Sunday, June 19, 2011

The End is Nigh! But Not That Nigh.

May 21st came and went and all I lost was a cup of coffee and a pair of sunglasses. Which means Harold Camping was wrong. Again.

I have to wonder: Do the Harold Campings of the world REALLY believe their predictions, or do they quietly snicker as they calculate a new Use-By date for humanity?

WHITE HORSE takes place before, during, and after an apocalypse, so it should be no surprise to anyone that I'm fascinated by all things end-of-worldish, be it at the hand of deities or the natural result of too much hairspray used to prop up an entire generation of mall bangs. I love those shows--you know the ones--where experts give it to us straight: A black hole is coming right for us! We're going to die from a rare strain of turtle flu! The Venusians are coming, and they want to know if we human punks feel lucky!

I feel pretty lucky, but that didn't stop me watching people for signs of levitation and transparency on May 21, even though I don't believe in the Rapture. I'm more inclined to believe we're all going to die—or un-die—at the hands of zombies. I'm counting on my dog to bark and let me know they're coming—which she probably won't unless they're wearing duck costumes.

Is Yellowstone going to blow? Probably. Eventually. One day a meteor might slap us out of the sky. Maybe The End will piggyback the cure for cancer.

Will Harold Camping get the next one right? Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

I don't lose sleep over it, but the speculating fuels my creative fires. That same speculating has given birth to some of my favorite books: Stephen King's THE STAND; Susan Beth Pfeffer's LIFE AS WE KNEW IT; WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks. Daniel Wilson's ROBOPOCALYPSE is sitting here, eager to be devoured. I've read along as a hundred versions of our world screeched or limped to a halt. Basically all anyone has to do to get me to buy a book is say, “You know this book? In it, the world ENDS.”

Sometimes I can't help but wonder: What if the experts, the authors, the Harold Campings are right? What if this time's the--


  1. I also love these post-apocalypse daymare-dreams. It's a true leveling of the playing field where character redefines everything - more than any other scenario we can imagine. The comforts and conveniences are gone. The trivia is gone. The achievements and failures are gone. All that's left is the mettle of character that you've got, and if that character had made you a scrubbed, tax-paying citizen or a scoundrel or a good-for-nothing the first time around, what will it make you this time, now that the reset button has been pressed?

    Love the possibilities.

  2. I too love stories of the end of the world. Why else would my first novel (not out quite yet) be called *Soundtrack to the End of the World.* :-P

    I like to enjoy days like May 21st in the same way I enjoy Friday the 13th's and full moons. Any excuse for a nice Twilight Zone marathon, candied popcorn, and some homebrew is good enough for me. Especially if it carries with it the--however unlikely--end of all.