I love post-apocalyptic fiction, especially those books aimed at the young adult market. Wye is one of the best post-apocalyptic books I’ve ever read and I gave it a glowing five-star review last year. Naturally I was thrilled when Wye author Jack Croxall offered to write a guest post on his love of post-apocalyptic fiction.
Why I Love Post-Apocalyptic Fiction – Jack Croxall
Our world will end. This is not conjecture, this is a stark and unavoidable fact. Unless we can master interstellar space travel, the sun’s evolution into a planet-engulfing red giant will ultimately spell the end for humanity. Fortunately, it’s a few billion years before we have to worry about that. Unfortunately, there are several other things – asteroid strikes, catastrophic climate change, pandemics – which could easily finish us off long before the sun boils our planet alive.
When humanity begins to fall, it’s easy to imagine that civilisation’s rules will go out of the window. Resources will be limited, and those who are left will have to tussle against one another just to ensure survival from one day to the next. In a world like that, any person would surely show their true colours. This is why I love post-apocalyptic fiction so much. There is no pretence, a post-apocalyptic protagonist will act true to who and what they are. As a reader, this makes it easy to connect with them and their plight.
Knowing that civilisation will end (but not how) also generates lots of wonderful opportunities for storytelling. So many excellent novels have imagined the end in different ways, The Road, Runners and The Walking Dead to name just a few. For both reader and writer, it’s kind of morbidly exciting to imagine how you would act if you ever found yourself in a particular book’s situation – to consider just who YOU really are.
It’s also kind of refreshing. We were born into a society full of rules, rules we mostly weren’t around to help draw up. It’s interesting to imagine a world where all of that is reset. Of course, we First World-ers were also born into a society of medicine, education, technology and (relative) justice. It’s fascinating to wonder whether we would have it in us to survive radically different circumstances. Would we even want to survive them?
Jack Croxall is an author/scriptwriter living in Nottinghamshire. You can view his post-apocalyptic novel Wye and his other books by clicking here.