Explain why you love post-apocalyptic fiction?

I have a fairly broad definition: “literature”, film, TV, personal daydreaming, drunken/chemically altered ramblings of friends, you name it.

Some of my reasons:

-It delivers the sense of pioneering adventure.

-Folks are still able to engage in the story even if they’re willing to accept the possibility that they, their loved ones, offspring, and/or lineage may not survive the proposed cataclysmic event.

-You get to experience perspectives on revising society, culture, accepted behavior, technology, etc…and let’s face it, that’s just plain fun.

I’m constantly cooking up little post-apoc. fantasies, and it is one of my favorite premises for fiction that I read or watch. So give me a few other reasons to like it. :slight_smile:

Apart from the things you’ve already mentioned, I like the idea of scavaging whatever I want…clothes, jewelry, food, etc. However, after spending four days without power after Hurricane Charley last summer, the idea of living after an end-of-civilization catastrophe has paled somewhat. :wink:

In case it is grating on the nerves of the grammar-aware teemings…sorry about the “?” in the OP :smack:

I enjoy it for the ‘end of the world as we know it’ scenarios. It’s interesting to see what people come up with as to how everything changes and how the characters deal with it. I like both the ones where they are caught up in the middle of it, or are coming afterwards and grew up in this world and seeing hwo things have changed, but often are still the same.

One series I’m reading now is the Vampire Earth series by EE Knight. I admit I picked it up because it mentioned vampires, except they aren’t the sexy types that are all over now. The books follow David Valentine, starting with a bit of his childhood before he joins Southern Command in the fight against the Kurian’s, alien beings who took over most of the world and extend their lives through the absorbtion/drinking of auras. Book four (Valentine’s Rising) is coming out in a few months.

-Images of skyscrapers and suspension bridges overgrown with vines like Mayan temples are very powerful

-Societies living with a bizzare mix of dark ages technology and modern equipment are interesting

-Because I always wanted an excuse to shave half my head, put on my old ice hockey pads and drive around the wasteland busting skulls.

-It’s only “post appocalyptic” to us. To the people living 1000 years hense, fighting their wars with jalopy oversized airplaines & tanks salvaged from old junk and swords made from giant insect shells, our collapse is a historical curiousity much like the Romans.

We humans have always been fascinated by stories of the end of the world and its aftermath. I suppose historically, tales of the apocalypse end with divine beings tearing the universe apart, sometimes putting it back together. But I think that the somewhat less fantastic stories that get made now are more interesting, as they focus on the people trying to get by in a radically different environment.

Me, I dig the Max Max and Fallout aesthetic - cobbled together junk, leather jackets, the whole retro-future vibe.

It is my taste for the post-apoc. genre that makes even Waterworld somewhat viewable. shudder

The Postman too, come to think of it. Bad Kevin! Bad! Sit…stay…

I like “end of the world” scenarios because I like to think that a) I’d survive, and b) I’d do better than the people in the movie, novel, or whathaveyou. Plus the reasons mentioned in the OP.

When the end comes, you pretty much want to be one of the guys riding in the junker cars with Lord Humungus, not the cowering villagers hoping some angry loner comes to their aid.

Hey, I like Waterworld.

[sub]Why yes, there is something wrong with me.[/sub]

Well you get good sci-fi without having to suspend much disbelief.

My faves in this genre:

Book: “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller Jr.

Movie: “A Boy And His Dog” starring a very young Don Johnson

I am deeply disturbed by the genre, yet drawn to it in spite of myself. I’m disturbed because I think I’m doing a lot better now than I’d do after the bomb/comet/pandemic hits. I don’t have it in me to take away a family’s car or food at gunpoint, so that would happen to me. Camping out for the rest of my life would suck.

Nevertheless I’ve experienced a number of novels and movies on the topic, and I’ve almost always enjoyed them. I think The Stand really stands out as a movie; I haven’t read the book. For novels I nominate Lucifer’s Hammer, though it is a bit tortuous at times.

I after-thought about this once I’d already posted the OP. You can establish a frame of reference that resonates with the present day, plus you can tap into surreal potential for what we consider familiar in the new circumstances, all for the price of one obliteration of civilization. :smiley: Which leads us back to msmith537’s comment about overgrown skyscrapers and bridges…

In my post-apocalyptic fantasies, I just happen to possess rare skills that make me much more likely to survive. After all the metal on Earth is eaten by nanites, I know how to knap flint for stone knives and spearpoints. After the last round of cartridge ammo is gone, I know how to make a black powder musket. With a library of late-18th early 19th century blueprints, I know how to restart the industrial revolution beginning with a blacksmith’s forge. Given my actual skills this is total wish-fullfillment, but there you go.

…because it’s good practice.

I think I’ve read The Stand four times now. It is a fantastic example of Post-Apocalyptic fiction. Earth Abides is another one. Everyone always recommends A Canticle For Leibowitz, but I personally found it to be a horribly dull read.

I think my attraction to PAF is the potential freedom it offers. Civilization and society is gone, and now all of a sudden you don’t have debts, 8:00 am start time at work, bosses, traffic, commutes, crowds, line-ups, etc. Sure, you don’t have power or running water either. It’s a trade-off. :smiley:

I don’t know why generally, but I do know I like stuff set a long, long time after the apocalypse, rather than immediately after it. Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker is my favourite, partly because of the bizarre devolved English it is written in, but also because the two thousand-odd years elapsed since our society went bung is enough to give the book are wonderful weirdness. Our survivors were the ancestors of a mostly illiterate new population still in their own Dark Ages , and tales of 20th Century technology have been passed down for two thousand years by word of mouth, and mangled accordingly. Campfire stories of aircraft and television were “boats in the sky” and “picters on the wind” accordingly. The apocalypse is refered to as “Bad Time”. This really appeals to me. Much better than the usual Lord of the Flies stuff IMHO.

One of the more recent stories I’ve read was Into The Forest.

It was a good read…not exeptional…but good. I explores in detail the days immediately surrounding the collapse of such things as electricity, phone, mail, shipment of goods. The setting is outside a rural small town in Northern California, where two teenage sisters find themselves dealing with the collapse.

Me and some friends used to run a RPG called The Third Wave. The premise was that a biological weapon mutated and the resulting plague wiped out everyone over the age of 20. Then, just as the rag-tag survivors were pulling civilization back together, the plague hit again… 20 years later.

The plague strikes every 20 years, killing everyone over the age of 20. These are called Waves, which have struck three times, hence the title. The setting was a post-apocalyptic New York City run by street gangs. There were three major gangs in the city to start with: *Genocide *(based in Penn Station), *Remorse *(based in the New York Public Library), and *Query *(based in the Toys R Us in Times Square). Later on *Remorse *dissolved after the suicide of their gang’s Boss, and a new gang arose, called *Desolation *(based in the Empire State Building). Even later another gang broke off from Genocide, called Exodus, which operated in secret as a splinter-cell.

We put a lot of work into the background of this future-primitive world, with the gangs having their own intricate histories, initiations, and rules. Staten Island was home to a roving band of pirates who would ravage the coastline, too powerful for even the gangs to stop. There was also the Night Thief Guild, based out of a Starbucks, which functioned as a cross between the Mafia and a police force. A massively overgrown Central Park provided a wild, tangled oasis in the midst of the urban decay.

Unfortunately, the game was never able to attract enough players to survive. We stumbled along for a year before finally closing the book on The Third Wave. There was some talk of starting another permutation, possibly to be set in Los Angeles or New Orleans, so who knows? There’s always The Fourth Wave.