Author Archives: anninyn

About anninyn

Anninyn lives and works in the UK, though she writes in a world of her own. Raised on a steady diet of sci-fi, intellectualism and political thinking by hippies, she looks at modern life through a somewhat-...unique... lens. She is obsessed with the apocalypse, and can be reached at anninyn@incaseofsurvival.com for all apocalypse-based inquiries. She is working on her first novel. You can find out about her and her other work through her website http://cbblanchard.weebly.com/

how instructables can help you survive

It is somewhat possible that computer games have given us an artificial idea of how it will be to live in a post-apocalyptic world. For a start, I sincerely doubt that 200 years post-event, there’ll still be pre-packaged snacks and good-condition guns hanging around. In fact, it’s likely those things will vanish pretty quickly.

Which is why instructables is a site you should be reading before the power goes off forever. Why? Because it has all sorts of tricks which will help make your post-apoc life a little easier.

In this post, I round up some of the best.

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The girls guide to post-apocalyptic dictatorship.

In the past, I have made a big deal about how in the post apocalypse, I WILL be a benevolent dictator in control of a large, well run compound. Some of you seem to seem to think I might be joking about this.

Oh, no, sugarbuns. I fully intend to be a dictator. I’m already spoiled, petty and quick to anger – dictatorship should be a cinch.

I can’t tell you HOW to build your compound – it requires a combination of charm, talent, leadership abilities, organisation and a basic, borderline sociopathic disrespect for the rights, opinions and feelings of other people that I just don;t think you can learn. But, I can give you some ideas about how to maintain your iron control once you have it. After all, you don’t want to screw up so bad they murder you, do you?

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Interview with Dean Crawford. Plus, GIVEAWAY.

I reviewed Dean Crawford’s Apocalypse a little while back. It’s a good book, and I’d like to give one of our readers a chance to read it. Simply enter our giveaway for a chance to win a copy. Comment, share and like us for more chances.

But first, read Dean’s thoughts about post-apocalyptic living.

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The changing face of zombies.

Zombies are boring now. They’ve been done. Old news. I am no longer afraid of a zombie apocalypse, because everyone has a plan. Not only will we survive it, we’ll crush it.

Zombies have already said everything they, as a horror monster, say about our fears and our culture – our panic about communicable infection, our overwhelming terror about the slow, creeping inevitability of death. Or have they?

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Review: ‘Set, By Luke Walker.

‘Set by Luke Walker   is a horror novel with supernatural and apocalyptic elements.

Between Heaven and Hell, there is another world. To save her daughter’s soul, Emma Cooper will tear that world apart.

After the loss of her baby, Emma Cooper feels as if she’s just going through the motions of her life. That’s until an angel and demon knock at her door with news dwarfing life and death.

Emma’s daughter’s soul is trapped in a world of the dead, a world of permanent sunset. This is ‘Set and it’s to this world that Emma must travel after she is chosen by the celestial and infernal management. By working with Above and Below, she has a chance of helping her daughter and countless other souls move on from ‘Set.

In this world, recently deceased George Bryson has declared war on Heaven and Hell. But this fight with his maker has opened doors he cannot close. The forgotten remnants of Creation are coming to consume all worlds. If Emma can’t stop Bryson’s war, her daughter will be lost forever.

And so will everybody else.

Double special today: Not only was ‘Set provided to me free by Luke Walker, but Luke and I know each other from online. I do not intend this to bias my review, but it’s possible I will subconsciously treat this more kindly than a book from a stranger, so be aware.

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Zompire Apocalypse RPG

There’s a new online RPG shuffling our way, and it looks like it could be a hell of a lot of fun.

Zompire Apocalypse is set in 2057 after a disease created zombie/vampire hybrids to plague the living. Now, there are only three groups left alive – and you can play as a member of one of them!

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Happy Apoco-Anniversary!

So, we’re two years old this month. I KNOW, right? If the site was a human being it’d be toddling around and breaking things. The main thing I’m surprised about is that the apocalypse HASN’T happened in that two years. I was so certain that I’d be dressed in oddly-stylish rags, scavenging the ruins of civilisation for a toothbrush, by now.

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I welcome our new Rat Overlords.

So, it turns out that if you put human braincells into rodents it makes them smarter. Thanks, science. Now I have to worry about super-intelligent rodents with a grudge against humanity, on top of everything else.

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REVIEW: Wool by Hugh Howey

Wool by Hugh Howey is set in a post-apocalyptic world where people live in vast, underground silos.

In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

 Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

 To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.

 Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.

 Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.

Review copy provided by Random House through NetGalley

A note: This is actually the Wool omnibus, collecting  Novellas 1-5 of the series originally self-published by Howey. I’m new to the wonderful world of Wool, which is shocking considering my status as one of the main reviewers at In Case of Survival. However, it has a lot of what I like in a series – a female protagonist, a post-apocalyptic world, an assault against oppressive regimes. These things are my catnip. So, how does it pan out for me?

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Should I take my pets?

I recently got kittened. My new pets spent the last two months turning my life and my house upside down. They’re wonderful little weirdos, and I love them more than I love most people. Which is why I will go out of my way to save my pets in the event of an apocalypse, while leaving you to die in the dust.

The problem is that this choice doesn’t really go along with my reputation of ‘super-together, hard-hearted practical survivor’, so I’ve been wracking my brain to think of at least semi-logical reasons for this choice. To, you know, justify it to the people who think they’re better survivalists than me because they’ve genuinely shut down all their ‘give-a-shit’ parts, even though that just makes them a dangerous sociopath.

So here are my totally-logical-not-based-on-loving-the-tiny-squeebles-enough-to-explode reasons to keep your pets post-apocalypse.

Oh, and I’m going to put pictures of my cats in this post. You have been warned.

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Post-Apocalypse: The land of hairy women.

So, I watch a lot of post-apocalyptic and dystopian TV. I read a lot of fiction. I thoroughly enjoy doing these things.

The problem is with consuming such a huge amount of one thing is your brain starts to go to strange places, thinking strange things.

This leads to me questioning all sorts of things that are probably supposed to be ignored.

But the main thing that is bugging me at the moment?

How in the hell are these women so fucking hairless?

I mean, I know that smooth legs and underarms are the current beauty standard (though that has not always been the case). And I know that actresses have to stick to these standards even more than the rest of us.

But this is the post-apocalypse. They’re scarred, covered in mud and blood and wearing filthy, tattered clothes. How come, when they can’t seem to wash their face, do they have enough hot water, soap and razors to shave their legs? Is this really a priority in the post-apocalypse? ‘Oh, I know I’ve got to run from the aliens, just let me wax first.’

Oh, I know. Suspension of disbelief, blah blah blah. I mean, if I can accept that they’re all so pretty and well fed, surely I can expect the preternaturally smooth legs and underarms.

But I can’t. And you know why? Because I am the owner of a female body. I know how fast my leg hair grows, and I know what I look like when I’ve been unbothered for just a week. It utterly stumps me that they are unafraid to let us see their heroines bloodied and ugly crying, but they can’t show ‘em with a tuft of underarm hair.

What do they think? That the viewers, after watching all the death, murder and torment, will draw the line at some hair where hair naturally grows?

We’re all grown ups. We understand that hair grows. And it breaks the illusion (for me) to have these women with their limbs as smooth as dolls.

Tell you one thing. I am not shaving in the post-apocalypse. And if it bothers anyone, if people are genuinely so concerned with my body hair that they’ll forget we’re three meals away from starving to death, they can suffer and die alone in the wastes. Because their priorities are FUCKED.

Apocalypse by Dean Crawford

A private Learjet filled with scientists travels across the ocean toward Miami. As it passes through the Bermuda Triangle, strange effects disturb the instruments and violent weather envelops the aircraft until it plummets out of control and vanishes without trace.

In Miami, Sheriff Kyle Sears arrives at a murder scene. A woman and her daughter have both been shot through the head. But while Sears is still on the scene he receives a phone call from the woman’s husband. With uncanny accuracy, he predicts the immediate future just as it unfolds around Sears, before revealing that he, too, will be murdered within 24 hours. The man gives him the name of someone he must contact. Ethan Warner.

As Ethan Warner and his partner Nicola Lopez race to investigate, they are thrown into the centre of a mind-boggling plot to blow a hole in the space-time continuum.

I’m not normally that ‘in’ to thrillers, even science based ones where the consequences of failure could mean the end of the world. But I got into this one.

I can’t really give you an intelligent review. I can’t tell you what I liked and what I didn;t and why, because instead of reading this thing critically (like I usually do for reviews) I just devoured it. It was pure enjoyment for me – hight staked with interesting characters and some damn good science in the background.

A flaw my intensely feminist upbringing wouldn’t allow me NOT to spot was the constant use of male gaze on all the female characters, but I understand that this is a common device in thrillers. I’m just not sure why it’s important that an incredibly competent, driven woman with a well-defined personality is constantly referred to in terms of how ‘hot’ she is.

A flaw my literature-orientated mind wouldn’t allow me to ignore was the way the prose sometimes wandered off the path of ‘competent but nothing special’ and into the thorny brambles of ‘lolwhut?’. But it didn’t do this often enough to ruin my fun, and it’s a pretty chunky book, so no big.

The thing is, that normally these two flaws, especially together, would normally be enough to get my patented ‘really?’ reaction, where I get pulled out of the world of the story and -worst case scenario – start to mock the book. Something similar happened with ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ when my final review was one dismissive sentence. But nope, not here. The critical part of me (Huge) was overwhelmed by the part of me that just likes to be entertained by a damn good story.

Four out of five, kiddies. Read this book.

Also, stay tuned for an interview with Dean later today.

Blood Zero Sky by J. Gabriel Gates

A prophetic glimpse into a chilling future dominated by two massive corporations, where systematic greed exploits the credit value of every citizen and endless productivity is the costly price for the lie called freedom. The only hope? A revolution is brewing in the America Division. . .

Unprofitables are banished to work camps to pay off their credit. Other tie-men and women look on apathetically. Fair is fair. Everyone knows you shouldn’t use more credit than you are worth to the Company. They turn their attention to the next repackaged but highly coveted N-Corp product on the market, creatively advertised on the imager screens that adorn virtually every available flat surface. All the while, their mandatory cross-implants and wrist-worn “ICs” keep them focused on the endless cycle of work and consumption to which they are enslaved.

May Fields—the CEO’s daughter—would like to believe she is above all that. Head of N-Corp’s marketing team, the young woman who has almost everything anyone could want spends her days dreaming up ingenious ways to make workers buy more of what they already have and don’t need. Even before May discovers that the Company is headed for its first loss in thirty years, she is feeling the stirrings of dissatisfaction with the system that has given her everything she’s ever wanted . . . except the freedom to be herself.

When she is kidnapped by a member of the Protectorate—a secret order dating back to the American Revolution—May is suddenly faced with the frightening truth of what the Company’s greed has done to our most basic human rights. Will she embrace who she is and join the battle to restore America’s democratic freedom, or put her blinders back on and return to her safe and passionless life?

Blood Zero Sky 1 Is not an easy read, but it’s a book that should be read.

A powerful criticism of commercialism and coroporation interference in government, Blood Zero Sky  is also a very good read. It drags the reader on a roller-coaster ride, using prose and description effectively to truly bring home the unnatural state of the future.

It’s not perfect. I found it’s focus on America somewhat off-putting and alientating as a Brit – many of the concepts presented within Blood Zero Sky are uniquely American, and many of the things that were supposed to fill me with fear or horrified recognition meant nothing to me – and that lack of aplicability weakens to book.  At times, Blood Zero Sky slips into the didactic and the lecturing, which can be irritating when it gets in the way of the story. Also, I am a bit sick of rape being used as backstory or a plot point in dystopian or apocalyptic fiction, and rape is used that way here. It’s a small point of the narrative, however, and my distaste for it noted, I will leave the analysis of it to other book bloggers who may wish to tackle it, such as Requires Only That You Hate. Even with these flaws, I found the portrayal of a corporation-run future in Blood Zero Sky frightening and believable.

There is every chance that Blood Zero Sky will become a very controversial book. I can see many school districts wanting to ban it, as books like 1984 have been banned before it, although it’s focus on Christian faith may keep it in the good books of some. This is exactly why you should read it now.

Long story short, you should read Blood Zero Sky. Despite it’s flaws, it’s not only a well-written and readable book, it’s important. It deserves to sit up there with other great works of dystopian fiction.

Rating: ★★★★★

  1. provided free by HCI Books

Hunger.

Let’s talk about hunger. You probably think you know what it is to be hungry, right? Your stomach growls, and you get more and more obsessed with food the longer you are unable to eat. But chances are (if our stats are correct) that you’re a person from a western, industrialised country who has never really expereinced proper hunger. You may have eaten crap for a day or two, or a week or two, or a month or two. You lived on beans while in university. You only have one or two proper meals a day while you’re on the dole. These all suck and leave you hungry.

But the thing is, that’s not proper hunger. Thats ‘wealthy, powerful country’ hunger. That’s not the hunger of having NO meals for the last week, of being forced into eating rubbish or rats or weeds from the garden. You’d turn your nose up at those, because even though you may be poor, there is still food available for you that isn’t that awful.

There won’t be when the end happens. Finding food will become more unlikely and fraught. Fussyness will not happen. Thee’ll come a point where you kill a rat and eat it – maybe even raw, because your hunger is now so intense that something that foul doesn’t matter to you.

I don’t say these things to scold or scare you, but to prepare you. Start letting go of your rich-country food prejudices. I’d still say avoid eating dogs and cats, because they’re invaluable for killing vermin and protecting you, but if feral dogs attack you, don’t waste the meat. Most things are edible, even if they taste bad, just remember that. Don’t let hunger drive you to it, accept it early on and it’ll be more easy to deal with.

See, the problem with not knowing what is actually edible and what isn’t, and allowing squeamishness to make your food decisions for you, is that in desperate situations you are then completely ignorant as to waht you can eat or not. Hunger my then drive you to poisonous berries and mushrooms, because you don’t know that dandelion leaves are perfectly fine (if bitter). It might drive you to eat your shoe leather because you can’t let go of the idea that, psot-apocalypse, your pet bunny is better as a source of meat than as something to cuddle.

Hunger. Don’t let it win.