I’ve recently discovered that I enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction. I just finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (FYI, not a good idea to read a book about a flu pandemic on a train full of sniffing, coughing passengers), I really enjoyed the Wool trilogy by Hugh Howey, and I’m eagerly awaiting the final instalment in Justin Cronin’s Passage series. These are all very different stories, but have one thing in common – something’s wiped out pretty much the entire human race and the survivors have to start civilisation again from scratch.
This probably sounds a bit morbid for a blog that’s supposed to be about happy things. And it is. But I think the reason I enjoy these books is that it makes me think about everything we have to lose. Stuff like electricity, healthcare, shops, public transport – all the things we take for granted and just expect to work every day. Not to mention our friends and families, who we assume will always be around. Maybe it doesn’t hurt to stop every once in a while, and consider how lucky we are. Because while I accept it’s unlikely – but not impossible – that the U.S. army’s going to create vampires to use as weapons of mass destruction, we only have to watch the news to realise that a flu pandemic isn’t completely beyond the realms of possibility.
Seriously, I’ll stop bringing everyone down in a minute, I promise. But I do wonder sometimes how we’d cope if something that dramatic happened. Every time the trains are delayed and everyone goes all ‘every man for himself’. Or it snows (here in Britain, anyway – I’m led to believe other countries handle it better than we do). Or we all lose our minds over the colour of a dress. And dare we even mention Black Friday?
I’m sure I’d probably be worse than useless in an apocalypse (I’m the kind of person who would totally die first in a horror movie), so I’m not judging anyone else. But maybe next time there’s a traffic jam, instead of getting annoyed and taking it out on other drivers, we should try just being grateful that our destination will still be there when we arrive.
Ok, that’s enough misery. Here’s a cute photo of a panda to cheer us all up. Happy Sunday! 😉