How'd you even get here? Our Google Questions Answered.

Today I answer the important questions brought to us by our Google search results…

…everything from surviving an apocalypse to styling yourself to look like you survived an apocalypse. Continue reading “How'd you even get here? Our Google Questions Answered.”

Likely Apocalypses: Plague Apocalypse

It’s time to examine some more likely apocalypses! (Yay!) This time, let’s look at the possibility of a deadly plague.
One of the most famous plagues in history is the Plague. That is, the Black Death (or the Black Plague). It killed over one-third of Europe’s population in the mid-1300s. As the Black Death made its way across Europe, towns and villages were full of mass graves, quarantines, plague masks, and dead people. It was not a pleasant time.
I imagine that at the end of it all, people were relieved to, you know, not be dying anymore. It was gone, and life could go back to normal, without the threat of another epidemic.
Except…it’s not gone.
No, really. It isn’t. It’s still around in some parts of the world, lurking, waiting for some unsuspecting rat or flea to pick it up and carry it around. (It was recently found in Arizona.) (Have you stocked up on plague masks yet?)
The intervening centuries have been relatively kind to our plague friend, and it’s just as deadly as it was in the fourteenth century. Sure, there are treatments available nowadays, but it can still kill you.
The “black plague” is actually a bacterial infection that goes by the lovely name of Yersinia pestis (sounds friendly, doesn’t it?). There are three forms: bubonic (found in the lymph nodes); septicemic (found in the bloodstream); and pneumonic (an advanced stage when the bacteria is passed directly from person to person). It is, quite frankly, terrifying and terrible (sort of like Ebola, but from rats and fleas). It’s super virulent, and if it isn’t caught and treated in time, it will probably kill you in a horribly gruesome way. (God help you if you reach the pneumonic stage, because you’ll probably die.)

Can the plague cause an apocalypse?

YOU BETCHA. If not the plague, then a plague. It might be Ebola. Or Marburg. Or SARS. Or some flu variant that hasn’t been discovered yet. But a deadly epidemic (of whatever) has always been a possible apocalypse – there are a lot more bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics these days, and there are some crazy deadly viruses floating around out there.
We have learned, through some awesome epidemics like the Black Death, the Spanish Flu, and even more recent epidemics like H1N1 and SARS, that bacteria and viruses are very effective at killing people. If there’s something out there that’s untreatable, deadly, and spreads quickly, well…bye y’all. It’s been nice knowing you.
I mean, apocalypse by illness is so possible that “biological warfare” is an actual thing.

How can you survive a plague apocalypse?

Get thee to an isolated compound, preferably underground, with no contact with the outside world. But make sure the people in the compound aren’t already infected, or you’re screwed anyway.
Honestly, if a fun new disease is going to kill the human race, there isn’t going to be much that we can do. If our immune systems can’t handle it, then no amount of herbs are going to save us, and no vaccines will, either (especially if it moves too quickly or mutates too fast).

The Surge illustrates how beautifully the good intentions of corporations pave the way to Hell

The Surge from Maximum Games and Focus Home Interactive has it all: A teaser that opens with a corporate spokesman explaining how their company is going to no only save the world but also the people- by MAKING THEM BETTER,  glitchy feedback, space, robots, a desperation that can only lead to the most dangerous kind of progress.

Continue reading “The Surge illustrates how beautifully the good intentions of corporations pave the way to Hell”

But it's not going to happen!

Any time you want to discuss anything post-apocalyptic with people, the first thing they do is shout in your face “But it’s not going to happen!”. To be fair, it’s probably not. But that’s not the point.
The fact that something’s probably not going to happen is no reason not to be prepared for it, is it? This book I’m writing probably isn’t going to nab me my dream agent and get me a three book deal with Tor, but I’m sure as hell prepared in case it does. I’d rather be ready and never need it, than need to be ready and not be.
I also think those people miss the point of this website just a tad. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we are not a serious survivalist kind of place. There’s plenty of them on the internet, and you don’t need any more. And whiile we hope we sometimes give you good advice that might keep you alive, we’re more about the odder stuff that could happen to you in a post-apocalyptic world. After all, I once discussed the possibility of sentient badgers. We’re more informed by pop-culture than religion, more concerned with how to do our hair and what unrealistic beauty standards we’ll be held to than how many guns we should have. I’m a Brit. I’ve only ever seen a real life gun once.
We don’t think it’ll only be a specific breed of hyper-prepared evangalist who’ll make it. We don’t think ‘traditional gender roles’ will be necessary or desirable. We think the new world will be pretty crapsack, but will have some good bits. We think worldwide starvation or economic collapse is more likely than Dragon infestation, but we think Dragon infestation would be cooler.
And most importantly, we know our history. We know that humanity has survived dozens of apocalyptic events, from plagues and wars to country wide, year long floods. We know that no matter how much the media shrieks, this is nothing new. We know that we are descended from people that made it, and that we can make it too. We know that we are no more likely than anyone in our ancestry to have our short, dull lives intruded on by a disaster – but we’re no more likely to avoid it, either. This is down to luck. We believe in taking risks and going after your dreams, because our research suggests that, based on humanitys history, we have a reasonable chance of not making it.
OK, an example of all these apocalyptic events humanity has made it through. As a European with Irish ancestry, in order for me to exist my ancestors had to: Survive a plague. Survive a year where it never stopped raining. Survive two world wars. Survive the Potato Famine. Survive a Civil War.
And those are just the ones I could rememberoff the top of my head, and there were probably more before history started being written down.
It probably won’t happen. But if it does, we think we can make it, and we think that we can help you make it too.

Web Series: The Resistance

The Resistance is a short web series set in a future where everyone has a disease that only one company has the cure for and that company isn’t about to give their best selling product away for the greater good.
The show is short but well-produced and action-packed introducing the cast or rebels in episode one with a violent Robin Hood-style robbery of a vaccine shipment.
Built on interlocking mysteries and growly bad-ass secretive protagonists, The Resistance is a great way to pass 15 to 20 minutes for a week or watch in one fell swoop as a movie as the SyFy channel aired it.
I think it’s worth checking out even though it’s not a long series or even an on-going series.
Currently, episodes one and two re available for free on Hulu.
Summary from the official The Resistance site:

Set in the dying world of Aurordeca, The Resistance is an action-packed thriller revolving around an epic tale of destiny and revenge. Syrus Primoris, a brilliant chemist, has taken control of the ten regions of Aurordeca in the wake of a devastating plague. Half the population is already dead. It is only Syrus and his miracle suppressant, Noxe, that can keep the other half from succumbing to the virus. In exchange, the people grant Syrus absolute power. Only one group stands in open opposition to the regime. The Aurordecan Resistance Movement (ARM), led by the fierce and driven Lana. ARM sees Syrus for the despot he truly is and fight tirelessly to find a cure for the disease and to free the people from their enslavement to the suppressant. But everything changes through a chance encounter with a mysterious and deadly drifter, Arclite..


I’d say this series is good enough to fill the gap between books you’re reading or shows you’re watching on Netflix if you want to give yourself a bit of a break without committing to anything too big.

Bandits Will be Bandits | The Last of Us

Cowards! The lot of them. Bandits and Highway Men are constantly trying to play on the sympathies of  those of us who don’t lack morals. They did it in The Book of Eli and They’re doing it again in The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog has been slow releasing information and videos about their upcoming post-apocalyptic video game. This time it’s a video!
The cinematic trailer shows a scene from a day in the life of Ellie and Joel… being ambushed by bandits on the road to who-knows-where.
Video description:

Joel and Ellie won’t have an easy road ahead of them. Their path across the US will intersect with other survivors, some of whom won’t be friendly. In this scene set to the somber chords of Hank Williams, Sr., Joel and Ellie continue their journey west in a battered pickup truck. As they drive towards the next destination on their route, and hopefully a place to find critical resources, the pair encounters a group of hunters. What happens next is something you have to witness to understand.
The Last of Us is genre-defining experience blending survival and action elements to tell a character driven story about a population decimated by a modern plague. Cities are abandoned and being reclaimed by nature. Remaining survivors are killing each other for food, weapons and whatever they can find. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a young teenage girl who’s braver and wiser beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States.
Developed by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us is being made exclusively for the PS3 system.

Video:

[More about The Last of Us]

A cartoon, drawn badly and with stick people

The plague is currently kicking my ass, so I’m not exactly in the right frame of mind to write many coherent sentences in a row about one specific topic (because that requires thinking).
But I didn’t want to ignore y’all. I couldn’t do that. So what’s a girl to do when she’s too virus-addled to think?
Why, draw a picture, of course! Using MS Paint, naturally. And since I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag, with a computer or otherwise, it’s a really terrible drawing. (This is why I don’t draw. Not even stick people.)
Continue reading “A cartoon, drawn badly and with stick people”

BREAKING NEWS: Build yourself a plague mask, NOW.

According to the BBC, researchers have rebuilt the genetic code of the black death.
Because that’s a great idea.
To those of you who aren’t aware, the Black Death was a near-apocalyptic plague in the past: It killed nearly 50 million people. Back then, that was around 30 percent of the population of Europe.
Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS: Build yourself a plague mask, NOW.”