As I’m sure most of my minions remember from rants past, I absolutely loath and despise and hurl phlegm balls of blood at any apocalypse fiction that takes the easy way out. In essence, the hero’s of our tale skip merrily along a primrose path gayfuly scooping up oodles and gobs of treasures to live life happily ever after once the bothersome scum sucking whores that constituted their neighbors have been reduced to squishy piles of fly larva food. As much as I enjoy Stephen King, his tales all employ this device, from the six surviving members of North America ( or whatever the pitifully small number was ) in The Stand to the book The Cell which ignores the same issues to focus on the horror aspects. Then there was that crap from the 1940’s ( I want to say “Earth Abides” ) where decades after the collapse ( decades! I’d want a few fresh grown taters myself, perhaps some fried chicken rather than just Chef Boy R D ) the few small tribes are still picking canned food from buildings. Perhaps this would be excusable if the author spent WWII eating nothing but C-rats and civilian canned food was deemed to be henceforth a tasty treat. I can’t see that, as those rations were still better than Spam. Anyway, to take this cop out, to ignore the details of the hard work of surviving the collapse of civilization, to me renders a book incapable of being awarded the genre title post-apocalypse.
Even books trying to describe a wilderness survival existence are so much better. At least the author tries. Oh, most likely it is unrealistic for plain civilians. They will die off quickly to grizzlies or hypothermia or plant poisoning. But at least the plot had some sort of explanation, some reasoning as to how a person could feed themselves after the grocery stores were closed. Equally idiotic to the notion that enough canned goods survive to keep you alive forever since 99.99763 percent of the population instantly perished conveniently is the first cousin inbred retarded idea that the novels characters will have an equally easy time finding ammunition. I understand that if this device wasn’t utilized than nobody would be able to blast hundreds of rounds downrange at the slightest notice of an invading force such as twig snapping or a guy with a black powder muzzle loader kamikaze attacking a checkpoint at a panicking ten miles an hour on his bicycle. The characters wouldn’t be able to stumble over the often overused “black market gun dealer” hiding crew served automatic weapons in his basement. For the love of all that’s holy, how can we salute the flag, eat apple pie, drive our Chevy’s to any levee’s or bone the girl next door in observing The American Way Of Life if we don’t make incredible amounts of profit by selling drivel such as this to the rubes? It would unpatriotic if we didn’t!
So, you either have a nuclear wasteland, a depopulated chemical charnel house or some such means in which the world has become a no credit needed grocery store and ammunition locker, and the folks rebuilding civilization shop to their hearts content and repopulate according to their particular religious bent. Why bother describing the Apocalypse at all? How boring is this crap? Aren’t you at all curious as to how a civilization evolves after a collapse, besides by consuming factory goods? Are we so soft and lazy the prospect of farming, mining, smithing, anything creative needing sweat is such a hideous prospect? Which brings me to today’s current, but certainly not last, offender. The K-book “Apocalypse Empire: The Hatchery Compound” by Chris Blake. Even for zombie fiction, this is lazy. Oh, it’s not a badly told tale. For zombie crap, it ain’t too shabby. The zombies get short shift and the survival of the group takes center stage. The problem is, there is nothing going on but looting and finding a vast array of free goodies. Sure, you gotta kill a few Charlies ( the humorous name for the zombies. The virus that turned them had the name C. something or other, so C for Charlie like in the Vietnam War ). No big deal, just like a video game. And the Yuppie Scum Survivalist semi-auto and full auto stroke fest! It was embarrassing after awhile. A few tactics, sure, but mostly our boys got to pray and spray. There was even a snide remark about war surplus bolt action rifles being beneath contempt and being given to the disliked allied village. If you weren’t worshiping at the AR alter, you were a scum sucking un-American asswhore, in so many words.
Is this the zombie apocalypse fiction evolution ( or, devolution )? Going from enemies to combat to just the means of getting rid of everyone else so you can put on your shopping shoes and consume mindlessly forever more? Are we now going to just skip the whole menu items the undead chose and skip to the Grand Cleansing? For humps sake, how hard is it to build an empire in a depopulated land with unlimited supplies? Only a friggin moron could screw that up. I certainly won’t be following this authors sequels, as that seems to be how he is planning to precede ( the book didn’t even really get to the good part, but merely to the beginning of our budding Napoleon’s fight to power ). I didn’t feel I was cheated out of my money, it was a decent four hours of entertainment. But it was also a cheat. Even most of our survival writers can’t articulate how our technological oil fed civilization runs, much less how to survive without it. The good news is, there are a hell of a lot of people cashing in on the prepper craze. That’s also the bad news. We have to go through the whole thing all over again, discounting the uneducated and the ill informed and the carpetbaggers. Well, at least it is cheaper this time with e-books.
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