I've been writing for nearly twenty years but I've only recently started writing in the post apocalyptic genre. When I was younger I read Stephen King's The Stand, Robert McCammon's Swan Song, Lucifer's Hammer by Jerry Pournelle, and Larry Niven, and On The Beach, by Nevil Shute. I've always been intrigued by the concept of a world after.
For me post apocalyptic fiction is one area of speculative fiction that carries the potential that what one is reading could really happen, from nuclear war to genetic mutations creating an epidemic that wipes out a larger portion of humanity as we know it.
Every Wednesday I plan to feature post apocalyptic fiction as either a general info post about a book, a brief interview with an author working in the post apocalyptic genre, or I'll invite several post apocalyptic authors to answer a single questions. You can help me out by responding to each post with questions and comments of your own. I may even select one of your questions to feature. If I do I'll throw in the first three parts of The Dreadland Chronicles in the ebook format of your choice..
This week authors Valerie and Jessica have agreed to answer a question, and that question is.
Outside of shooting and hunting what skill set do you believe would be most valuable in a post apocalyptic world where the technology we have today is no longer working?
When speaking in the long term survival, I really believe that the ability to read will be the most important skill we can have and teach to others. Technology may disappear, but there are books available on every subject imaginable. I know I can not retain all the knowledge needed to survive after the collapse of society, since I live in a world where none of that is used on a daily basis, and no amount of camping or outdoor training is going to cover everything needed to keep my sorry ass alive. You want to know what will though? That book in my library about poisonous plants, farming techniques, dressing a kill, or the farmer's almanac. I can hold some knowledge, and that is why I do my best to learn new skills, but in the end learning from the experts of the past is a much more efficient way to stay alive. I am pretty sure my trial and error would kill me.
When I read this question, the answer popped right into my head.
You yourself must adapt to many surroundings. Some are simple and surrounded with love, while others are vile and stench of death. In a post-apocalyptic world, you’ll eventually encounter one of these types, and you’ll require a way to adapt. If you can’t do that, then you’re probably not going to live long.
You’ve got to learn to read people, know what they’re going to do before they make their move. When you misjudge a situation, you place yourself in unthinkable positions, learning how to blend is imperative to your survival. It’s not a question of whether you’ll do something that you deem as unthinkable, but the when you’ll do it. Finding a way to avoid that situation is always top priority.
Not only do you have to adapt to people, but nature as well. Reading about living in the wilderness is overwhelming, imagine doing it with nothing but the shirt on your back, or the meager supplies you’ve managed to collect on your escape. Water, shelter, food, and survival. Four things will become your lifeline and adapting your body and mind to survive withdrawals of these basic needs is crucial.
There are a multitude of ways you’ll be required to adapt to your new surroundings, these mentions are only the tip of the iceberg. In a post-apocalyptic world, somethings going to have to give… and it’s not going to be Mother Nature.