Post Apocalyptic reading: Impressions – When Josie Comes Home, by AE Stanton

The New West 1: When Josie Comes Home by AE Stanton. [1. Review copy provided by Musa Publishing]
The future’s a lot like the past — the West’s still hard on women and horses.

The future’s a wonderful place to be if you were considered worthy — until a huge solar flare slagged the world computers. Now, over two hundred years later, the unworthies are all that’s left of humanity, and they’ve reverted back to the old, old ways.
Josie escapes from the forced sexual slavery of Horsetown, vowing to return with help to save her sisters. Ten years later, she’s not home — but her youngest sister, Sadie, insists Josie will return, with her Hero along to help save the day.
The Gambler’s in Horsetown for reasons all his own. Who is he? What’s he really here for? And what will happen if he’s in town When Josie Comes Home?
 
I was half way through this one before I even realised it. It’s another post-apocalyptic book where the vast majority of women are sex slaves, but the issue is treated with much more sensitivity and understanding than it is in The Last Mailman, which was my main complaint with that book.
And it’s also a damn good book.
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Don't fight fair.

Sometimes on TV or even in real life you’ll hear people say they could have won a fight if only the other person had only fought fair… Really? There’s some expectation that individuals tho digress from disagreement to heated, insult-riddled debate, to physical altercation will abide by some sort of code of ethics? A chick can throw her drink on you, but not the glass itself? A dude can punch you in the gut, but not in the balls?
If you punch me in the face, I’m not allowed to punch you in the dick because… Oh, wait, nope. If you punch me in the face, I’ma punch you in the dick and poke you in the eye and scratch you, and if there’s sand I’ll throw that too.
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Thinking of proposing? There's an app for that

Okay, so, confession time: I dislike Valentine’s Day. Probably because I spent way too many of them single (well, before I got married). Back then, I used to think of myself as a hopeless romantic. Sometime in the last decade I realized I was just hopeless.
Ironically, when I owned up to that, I met my now-husband. (I guess there’s something to be said for that be-true-to-yourself stuff, hey?) Also, Hubby’s a lot better at this romance stuff than I am. I mean, I actually FORGOT Valentine’s Day last year. He came home with a card and flowers and I looked at him and said, “Uh…what are the flowers for?” And he laughed and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, honey.”Um. Yeah.
What can I say? I’m romantically stunted. I read romance novels because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to realize that not everyone is as inept as I am when it comes to love and romance.
Ahem. Anyway. I suppose I don’t really have to say that I am one of the few non-romantic females on the planet. And I probably really don’t have to say that the vast majority of females demand romance, particularly on days like Valentine’s Day. They want the chocolate, the roses, the candlelit dinner, the whatever else it is you’re supposed to have during a romantic evening out with your significant other.
Some of them even want marriage proposals–yes, on Valentine’s Day. (I know, right?)
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The Hollywood Tough Girl, and why she would die immediately.

In more recent years, Hollywood has attempted to be slightly less disgustingly misogynistic in it’s treatment of women, more out of an attempt to appear forward-thinking rather than a genuine belief that women are individual human beings.
One of these slight changes is the portrayal of awesome, kick-arse female characters in films (and other media. While the title of this article refers to Hollywood, I will refer to games and comics as well).
So waht’s the problem? Here’s a woman who is able to kill zombies/aliens/robots just as well as any men, right? A positive role model, and one the ICoS girls should admire, right?
Oh, how wrong you are. Sure, I think most of these women are cool, but as for role models for women? Ehh, not so much, especially in the drastically important realm of surviving the post apocalyptic world.
 
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The end of the world: There's a magazine for that

Last week I was putzing around Target shopping for clothes for my kids. I took a detour through the books and magazines because this is what I do every shopping trip. I don’t normally find anything–local stores never carry the magazines I want to read (Discover, Astronomy, that sort of thing) and I’m a digital reader (I love my Kindle) so I don’t get many paperbacks.
But THIS time, I struck gold. And because I’m always thinking about the apocalypse in some form or another (usually because I’m looking for possible topics to write about), my brain somehow found this one magazine, even though it was sitting in the back of the stacks.
It’s called 2012 End of the World.
I kid you not.
I’m still trying to find ways to show you guys pictures without getting a copyright violation suit slapped on me and ICoS, so you’ll have to wait a bit for screenshots. I was thinking of doing an end-times collage (using images from this and other magazines)…would that be a copyright violation? It would be a piece of art (and I use the term “art” loosely).
Anyway. I’m going to give you an overview of the magazine. And, you know, review it. Because I read this shit so you don’t have to.
WARNING: HERE BE SNARKERY. AND LENGTH.
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Save the Universe You Love on Valentine's Day


This Valentine’s day Bioware will be releasing the demo for Mass Effect 3. Knowing how hot the gaming world is to finally know what happens between Shep and The Reapers once and for all, Bioware whets our appetites with just a taste of what’st to come in Mass Effect 3 when it launches on March 3rd.
The developed detailed the move in a press:

Award-winning developer BioWare, a label of Electronic Arts Inc., announced today that the demo for 2012’s first blockbuster game, Mass Effect™ 3 will be available beginning February 14, 2012. The extensive demo will allow players to experience the all-out galactic war against an ancient alien race known as the Reapers from multiple fronts, including the mind-blowing opening attack on Earth that kicks off the single-player campaign.  Players will go deeper into the campaign and also get a taste of the franchise’s new co-operative multiplayer mode as they preview the epic story, adrenaline-pumping action and deep customization options that lie ahead when Mass Effect 3 launches on March 6, 2012. The Mass Effect 3 demo will be available for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. Mass Effect 3 will also be one of the first pre-launch demos to support full voice recognition functionality on Kinect™ for Xbox 360.

In Mass Effect 3, players will be thrust into an all-out galactic war to take Earth back and save the entire galaxy, assuming the role of Commander Shepard, a war-torn veteran who’s willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate this nearly unstoppable foe. With a team of elite, battle-hardened soldiers at your side, each player decides how they will take Earth back, from the weapons and abilities they utilize to the relationships they forge or break. Mass Effect 3 also features a new co-operative gameplay mode that allows fans to experience the war from a different perspective. Players who want to try this new mode will be able to do so on February 17, or by qualifying for early access to the co-op portion of the demo which begins February 14. Gamers qualify for early access if they have activated their Battlefield 3™ online pass* or though other opportunities that will be announced in the near future www.masseffect.com.
(source)

Get ready to blow off that someone special so you can spend time with Shep and some Brave and Beautiful aliens.

I can't wait to loot your house.

So, one of the most exciting aspects of a possible apocalypse is the exodus/migration/mass death and subsequent stuff left behind. Fuck all your base; all your shoes, chairs, scarves, medications, and fine dinnerware are belong to us!
When team morale is at its lowest and people are feeling all sorts of shitty and defeated. I’m going to lead them to your McMansion neighborhood and right up to your front door. We’ll take turns guarding the opening of the cul-de-sac your house is on, blocking the entrance with two Jeeps we stole from your local dealership. Snipers will take up post in your kid’s tree-house and that gazebo in your back yard. I’ll line my sad sack, rag tag team up on your front lawn and give them each a fist-sized rock from your decorative walkway. Then, on the count of three, they’ll hurl the rocks through your picturesque bay window like a bunch of drunken middle schoolers. Oh, the joy smashing through your pristine abode will bring us.
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Post-Apocalyptic Reading: Impressions – THE LAST MAILMAN by Kevin. J. Burke

Description of Kevin. J. Burke’s The Last Mailman[1. This book was provided for review byPermuted Press]

Four-year degree in business. Trained in hand-to-hand combat. 
Works well with zombies. 
This is the resume of the last mailman on Earth. It is the near future, and the modern world we knew has been overrun and destroyed by reanimated corpses who hunt humans for food. Mankind has retreated to small pockets of civilization and practically surrendered to the walking dead. But one man routinely leaves behind the safety and comfort to find the people and things we’ve long abandoned. He battles the elements. He battles his own brewing insanity. 
But mostly, he battles zombies.

Well, now, this is a bit more like it.
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Post Apocalyptic Reading: Impressions – Roil, by Trent Jamieson

Roil by Trent Jamieson [1. Bought with my own money from Angry Robot Books]
Shale is in trouble, dying. A vast, chaotic, monster-bearing storm known only as the Roil is expanding, consuming the land.
Where once there were twelve great cities, now only four remain, and their borders are being threatened by the growing cloud of darkness. The last humans are fighting back with ever more bizarre new machines. But one by one the defences are failing. And the Roil continues to grow.
With the land in turmoil, it’s up to a decadent wastrel, a four thousand year-old man, and a young woman intent on revenge to try to save their city – and the world.
Roil is a fast-paced post apocalyptic fantasy that drops you right into a new world from the first page. Reviewed in EPUB format.
Grade: B
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Your period post apocalypse.

OK, male readers. If you are squeamish about period talk, you may not want to read this one. But as a survival blog with female writers and a slant where we look at the stuff people don’t think about, you knew this was coming.
Women have periods. It’s a fact. There are things that can stop a woman having her period (being very underweight or overweight, pregnancy, certain medications, certain medical conditions, menopause) but, in general, if you are a female human between about 13 and 50 you are bleeding from your vagina every month.
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