Thursday, February 6, 2014

Guest Sean McLachlin and Radio Hope

Many of you probably know blog buddy Sean McLachlin... he's the guy who, when I go over to his long standing blog, is immersed in some cave or telling some cool historical story...  He's a nice guy... AND he is dappling in my domain, so many of you who like all that apocalypse stuff (which is a bunch of you) may be very interested in what he is up to... but here, let HIM tell you:

How none of our sins will go away with the fall of civilization (except texting)

It’s a hundred years in the future, and humanity has reverted to its barbaric past. A century of economic and social upheaval, environmental catastrophe, and biological warfare have left the world ravaged. The few survivors live by scavenging the ruins of a once-advanced civilization or cultivating the few remaining patches of fertile land.

Otherwise, people pretty much go on like before.

The apocalypse will change a lot of things, but it’s not radically going to change us. Sure, we’re going to be a bit paranoid, sneaking through the wasteland armed to the teeth, assuming we still have teeth, but we’re going to have all the little frailties we’ve always had. That’s what makes post-apocalyptic fiction, indeed all fiction, so compelling—we get to see ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and imagine ourselves in their shoes.

People being people, it’s no surprise that my post-apocalyptic novel Radio Hope opens in a bar. I mean, if 90% of the population is dead and the world is a toxic wasteland, wouldn’t you want to get loaded? In New City—really just a town and the only settlement of any size—the biggest business is a bar called $87,953. The name is another story, and involves another sin.

Drinking is big in New City, and since many of the scavengers don’t get to partake on a regular basis, when they come in from the wildlands they booze it up like there’s no tomorrow. They could be right about that. Annette Cruz, one of my protagonists, is the bouncer and has to deal with fights, sexual harassment, and hate speech on a regular basis.

These aren’t the only sins that have survived the apocalypse. Over on the other side of town, Fly Daddy Bradley offers a bevy of girls for company, and the farmers outside town like to grow hemp for cloth and “medicine.” A lot of people seem to need medicine these days.

Nor has tobacco fallen from grace. How could it? Barely a hundred years after tobacco made it to Europe, it was still expensive but people of all social classes spent fortunes for their daily dose of the “foule weede”. When Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned from 1603 to 1616 in the Tower of London, he grew tobacco in Tower Green. The fact that the space was also used for hangings and beheadings failed to curb his cravings!

So if you think that “living the simple life away from technology” will free you from the world’s sins, think again. At least it will get rid of people texting or talking loudly on their cell phones on public transport. The problem is, with the destruction of the world’s communication systems, all the Internet trolls will go back to being barroom bores who back you into a corner and won’t let you go until they tell you how much of an evil loser their neighbor is and how he should really just die a horrible and embarrassing death.

Yeah, I think I’ll stick with civilization.

Sean McLachlan is an archaeologist turned writer who is the author of several books of fiction and history. Check him out on his blog Midlist Writer.

Book Blurb: In a world shattered by war, pollution and disease. . .
A gunslinging mother longs to find a safe refuge for her son.
A frustrated revolutionary delivers water to villagers living on a toxic waste dump.
In humanity’s last city, the assistant mayor hopes he will never have to take command.
One thing gives them the promise of a better future--Radio Hope, a mysterious station that broadcasts vital information on surviving in a blighted world. But when a mad prophet and his army of fanatics march out of the wildlands on a crusade to purify the land with blood and fire, all three will find their lives intertwining, and changing forever.

Buy Link 


Sean McLachlan said...

Thanks for having me, Hart!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think the apocalypse will be similar to living in the old west.

Hart Johnson said...

Only with spaceships, eh, Alex? We want Firefly!!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I don't believe people will drastically change, for better or worse. What's really in their heart will come out.

Rusty Carl said...

People being people. A little apocalypse won't change that. Great point!

Helena said...

Great intriguing blurb. I'll check out Radio Hope. And part of me is glad that texting will become extinct.