– I have released an extended version of my two part serial featured here on my blog, The Golden Parachute for .99 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. I added about 3000 more words of new material and a short afterward explaining where I got the idea which I believe will enhance the story.
– Also, don’t forget the The Imaginings is on sale for only .99 for the month of February.
What does the future hold?
Next Friday, I’ll be posting a story I think I promised to put up a couple months ago. Waiting for the Train. Previous to discovering flash fiction, this was the shortest piece I’d ever written. It’s also the most literary (as opposed to my normal horror genre).
But without further ado…
Does everybody remember last year when the world was supposed to end on May 22nd? I do, even though I can’t remember the reason. I think just some fanatic’s mathematical interpretation of the Bible. Whatever it was, it was all over the place… or at least Facebook.
Now I may have mentioned this before (again, I think in my post Why do I like to write horror stories?), but I’m the type of guy who is never completely comfortable until these doomsday moments have passed. The logical side of me wants to be confident that our race will carry on, but the horror writer in me is just too paranoid.
This will have special significance to me this year, seeing as I live just outside of a town of roughly 350 people, a town which also happens to be the best location on earth for viewing the solar eclipse this May 20th. Sunday, May 20th. 2012. Best location on earth. Seriously? What are the chances?
And if you buy into the movie version of 2012 (which I’ll discuss shortly), the apocalypse doesn’t wait until December like we thought it would. In fact, it starts somewhere in the summer. Maybe in Kanarraville, Utah. We don’t even have a gas station, but this where the end of the world may start.
Either way, I feel like I’ll have an even better story to tell in June.
But until then…
End of the World Stories We Hate to Love, Part II
ORYX AND CRAKE (2003)- Honestly, I’m not sure why this novel by Margaret Atwood came to mind. It isn’t necessarily entirely about the end of the civilization, although the story starts the reader in that setting, continuing on to explain how we got to that point. I think it would probably count as the first genre-style novel I’d read that was written by someone known as more of a literary author (Atwood referred to both this one and The Handmaid’s Tale as “social science fiction). And the story reflects that, complete with genetic engineering, multinational corporations and televised executions (just to name a few). But perhaps what’s scary is that the world as we know it is brought to its knees by one person who believes they are doing the right thing.
THE ROAD (2006)- I discussed this novel by Cormac McCarthy at greater length in my post My Own Works Cited List: 10 books that have inspired me (see also, Why you should be reading Cormac McCarthy). What’s worth mentioning again here, though, is the fact that sometimes the story goes so much deeper than the setting. The story is rather how the characters deal with the setting in which they find themselves. The Road never definitely tells the reader exactly how the end of the world came about (which is probably somewhat true to life… when the end comes we may not get any warnings or explanations). This is a story about a father and son trying to survive. And it’s bleak. This is the biggest complaint I’ve heard about it. But c’mon, it’s about the end of the world.
“THE HAPPENING” (2008)- M. Night Shyamalan’s first “R” rated movie. And he took a beating over it. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was essentially the story of the Earth making the decision that we weren’t going to make it, not God or anybody else. And not in violent volcanic eruptions or earthquakes, but silently (“This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.”). And as far as a horror story was concerned, it had some pretty disturbing scenes. Another criticism was that it was trying too hard to make a statement, but while I do count myself in the moderate environmentalist camp, I didn’t find this to be the case. Just stating some facts. Although, admittedly, one fact is that most of us aren’t fast enough to outrun wind 🙂
“2012” (2009)- I have a few gripes about this movie, but first, how screwed up is that? Put out a movie in 2009 about 2012 so people like me can be irrationally (but still undeniably) stressed about it for three years. Sheesh. Anyway [SPOILER ALERT], here’s my overview of “2012”: When the end of the world comes, you’re pretty much guaranteed to die unless you happen to be a rich asshole… or John Cusack. Really? Did I just pay $8 to come to that conclusion while sitting next to my pregnant wife and unborn child? That sucks. At least in “The Day After Tomorrow” (written and directed by the same guy), we all get to go to Mexico. With the exception of some amazing effects, I actually just hated “2012,” but I know some people loved it, so I’ll include it here.
ZOMBIE MOVIES/ “THE WALKING DEAD” (2010)- This one goes way back, and rather than expounding on the zombie movie phenomenon here, I’ll just talk about why I like The Walking Dead (but a worthy excerpt on this topic can be found in my guest post by Dr. Kyle Bishop, al-Qaeda and Zombies: Is there a connection?). One thing I will say is that I think one draw of zombie movies is a question common to many of these end of the world stories: Would I be able to survive?
[SEASON ONE SPOILER ALERT] If you are a believer in the ideology behind Darabont’s “The Walking Dead,” the answer is “No.” Although there were amazing moments that caught my attention about Season 1 (I only have Netflix, so I have to wait for Season 2, so just zip it with any details), moments of humanity–like the desperation when the main character first goes home after escaping the hospital, or the monologue just before the famous entrails-draping scene–it was ultimately the CDC scientist’s one comment that sold me on this series. “There is no hope. There never was– this is our extinction event.” Whoa. I had never looked at a zombie story like that. We wouldn’t just disappear like the dinosaurs. Oh no.
And did I have nightmares during the few weeks that I watched that first season? Oh yes.
(In regards to this post, while stumbling around the internet, I found some great Best Buy deals. Being a frugal dad myself, I thought I’d pass them along to you. Maybe you can get a deal on an HDTV for watching the rest of Season 2 of The Walking Dead :))
FAHRENHEIT 451 (1953)- Also on my list of 10 books that have inspired me, I debated putting this one by Ray Bradbury into the list. However, without giving away any spoilers, I’ll just say that it’s not necessarily an end of the world story. But it doesn’t take long into the book to realize it’s a start-of-the-end-of-the-world story. A cautionary tale, perhaps.
What do I want from you?
Okay, that’s the end of my list. I got some great suggestions last week and would love any more you have for me this week. Or just any comments on my Part II choices.
And don’t forget to check back next week for Waiting for the Train.
Finally, thanks to those of you who have already helped me spread the word about the .99 February sale for The Imaginings.
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