Note: In Case of Survival is part of the Cities and Thrones blog tour. Yesterday’s review was not part of the tour, but today’s post is.
Today, we have a guest post from author Carrie Patel. Yay! Thanks for joining us, Carrie!
What are your thoughts on revolutions? Let us know in the comments!
You Say You Want a Revolution
Wicked rulers and corrupt governments have been a staple of speculative fiction for about as long as they’ve been around in real life.
Which is to say, forever.
Overthrowing the despot, deposing the dynasty, and outmaneuvering the bureaucracy are nearly-universal power fantasies, so it’s no surprise that they show up in much of our fiction.
And so we read stories about heroic pig farmers who vanquish sorcerer-kings and resourceful children who save the world. These story arcs follows the heroes’ empowerment, their struggles, and their ultimate triumph over the forces of evil and ineptitude.
It’s generally assumed that everything is hunky dory once the heroes have ousted the bad guys. All that remains after that point are the author’s acknowledgements.
Endings based on successful revolutions are satisfying because they reflect a certain moral symmetry that we like. It seems right and reasonable that circumstances should improve when people who are intelligent and well-meaning replace those who are not. We like to see our heroes earn their happy endings, and we want to believe that the world can become a better place through simple, honest effort.
But this ending—the happy revolution—assumes several conditions.
It assumes that a person in power will stick to her principles.
It assumes that her lieutenants and subordinates will, too.
It assumes that all of these people who knew how to rebel also know how to govern.
And it assumes that everyone else will agree to follow them.
But the skill sets of wartime champions are not always compatible with those of peacetime leaders—George R. R. Martin derived an entire series’ worth of conflict and drama from this idea. Furthermore, the realities and compromises of leadership are often messier than the high-minded ideals of revolution.
And few ideals survive a violent uprising unscathed.
To gloss over these tensions is to miss some of the richest story material available to a writer. And yet, stories so often end once power has changed hands. Just when things are getting really interesting.
Cities and Thrones is about the notion that reconstruction is an even greater epic than revolution. It’s not so much an end to the conflict as it is an extension of it. Allies find themselves at odds, enemies learn to cooperate, and principles are put to the test. Meanwhile, the aftershocks of revolution set off a domino effect of maneuvers and counter-maneuvers as the newly-empowered and the recently-deposed scramble to seize and salvage what advantages they can.
An intricate and chaotic game of musical chairs often begins after a sudden shift in power. Individuals find their beliefs and loyalties challenged in new and surprising ways. It’s hectic and heart-wrenching, and it’s some of my favorite conflict in fiction.
Going to work is, on the surface, a straightforward and simple task. Unfortunately people are often caught off guard by the simple perils of going to and being at work that they fail to prepare properly for.
So, lucky you, you’ve got a job. But now you’ve got to keep it and if possible improve it by way of financial compensation or upward mobility in the organization that give you said job. This is not as simple as simply showing up and doing your job. No, people have to see you and formulate opinions about you and that’s where everyday survival tips come in.
1. If you’re on time, you’re late; if you’re early, you’re on time.
No one care that you have a life outside of work or that traffic exists or that anything aside from you got to work in time to be set up and working before it’s time to punch in. It shows forethought and self-management and give you the time to put yourself and your thoughts in order so as not to just jump in a react. That’s how dogs get skunked and bouncers get punched. Take you time to show up, assess the situation and your place in it, an then join in.
Leave early – Earlier than you think you need to. Give yourself at least a half-hour of early time because you’re better off tweeting in the parking lot for 20 minutes than running in out of breath just 5 minutes late.
2. You stink.
As a human, you likely sweat and it probably smells. If you’re a lady, you’ve got lady parts and those sweat and smell sometimes too – sorry dudes, it’s just a part of life, like this “ball sweat” I’ve heard about. No one wants to smell your stink. I mean, we’ve all had some epic long weekends in our twenties where we woke up on the couch and wondered what that smell was only to find out it was us. Maybe your face, under arms, or private parts.
It’s biology and it’s nothing to worry about. However it it something to be aware of and in control of. People notice smells and they’re distracting. so distracting they make you seems less intelligent – Why would I trust your opinion on sales strategies if you can’t even wash yourself properly?
Keep a stash of toiletries in your car or bag. Deodorant, mouth wash, floss, tiny disposable toothbrushes, wet wipes, feminine hygiene products – including scented liners and summer’s eve wipes.
Notice the lack of “perfume” and “cologne”? That’s because those things stink and make people gag or get migraines and make you smell like you have human stink that hiding under chemical-flower stink. Don’t try to mask your funk, fix it.
3. Murphy’s Law is Law
Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. When you’re going to work, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Don’t put off car maintenance. Don’t try to squeeze in a coffee before the train instead of getting it in the city once you arrive. Don’t assume they’ll clear the snow enough for their to be a reasonable number of parking spaces. Don’t trust that capable of wearing white and eating food and drinking coffee before a big meeting without an incident.
Don’t go to work everyday under the assumption that because you have a job today you still will tomorrow. They may like you but business isn’t about feelings and if you don’t prepare for the worst and preempt issues like missing handouts, double booked conference rooms, skipping lunch, having a headache, then you’re not being realistic and you should be saving up for unemployment.
4. You’re not that pretty without makeup.
Sorry, ladies but in the real world, we don’t live in a Dove campaign. On the other hand it’s not YouTube beauty guru land either. If you have a meeting, complete with a meeting maker and someone who outranks you, put on a little makeup. It sucks but it’s true.
Women are expected to wear enough makeup to look naturally fresh-faced and healthy. Mascara, BB Cream, blush and lip gloss are all it takes to look like you give a shit. Just like men should know when buttons all the way down a shirt and a tie are appropriate, women should know when people want to look at a filtered version of their faces.
Keep those four basics on hand at all times so you can always run to the bathroom and quickly put on a face people want to see. Guys, maybe keep a shirt and tie handy (but for God’s sake, don’t let it get wrinkled).
5. Assume you’ll be stuck here.
This is where my crazy, paranoid, apocalypse fever dreams come in. Look at your car and think about what you’d need if you were on a major highway and traffic just stopped for hours. Do you have what you need?
More than half a tank of gas at all times?
A bottle of water that’s not frozen solid?
A spare phone charger?
Your toiletries so you can show up without looking like you’ve been in traffic for hours?
An emergency car kit?
Your insurance information?
Something to kill a zombie with?
A good playlist and or data plan?
A hair tie in case you get hot?
Your boss’ phone number?
Sneakers in case you need to walk/run?
A healthy imagination?
What do you consider a necessity for every day survival when you’re going to work? Nothing? Other things? Something I over looked?
Cities and Thrones
Author: Carrie Patel
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release date: July 2, 2015 (UK), July 7 (North America)
Note: This book was provided by the publisher.
In the fantastical, gaslit underground city of Recoletta, oligarchs from foreign states and revolutionaries from the farming communes vie for power in the wake of the city’s coup. The dark, forbidden knowledge of how the city came to be founded has been released into the world for all to read, and now someone must pay.
Inspector Liesl Malone is on her toes, trying to keep the peace, and Arnault’s spy ring is more active than ever. Has the city’s increased access to knowledge put the citizens in even more danger? Allegiances change, long-held beliefs are adjusted, and things are about to get messy.
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