeps you alive.
The Last Generation had not learnt to fear the sea, and with the misplaced arrogance of their own fathers, they had set out to claim it as their great saviour. A saviour to be contained and controlled.
The human brain buckles under the pressures of such enormity.
She watched the waves as they slipped and slapped against the Rock, and she paused in her harvesting of limpets. Eyes searching, pupils dilating and constricting with the change of the light from afternoon to dusk. The waves were almost as dark as the rock, yet her keen eyes could spot the thing that moved against the rhythm of the waves; a rhythm that was like a second heart beat to her.
When the Last Generation plunged their efforts into the riches of the ocean, they did not wonder at the fact that only a tenth of this blue Eden had ever been explored by man. They did not consider that the seven tenths that made up their planet was more alien to them than the surface of the moon. But then, consideration and sense falls in the face of desperation and hunger.
The waves slipped and slapped against the Rock, but she was not watching them now. Instead, she watched the thing that hauled itself out of the ferment into which she had cast her parents’ bodies. They dilated and constricted with fear and terror as she watched it drag itself up the Rock towards her.
Science had long since superseded the throne of myth, and when the Last Generation turned to the sea for aid, they had forgotten the old tales of the things that dwelled in the deep.
Her gaze met its gaze and she wondered how she ever stood the terror of looking into its eyes every twilight and every dawn.
The Last Generation had never considered mythology to be a kind of history, and like so many before them, did not take heed of the warnings that screamed out from the past.
What whole limpets she had collected and not eaten, she pushed towards the thing that was a seal and was not a seal. Its deep black eyes never left hers but it accepted the gift. She would not breathe again until the thing had returned to the sea, and with the new air in her lungs, she would curse her grandfather and all those of the Last Generation.
Selkies, they had once been called, so very long ago, but the Last Generation had not had a name for them. Sometimes the tongue cannot twist a word into being for such a terrible thing.
The human brain buckles under the pressures of such enormity.
The Last Generation, so called, for they would be the last complete generation of mankind, and would not live to see the co-existence of man and the creatures from the deep. In truth, only she, the woman on the Rock would truly live to see this co-existence, for the end had come when man had tried to return to the sea. The sea hungers and cries for its sacrifice, and so…
The waves slipped and slapped against the Rock, and she watched them. Waiting for the dawn.
Mad Max: Fury Road Poster - Created by Kevin Saby *
Malay Mail Online
Morgan Freeman confirmed to lead post-apocalyptic action film
Malay Mail Online
Reuters picLOS ANGELES, July 28 — Morgan Freeman has been tapped to play one of the leads in a post-apocalyptic film about a planeload of people flying above the world as the planet is engulfed in a nuclear war. Based on the 1979 novel, the script for ...
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The zombie apocalypse was Alexis Winter’s first challenge. It won’t be her last.
Life on S-Island hasn’t been easy, but Alexis and her fellow survivors are making the best of their new lives in a post-Z world. Every day is a struggle, a struggle to find food, to keep the zombies from their door and to prepare for anything this new world might throw at them. There is no room for heartache, there is no room for mourning the lost, there is only one focus: the fight for survival. And there is definitely no room for love. At least that is what Alexis keeps telling herself.
The second installment in the NOLA Zombie series by Gillian Zane. Be warned, there will be monsters, living and dead, there will be very intense sexy-time and there will be a third book.
*Available on Kindle Unlimited*
** ALSO AVAILABLE ON PAPERBACK **
Gillian Zane has been writing fiction stories since she was first able to put pen to paper. She has published a few non-fiction books in her field of study, which is Art, but finally, after all, these years her first fiction novella is being released. Gillian is obsessed with anything that gives her a thrill and feels adding romance to any storyline is a good thing. She was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. She lives with her husband, too many animals in a little house that has way too many books.
One of this years biggest movies has definitely been Mad Max: Fury Road. I have yet to see it and I don’t know if I will, at least any time soon. All I can seem to get out of it is that Max is still mad, and that everyone is driving around mad and that the best part is when they have some drummer up on a parade float rocking out. It just doesn’t intrigue me. I’m sure I’ll see it and love it, but I’m going to need more motivation.
Before its release I kept on hearing about how good the originals were, specifically Mad Max: Road Warrior, the second in the series. So I watched the first one, but nothing about it told me I need to keep going. There are plenty of things that it’s going for it, that I thought would be great, but didn’t seem to deliver. It’s Mel Gibson who is great in movies like Lethal Weapon. It’s a revenge film, which I thought would add a rawness to it, and it’s supposed to be post apocalyptic which usually adds some sort of fear element to it.
These things did not deliver. Gibson was a fairly flat character, who wasn’t really given a chance to show off his acting chops. There were attempts at making him deep and building on the relationship he had with his family, but it felt forced. The post apocalyptic Australian outback that it’s supposed to be set in seemed more like a place where the cops didn’t really know how to do they’re job and things got out of hand. There was a lack of regular residents, but it was mostly set in the outback, there was no destruction or ruin to imply an apocalypse of sorts. And the revenge aspect of the film could have been achieved in a third of the time it took to get to, and I felt like a lot of my time was wasted setting up simply for a final showdown. Also, I’ve seen this story, it’s the Punishers origin, and it’s not original. Had this been the first 30 minutes of a Punisher film I would have pretty happy, but it wasn’t, it was a full length feature and I found it to be not worth its praise.
There were some good parts, when Max and his family are hiding out on their family farm, the Grandma is puts up a good stand against the thugs who kill his family and I thought that that was cool. I also enjoyed watching him try to quit his job as a police officer and his boss not having any of it. But that was about it. There may have been more, but I actually watched this movie a month or so ago and I’m just writing about it now. Had I written this immediately more may come to mind.
Now this may be one of those things that at first I don’t appreciate, but when I go back and take in again seems brilliant to me. That’s what happened when I read Watchmen and watched The Office and listened to Radiohead. It may for this as well, and I have heard the second one is the one that knocks it out of the park, but for now, watching this one has not been enough to entice to me to keep going. And I’m ok with that.
Thanks for reading. Maybe you can give me some reasons to keep watching, or can give me a different perspective. Let me know in the comments section.
Images from: http://io9.com/stories-from-the-sets-of-mad-max-the-road-warrior-1702490722
For the 47th episode of Podcast at Ground Zero the topic will be Medical Care in the Apocalypse.
In tonight’s episode we are going to talk about what’s going to happen to medical care after it all goes down. What are you going to do to keep healthy and alive after the walk-in clinics are gone and your HMO won’t answer your calls? We’ll speculate on the what will happen when the doctors are gone and the pharmacy runs out of loot.
Returning to join us for the conversion will be special co-host William T. Thrasher. William is a freelance writer, illustrator, and gamer designer.
So join Scott, William and I on our trek thru the Cursed Earth we think you’ll enjoy the company.
I give this book a 3 out of 5.
Eve is similar to many other YA novels. Escapees, disease, harsh governments, ruggedly handsome boys and a weak turned powerful female heroine.
Because of Eve’s extreme similarities to other Post-Apocalyptic and YA novels, I did not care for the book.
Carey had great concepts, however I found the book lacked structure, there was no real climax, and the book overall needed more definition. It was too fast paced, I think Carey had great ideas but they weren’t incorporated well, they were just kind of thrown in there.
– I like the idea that men are evil, provides an interesting twist on Eve’s point of view.
– Love how the King wants Eve for himself, gives her character some “umph”.
– I enjoyed Caleb and Eve’s banter while on horseback.
– Geographic location:-)
– I enjoyed the addition of Arden. She added the “badass” side that Eve was lacking.
– No character arcs. Little is known about the background of the characters, I want to learn what makes them tick. Also, none of the characters change except Arden.
– If Eve is coming from a school that stresses “men are bad” then why are all the male characters (except Caleb) trying to hurt her? I wish Carey didn’t support the ideas the character Eve rebelled against. Shouldn’t some of the male characters be good to prove the school wrong??
– Caleb and Eve were being chased by a bear for a little over 4 pages……. Then the horse cleared a 8 foot ravine….. Really??
– Eve’s departure from the school was too fast paced, I wish Carey let us get to know Pip and Ruby… Eve talks about them all the time during the book but we only know what she tells us. I wish we could’ve established our own views on Pip and Ruby.
– Caleb is the same as all other YA male leads… He is ruggedly handsome, saves the damsel in distress, reads classic books, and willing to do anything to protect Eve.
– The ending wasn’t conclusive, it left you with a “bye, Eve” and that’s it. I wish it was more defined.
Overall Eve incorporated many great ideas throughout the book, however they lacked structure, ideas were just thrown in there. I believe Eve would have been better seperated in to two small books so each idea can have its “spotlight” if you will and, the book was lacking details, it was very broad.
In conclusion, Eve provided and interesting yet underdeveloped story. I will continue on the with series and I hope Carey gets her writing together!
ICY is a narrative-driven post-apocalyptic survival RPG set in a new Ice Age where your life and the lives of your followers hang on every decision you make. Create your own character using a detailed stats system that influences your abilities then begin your journey of survival across a frozen world.
Classic! Mad Max: Fury Road action á la Benny Hill: