Posted in books, dystopia, post-apocalypse, random thoughts, science fiction, writing

A Dismal Night

So I’m too cheesed off about the tree incident to concentrate on writing tonight, even on my post-apocalyptic tale, so I thought we could discuss PA and dystopian tales, and why we like them so much. This was inspired earlier today by a HuffPo article on the same topic (not tree trimming gone wrong – why we love dystopian stories).

The article talks about how dystopian stories are more honest, giving us raw, unvarnished truths about how ruthless we can be, and how damaging these horrific events can be to the people who have to suffer them.

Yes, there is all that. It’s good to see man’s inhumanity to man portrayed in an honest way, and instead of glorifying war. Better to show these atrocities in the way that people truly experience them, instead of making it seem like something desirable.

But for me, I think the biggest draw for dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories is the idea that at some point we’ll get a ‘reset’ button, that we’ll have a ‘do-over’ on the world. ‘Cause frankly, it’s a mess, and short of civilization crashing and having to rebuild from the ground up, nothing is going to change. Now, I have to add that were that situation to occur, I can more readily believe a scenario like David Brin wrote in “The Postman”,
or any of the “Mad Max” movies, “The Book of Eli”, “Waterworld” or something like the new show, “Revolution”

will arise to take our current society’s place. We are a vicious, predator species, and a couple more set-backs isn’t going to change that.


Sure, I think some people are kinder than others and anyone with any real smarts will see the value of cooperating with others, banding together to survive. But just as looting becomes the order of the day in any city during a blackout, there will always be those who exist only for themselves and will do anything to anyone to advance themselves, not unlike most politicians.

Even still, part of me would like the chance to reroute humanity’s path, and hope the next time around we’ll get it right. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll make a few better choices.