It’s been a month since the Apocalypse Panel started and the world is still here. Oh well, who knows what could happen during the next thirty days? And if the answers to our first question are any indication then we could be facing horrible destruction from a rogue planet, the outbreak of a long-frozen virus, collapse of the dollar, or World-War III. Maybe even a scenario where the passing of a large planetary mass cracks open a glacier, releasing a dormant virus that creates a murderous rage in people, that then results in a war and causes the collapse of all economies.
Yeah, that is probably taking it a bit too far. Let’s just move on to this month’s question for the panel.
What draws you to write apocalyptic stories?
For me, it has been a lifelong interest in the genre. My favorite book is Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny. I read it when I was ten. I’ve read it five more times since then and I don’t generally read books more than once.
What is it that I like about that book? Giant, mutant Gila Monsters. Murderous biker gangs roaming the countryside. And making a trek across the ruined landscape of
America in armored all-terrain vehicles. That’s what I call entertainment.
However, all of those are just the trappings of the genre. At the heart of almost all the post-apocalyptic stories that I’ve read is the desire to put things back together. It is the never-give-up attitude of human heroes as they fix our broken society that makes those stories special.
My reason for writing The Gathering was that I saw the potential for great calamity in our future and wanted to write a novel that gives people hope. If disaster strikes the
United States, I want people who have read my story to be able to say to themselves, “If the Williams family can make it through this, then so can my family.”
That won’t be the case if I write another apocalypse story I might use the genre as a canvas to explore death. Death of individual. Death of culture. Death of society. Even the death of mankind. More likely I’d use it as a backdrop for creation of crazy mutant creatures, bizarre political sects, and patchwork machines built from the remnants found in ruined cities. Beautiful stuff.
What about the rest of the panel? What draws them to write about an
apocalypse? Next week I will have links to all of their posts and a few comments
of my own about what they had to offer. Let’s just hope the world hasn’t ended