Today I have Justin Woolley here talking about post-apocalyptic fiction, which happens to be one of my favourite topics.
The Appeal of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Hi readers, and thanks for hosting me on your blog Donna. Given that my debut novel A Town Called Dust is a post-apocalyptic story set in the Australian outback and we have a shared love of post-apocalyptic fiction I thought I’d talk a little about why I enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction, and why I think the genre has become so popular recently.
I think the appeal of post-apocalyptic fiction is rooted in the appeal of all fiction, overcoming conflict, and if we think about it is there any conflict as great as tearing down the world and forcing people to survive? It doesn’t matter whether the apocalypse is a natural disaster, a plague, an alien invasion or the zombie variety, in the end it symbolises great adversity that people can relate to. We all have times when we feel like our world is crumbling around us.
Of course post-apocalyptic fiction often holds a mirror up to humanity and shows us our darker side. I think that is another reason both authors and audiences love it. It’s a way to pose the question: if our civilisation is torn down around us, if the rules are gone, what do we become? Are humans little more than animals willing to kill each other to survive or will we maintain our morals, is that what defines us? Hence why, as is often the case, the cause of the apocalypse is often not as sinister as the humans that remain. A great example of this is The Walking Dead, in either the comic or the TV show the ongoing theme is that the real enemies are the other survivors, not the zombies.
You also asked me why I chose to set my post-apocalyptic story in the Australian outback. I think the answer to that is two-fold. Firstly, being Australian I wanted to set a book here simply because I know the country and while I think the book has universal appeal I also wanted something special for an Australian audience, that buzz you feel when a book is set in a place you know. Second, the Australian desert is a rich landscape and one that really invokes a feeling of vast emptiness, even lawlessness, and in many ways it already feels post-apocalyptic – just think of Mad Max the imagery of the Australian desert perfectly captures the feel of a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
So that’s why I choose to write post-apocalyptic fiction, to explore how humanity may face the destruction of everything we know, plus zombies are awesome!
Thanks Justin. That’s great! And congratulations to Momentum for publishing another fab speculative novel.
A Town Called Dust will be released on November 13th, 2014 and is available to preorder now: http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/a-town-called-dust/
And here is the blurb !! A Town Called Dust
Stranded in the desert, the last of mankind is kept safe by a large border fence, until the fence falls.
Squid is a young orphan living under the oppressive rule of his uncle in the outskirts of the Territory. Lynn is a headstrong girl with an influential father who has spent her entire life within the walled city of Alice.
When the border fence is breached, the Territory is invaded by the largest horde of undead ghouls seen in two hundred years. Squid is soon conscripted into the Diggers, the armed forces of the Territory. And after Lynn finds herself at odds with the Territory’s powerful church, she too escapes to join the Diggers.
Together Squid and Lynn form an unlikely friendship as they march to battle against the ghouls. Their journey will take them further than they ever imagined, leading them closer to discovering secrets about themselves, their world, and a conspiracy that may spell the end of the Territory as they know it.
Thank you Justin. You can find Justin on the web.
www.justinwoolley.net or follow him on Twitter: @Woollz.