Thursday, May 16, 2013

ass cozy


ASS COZY

Black Cat Dude, the apocalypse fiction review guy, has given us the term “cozy” for a post-apocalypse story that has a bit too happy of an ending.  By way of England I think, but I might be wrong.  I’m on my first cup of coffee here, barely past the first butt crack of dawn.  Hey, it was this or a chapter from either the diet book or the collapse book, but I couldn’t seem to really focus then or now.  Sadly, even at my worst I shine and leave my pale weak imitators groveling in a pool of their own mediocrity ( those that get their readers to write their own articles are NOT my competitors.  Editors do not write, and as you can tell from my syntax, grammar and spelling, writers usually don’t edit ).  Anyway, if we could get to the subject at hand, the cozy story seems to be the dominant form of life out in the post-apocalypse fiction universe.  And quite frankly, I would like to shove some cozies up my ass.  Give the pipes a good ream and clean.  Not all of them, goodness no.  If we prohibited cozies altogether, there would be a death of all publishing ( even Kindle.  I’m sure that they still have a hefty overhead even if they make a tidy profit, what with the loss leader readers and the infrastructure to advertise and download.  They still need great volume to succeed ).  But could we at least temper them somewhat?  Is this too much to ask?

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Look at a cozy movie, The Postman.  One of the best post-apoc movies out there ( NO!  The book was far worse than the movie.  Friggin robots after the collapse.  Sure, like Van Dam in Cyborg with everyone chop suey sword fighting as advanced high maintenance robots walk amongst them.  Where was the infrastructure for energy and spare parts?  I never cared for Brin after he dicked up the ending of Postman with Gott Damn robots.  Sorry, it might just be me ).  The ending blew rabid bloody dog chunks.  Oh, look at us, once again wearing Chinese imported wrinkle free shirts, standing in front of some imported granite monument, our hair blow-dried, all returned to normal even after the friggin Midwest dried up from Gore Warming so our empire crashed ( I think it was an environmental disaster in the movie.  Still on the first friggin cup of Joe here people ) and yet on local patches of human feces fertilized asparagus, America would once again rise.  Barf, spew, vomiting blood!  What a humongous crock of crap!  Oh my mother licken aching ballsack!  Who comes up with this swill?  And yet, because the movie itself was so darn good ( in comparison with most others.  On its own, the glaring faults would send it to the $1 bargain bin or to the 1 AM time slot of the local TV station ), you can forgive the awkward, shoe wedged, Hollyweird imposed, forced cozy ending. 

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What IS inexcusable is a book that is ALL cozy.  I just got done reading “The End: a post-apocalypse novel” by G Michael Hopf.  It was nowhere near a bad book.  I felt compelled to continue reading it, I didn’t feel I wasted my money.  The writing was decent to good.  Will I buy the sequel coming out this summer?  No.  The book has an opening fifty years in the future that portrays a survivor of the EMP attack interviewed by reporters.  And everything is peachy keen normal.  She offers them tea or coffee, so right there a huge red flag is waving in front of the bulls face.  Tea.  From Asia.  Now, coffee just might have a chance of being imported.  The interview is in Oregon ( of the Cascadia Republic- so get ready for some fun time militia porn in the next book ) so it is feasible that sea trade could be supplying coffee from Central or South America ( as dangerous/expensive as both land and sea trade was/will be, ocean travel allows the avoidance of fixed toll areas, bandits and highwaymen ).  Possible, but probable?  What does Oregon have that Columbia wants?  All the energy and ore that they need, as well as agricultural items, they can get on their own continent.  So, what can Oregon offer them in trade?  And tea, because of the much larger distances involved, is much more problematic.  Does the author assume we go back to unlimited petroleum use?

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Now, the above beverage slip could have been overlooked, but it was indicative rather than irregular.  The whole story had a feel like a happy ending is foreordained.  Which, again, is not a deal killer.  I can forgive a bit of unreality at the end.  It is so commonplace that it is almost expected.  You depress your customers too many times, only the mentally challenged show up next time ( and, not a great demographic to bet on as once the disability checks stop they have no disposable income ).  But when everything seems too pat, too contrived, with really no suspense after the first few instances, the story loses something.  I’m no fiction writer, I don’t pretend to have that skill set.  I don’t begrudge folks who write fiction the chance to make tons more money than me.  But, you still need to earn that paycheck, just like I do.  And I don’t want to read the Collapse version of a dog and pony show.  Sure, make it a cozy.  But make the damn characters work and suffer for their happy ending.

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Here’s something unrelated, but amusing so I must pass it on.  My son goes to file his tax return this year.  Living in a craphole state that taxes income, he files both federal and state.  He is looking forward to his return of $400 state as he paid to fly out his fiancé to see him after six months of school and he needs money for a hotel for a week.  He receives his return.  For $12.  It seems that when he was in ninth grade, five years ago, moms husband number six or seven pissed the boy off and he cold cocked the guy ( keep in mind, the boy is almost as skinny as I was at his age, although his mom, being, um, large, gave him a beefier body to go with his height ).  Mom took him to see a shrink ( obviously he was normal, the husband wasn’t.  But this is Handmaiden Of Lucifer ).  Just now, five years later, they charge the boy, a minor at the time and being forced to utilize the state services by his guardian, is charged for the medical visit!  How desperate are states getting for money?

END

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17 comments:

  1. I was going to write something insulting but never mind. see you tomorrow. the rat

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    1. Sometimes they just don't seem worth it, do they?

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  2. The term "Cosy" (British spelling) was first used by Brian Aldis. He went further and included the fun use of all the left behind sports cars and what not, and the fact that only educated middle class folks seemed to be in the surviving role.

    When I use the term "cozy" (American spelling), I tend to mean pretty much what you stated, except that I would generally include the note that the storyline, while bemoaning the loss of life, tends to have the collapse work out to be more of a cleansing than a collapse. "Sorry about all the dead guys, but didn't things work out just great!" One of the earliest signs that a book is going to go cozy is when they talk about how they have time to stop and get to know their neighbors.

    For myself, I know my neighbors. So A- you don't need a collapse to know your neighbors, and B- my neighbors aren't worth destroying civilization to get to know, and I doubt many are.

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    1. Half my neighbors are worth civilization crashing so I can kill them ( but I'll settle for them moving out prior. Hey, I'm not a savage ). But I see what you mean. I like that, a cleansing. Like the author is sad the millions dead but really thinks little of it beyond the obligatory feelings of stated emotion. Cannibal Reign is a bit like that ( awesome book though ). Seem through jaded combat vet eyes, of course. Am I a "cozy" blog? It would kind of seem like it, wouldn't it? No, no happy ending here at all, just the lack of interest in millions dying. Hey, most are Yankees anyway.

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  3. Lord Bison of the Great Basin;

    I sure hope that you son gets wise and changes his state of residence to a tax-friendly state as soon as the opportunity arises. I will presume that the young man is currently trapped in the craphole that is the once 'Golden State' but the gold vanished long ago to cover state employee pension benefits, hence like all productive people his needs to depart, never to return till the collapse is over and all the unproductive have gone to greener pastures (hopefully as fertilizer). $12.00 USD as a single person's refund is sorry, especially since the deadbeat domestic partner of your horrible ex-spouse should have been garnished instead of your son, who actually produces something of value, unlike a majority of useless mouth breathers out there. Keep keeping it real James!

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    1. The boy is stationed in Cali but resides in South Carolina. Sure, it's the South, but it seems rather crowded and expensive ( of course, you could say the same about Elko ). Don't know why they didn't go after his moms refunds.

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  4. (re junkvan shelter Jan 2007 Jim urged all to buy a van for mobile shelter.)
    I bought a 91 3/4 4x4 Chevy suburban (rear doors vice tailgate), bought 235-85R-16 Goodyear Wrangler MTR kevlar 10 plies, and v-bar tire chains. It is a great comfort to have her parked backed in steps from the door. We can load one year food etc and be on our way. BTW I buy fuel and check engine at 100 mile intervals.
    At the brake shop a fellow took his time looking her over, commented on the tires, and asked if I want to sell her. Thank you. No.

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    1. Six years and still vomiting wisdom. Now, I'd like to say that Vlad is a good minion and listens well, but I think he used that article as an excuse to buy a pimping ride to impress the geriatric survival grandma's with. He's still quite the dawg!

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  5. That's what the readers want, Jim. I had an e-mail exchange with the author of BBB (mainly to get a blown-up photo of his covers...) and he follows the Barnes and Noble's poll research data. Readers want book series and you have to have a somewhat cozy ending in order to have a book 2, book 3, 4. And vampires... :p

    People don't want to admit that the ending facing all of us is that last painfully fought for, grasping, gasping breath.

    Cheers!!!
    Gil

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    1. Dammit Gil, vampires are so 80's and Ann Rice-ish. The thinking man obviously goes for zombie action now. Get with it man! As far as series, if they all can't stand on their own they probably ain't worth reading. But then, I have higher standards for books than a mere stand-in for daytime TV.

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  6. Jim, the thing with the tea & coffee thing after the collapse. How about things like roasted dandelion roots as a passible coffee substitute? Ok it isn't quite the same as Colombian arabica, but it's better than nothing but still quite pleasant. Tea, there's a plethora of herbal teas out there, like mint, camomile, nettle, pine needle or things like raspberry leaf which has a black tea (Something you can put milk in).

    Any of these would grow practically anywhere, as they're pretty much weeds, so the need to trade with far off places is not a necessity, and as said before, they're not arabica or earl grey, but when you're needing something thats wet and warm...

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    1. If overseas coffee was available for an unreasonable but reachable price, I'd sure be trading for it after I'd grown sick of chared weed root. I see what you are saying, but I can't see chicory surplanting real coffee if there is a method of getting the real thing.

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    2. Don't forget about Ephedra, also known as "Mormon tea". This grows in the desert region of the American West, and Jim probably has some growing in his own backyard?

      A wonderful energy boost can be had from this plant, and don't let all of the hype of the dangers of it scare you. Yes, all dietary supplements containing Ephedra were pulled from the shelves. But this was a highly concentrated, pharmaceutical form of Ephedrine. I'm told (Though as always, you should verify yourself?) that Ephedra in its natural state is quite safe.

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    3. Jim, When the Brits first started importing tea, weight for weight it cost more than gold. In todays money, that means a quarter of tea would be in the $5-6k range. In a peak oil scenario, we'd be back to sailing/coal powered steam shipping.

      This is why the Boston tea malarky was such a big thing, a cargo of tea priced at 1500 bucks an Oz dumped over the side was bound to piss someone off big style.

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    4. I might be off here, but I think you might be closer to the $1-2K mark. At least 150 years ago, about an once of gold equaled a months wages.

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  7. My second book Traveler has already had several negative reviews, not because the reviewer didn’t like my writing but because the novel was too “dark” or depressing to deal with. Although I knew it before I started working on my book those reviews have certainly reinforced the idea for me. Apocalyptic fiction readers might like to read about the end of the world, the end of everything, but you damn well better put a happy ending on it!

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    1. I know you gotta earn a buck on writing. I just hope you can perform a balancing act, strive towards reality without losing all your head up butt happy time yuppie survival scum. I'll admit, it is hard sometimes "keeping it real". The pay sucks. Whatever you do, don't stop writing ( strickly for MY sake, you understand )!

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