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The idea behind this blog is to share my opinions about Post-Apocalyptic Literature, Films and Ephemera as well as my random nattering on a regular basis.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Key Vest for Wasteland Weekend

I started with five gallon bucket half filled with all the miscut key my friend Deathrattle could scavenge for me on his truck route (he drives for a smaller chain of hardware stores). I sat them out in the weather over the fall and winter to age and when that didn't work I soaked them in vinegar to really get the shine off.
All that remained was to scavenge a roll of thin gauge mild wire from my aunt and uncle.

I started drilling a small hole in the tip of each key with a drill press:





























When I had a goodly amount of them drilled I wove the mild steel wire through the top of one key and then through the small hole I had drilled:

 Once I had enough keys to make one pass around my torso I wove wire through the top the same way:






























I figure another seven of these and the shoulder parts and my vest will be done. And my fingers will be very blistered. See you in the Wastes.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Snowfall by Mitchell Smith

'But it's so sad,' Catina said.

'What, Trade-Honey?' Jack said, and turned to kiss her.

'Don't you see, Jack? It means the Garden people are sliding down. It means we're all still sliding down, not coming up to Warm-time ways.'

'Didn't you know this?' Jack settled back into his furs. 'I thought you knew that. When I was in Map-Missouri, the people there talked about a man who tried to make black gun-powder lifetimes ago. But it only hissed and made smoke. When he kept trying, it finally made one of the big old bangs and killed him. After that, everyone felt it was too uncertain to try in cold country - and bad luck besides.'

'It's just so sad! We're not stupid, Jack. Garden Mary's not stupid. Why are we all still sliding down?'

'Don't know .... Nobody has that many Copybooks - really and very few How-To-Dos. Mostly bad-people stories and complaining stories, and love stories.' He blew a puff of frosty breath up in the air, apparently to watch it, silver, in the moonlight.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

'Arctic Vortex' or Frost Storm?


I'd rather the news called it a Frost Storm.


It comes for me a lifeless front
White hazed hell upon the hills
And through the mist an icy fist
Shattering my senses
Plowing through defenses
On every horizon
Chrystal walls are closing in
Blistering the atmosphere
Engulfing all you see
Flash frozen to a bitter degree
Frost Storm

Subzero hammer
Pounding through the frozen wastes
Brutal avalanche burying decay
The roar of a thousand angry gods
As cold scorch winds descend on you

Every single second
tears the breath away
Rapid elemental shift
Falling fahrenheit the air grows thin
Blood frozen before it's bled
Frostbitten and left for dead
Steamrolling like a tidal wave
Bulldozer from the north
Tempest howls out the arctic assault
Drowning out the light
Obscured by winter blight
Frost storm

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Reapers are The Angels by Alden Bell

'And the horde, in the blackout of the city night, illuminated only by the headlights of the car, everywhere descending and roiling against one another like maggots in the belly of a dead cat, the grimmest and most degenerate manifestation of this blighted humanity on this blighted earth - beasts of our lost pasts, spilling out of whatever hell we have made for them like the army of the damned, choked and gagging and rotted and crusty and eminently pathetic, yes, brutally, conspicuously, outrageously pathetic.'

Saturday, January 4, 2014

When Gods Fail by Nelson Lowhim

I've loved the apocalypse in books, movies, and television shows since I was a sixth grader and my uncle loaned me The Stand.. I always understood from the beginning that the old world as well as the laws and social norms of that world had died along with all the people. Any means of stopping bad people doing what they wanted had also gone away. Instead of The Golden Rule (he who has the most gold makes the rules) it's the rule of strength, he who has the most strength makes the rules.

I might have mentioned before, but just in case I haven't mentioned it, some of the the biggest problems I have had with the show Revolution are that it appears that the apocalypse happened inside a Gap store and (worst of all) that when the good guys get the drop on the bad guys they either monologue and allow the bad guys to regain the advantage or (again worst of all) let them live. The point is that for whatever reason they have not come to grips with the concept of the rules of the old world dieing with the majority of the people.

This is not the case in the book When Gods Fail.

This book is set in the Pacific Northwest. In Portland, Oregon to be exact. As it opens our hero Tom is an avid spelunker and had been doing his thing when what he thought was an earthquake happened. Stalactites fell and then the whole thing caved in. Good thing for him he had some emergency rations and that the cave had a nice lil' stream so he makes out alright.

He spends a few weeks digging himself out and emerges into a much changed and devastated landscape. The only analogue to the situation he can think of is a forest fire. So thinking the fire has caused the destruction he sets out to find a phone so he can call his wife. What he finds is a cargo container that has been converted into a bugout shelter by a couple of survivalists.

He introduces himself and goes through the social niceties and behaves as though it was just a fire;  a localized event. They fill him in on what exactly has happened, a full-scale nuke war. He thinks they seem like nice enough guys and he enjoys the company. When he realizes they are running low on water he even led them back to the cave he had been trapped in so they could replenish their stock.

However, when they get what water they want, they turn on him and shoot him. They leave him for dead and head back to the cargo container.

Our hero, Tom has learned a valuable lesson.When he meets new people he takes no chances; he kills. When the other poeple have him cornered he waits and watchs. When an opening presents itself he acts decisively and with no mercy.

The change in his character comes so quickly it's a little offputting, but I enjoyed not thinking about how foolish he was being to allow an enemy escape to fight another day.

The other part I didn't enjoy so much was that it was short and the first part of normal sized book ... it ended too quickly. It was a great and fun read, I recommend it.