Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Audiobook Update.

I just finished Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, and I have a special request or two:

1. If you are a writer who has not grown up reading science and science fiction, you MUST give your manuscript to a science fiction writer for review prior to publication. This will save the would-be Eden-builder from making idiotic claims that industrialism will never re-emerge in the post-apocalyptic population of Ideal Beings because all the easy veins of iron ore have long since been tapped, then mentioning not ten minutes later the iron spikes of a fence that is part of the epic layer of iron-rich rubble that covers the entire surface of the Earth. The Stupid, it Hurts.

2. If you are doing the tired old "environmental collapse leads to societal collapse" thing, you must explain why human beings turn to animals in a way that we have never done in the presence of any other emergency, ever. Even the black death. If we were able to hold our shit in the face of the black death, you have to explain why we didn't when global warming hit the fan. I'm looking at you, too, Cormac McCarthy. I thought you were writing about nuclear winter. Ms. Atwood, I particularly need you to explain why all of your genius populations neither saw their fellow men as (a) human beings in need of compassion and help, nor (b) customers.

Final verdict: passion-free sociopaths are boring and poorly-executed apocalypses are frustrating.

1 comment:

Christopher P. Simmons said...

I'm a maven of Apocalypses, not the earliest of which started with Alas, Babylon. But lately, I've been trying to do what John Lennon said: Imagine no heaven, no country, no religion, no possessions... clearly post apocalyptic. And I immediately run into a problem where innovation fosters a market for SOMETHING, which then becomes possessions. The only thing that would stifle that natural human tendency is either religion (asceticism) or true communalism ;-), which would lead to a country.

We're not on Star Trek... we aren't puffs of light. John mused, "I wonder if you can." I can't.