How will the End come? (And why Post-Apocalypse is an evergreen genre)

As a writer (and a reader), I’m facinated by what humans do and how humans think. Reading about people thrust into dire situations through no fault of their own, making ethical decisions, getting in touch with their true natures (good, evil, flawed)…these things continue to drive me toward fiction that examines them.
My story S is for Silence is out this coming week in the anthology A is for Apocalypse. Of course, I’m going to say nice things about the anthology —  my story’s in it. But having read just the first page of a dozen of the stories (I want to read the whole thing when I have the paperback copy in my hands), I am amazed at both the variety and the high quality of the tales.
And I’m encouraged by the evergreen nature of this genre.
The idea of Apocalypse (or the collapse of civilisation/worlds/environments) continues to fascinate a wide readership. I saw a Goodreads reviewer this week saying that zombie novels were a cluttered and overcrowded genre. I disagree. People will continue to write all sorts of apocalyptic novels/shorts for decades as will writers of police procedural stories and epic fantasies (which are all variations on a narrow theme) and other people will continue buying and enjoying them.

Because we are drawn to what we are drawn to. And many of us are drawn to the idea of the world ending.

Ideas of the collapse of our civilisation or our ecology inspire strong feelings, largely I think because we sense it could all happen so easily (maybe not the zombie infection scenario, but other scenarios certainly — global pandemics, world war, environmental disaster, nuclear disasters leading to other disasters, etc). And I suspect that the cycle of rise and fall of civilisation is strongly remembered by our historical hive mind.

My story is about what is revealed in a man’s psyche when the veneer of civilisation is stripped away.

So. How will the End come? That’s a more interesting subject to discuss.

In my opinion, one of two ways: As a Christian, I am a believer in the New Testament revelation (which is actually what the word apocalypse means) of the End of time.

But I’m also aware of that cycle of rise and fall we’ve been subject to for millenia. It may well be that we’re on the road to another fall and I’d be unsurprised if the environment turns on us for a few centuries due to the fallout from the recent Japanese reactor disaster combined with our penchant as a species for inflicting damage on our planet.

Feel free to disagree with me. In fact, throw a comment at me with your thoughts on the End below. Go on. I dare ya.

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This represents my entry in the A is for Apocalypse blog train. Please read the posts that come before and after mine at the following locations (great writers, these two):

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