Thursday Chills #1: Apocalypse, Baby!

I’m obsessed with the end of the world.  Some have said it’s my religious upbringing.  I blame the The Swiss Family Robinson.

No, really I do.

Think about it.  Here were these people headed off to settle in a new land and BOOM!  Their own personal apocalypse.  It’s not like they could pick up a mobile phone and ring the Coast Guard.  They might as well have been stuck on the moon.  They had to start all over from scratch.  Build a life worth living out of the wreckage of their old lives.  It was about hope for a better tomorrow.  Talk about inspiring.

So inspiring, my very first “novel” (written when I was about 11) bore a suspicious similarity to The Swiss Family Robinson.  Complete with pirates.

And then I discovered the REAL apocalypse.  

The Tripods came…

I don’t remember how old I was when I first discovered John Christopher’s brilliant YA post-apocalyptic trilogy (I do know it was before the release of the fourth book in ’88.), but it struck such a chord with me, I couldn’t get it out of my head.  Those intrepid teenagers who stood up for their people, even when it seemed hopeless.

In fact, years later, I still can’t get that story out of my head.  A couple years back I bought the whole series and reread them.

It’s probably a close call, but I might just love Stephen King’s The Stand even more.  Surprisingly for such an avid reader, I saw the movie first.

I got such a kick out of seeing King make a cameo appearance.  I thought, “Many, I want to do that.  I want to write a kick-ass novel, have it get turned into a movie, then make a cameo.  How awesome would that be!”  You never know.  Stranger things have happened, right? 😉

Eventually I did read the novel.  The unabridged version.  Ridiculously long, but I loved every minute of it.  Could hardly put it down, in fact.

The Stand was wonderfully creepy and scary without being overly gory and gross.  It was a tale of good versus evil.  Of survival and heartache and triumph and love.  Everything that makes a story great, to my mind.

And then there was The Passage.  There was something so wonderfully fearless about that novel.  Perhaps because the author’s eight year old daughter helped brain storm it into existence.  I could definitely see my own eight year old self, unfettered by thoughts of what should be, coming up with something equally weird and wonderful.

There was awful beauty in that story.

But, of course, I’ve always enjoyed a good romance.  I think most people do.  Who doesn’t love happily ever after?  Even in the apocalypse.  Maybe especially in the apocalypse.


Which is why I love Joss Ware’s Envy Chronicles.  The mash-up of romance and post-apocalyptic adventure (with zombies!) is pure genius.


Because love is the ultimate apocalypse.  

According to Miriam-Webster, apocalypse originally meant simply “revelation”.  Of course, it’s taken on new meanings, thanks to the book of Revelation (among other things), including a violent end to the world as we know it.  But in its purest form, apocalypse is a revealing of things hidden.  An unveiling.

It’s rebirth.  It’s life.  It’s hope.

And I guess that’s why I’m hooked on the apocalypse.  So hooked that two of my current works in progress are post-apocalyptic tales (With romance!  And dragons! And aliens!  And steampunk!).

How about you?  What’s your favorite tale of the apocalypse?


10 thoughts on “Thursday Chills #1: Apocalypse, Baby!

  1. War of the World (H.G. Wells) comes to mind. The book was well done for its era and the movie from a few years back was exceptional. The sound the alien death machines made, haunting when listened to on quadraphonic sound. Crank it up.

    Great post Shea 🙂

  2. I was quite taken with “The Road”, by Cormac McCarthy. Such a stark, darkly moving tale told with a very delicate prose. The movie was good, too. ;D

    I’m an apocalypse junky, myself. All of the books I’m working on now take place on an Earth transformed by a magical apocalypse. BOO-YAH!

  3. I think The Stand is probably my all-time favorite of the genre. I’m a sucker for almost any post-apocalyptic movie, though. I also like The Matrix and Terminator, although my husband maintains that those two don’t really take place in a post-apocalyptic world so they shouldn’t count. Horseshoes and hand grenades I say.

    Children of Men is a more recent favorite of mine. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth checking out.

    The Book of Eli was a good movie. A little heavy-handed with the religious overtones, but if you can get by that it’s a well-told, enjoyable story.

    Thanks for the Joss Ware recommendation. Those books are now added to my already very long TBR list. 🙂

    1. Horseshoes and hand grenades, indeed! lol

      Children of Men was a very good movie. Though I didn’t like the book much.

      Loved the Book of Eli. Agree about the overtones, but still a cracking good tale. And I heart Denzel Washington.. 😉

      Another new series you might enjoy is by Ellen Connor (Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty) which is a post-apocalyptic romance set during a magical apocalypse. Just read the first in the series, which was fantastic.

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