Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Apocalypse Blog Dystopian Book Club

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I’m so excited about this. I’ve wanted to start some kind of book club for a long time, but didn’t have a particular inspiration until today.

I’m working on a non-fiction book that has to do with end of the world predictions, pop culture, prepping, etc. I’ve been reading a range of non-fiction titles related to these topics, but I want to read dystopian themed novels. When I was researching my book Heroes in the Night, about the  Real Life Superheroes subculture, I read tons of comic books. I found it helpful to read a range of superhero comics just to help me wrap my head around the lingo, style, tropes, etc of the genre so I could be generally well informed. Same thing with dystopian novels, I’m curious to see what parallels between fact and fiction I might discover. As I thought about, I decided it would be a rewarding experience to discuss the books with others.

Fortunately, I have awesome friends who have already suggested a lot of appropriate titles. I set up a FB group where I will be listing suggested titles people can vote on to read first.

Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482975718409410/

List will be posted this evening, voting will be open a couple days and then I’ll announce title and meet up day. We’ll do one title per month. If you are in the Milwaukee area, we will have a monthly meet up to talk on the title. If you’re elsewhere in the world, you can join our online discussion of the book at the above-mentioned FB group.

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2017 Reading List: Six Degrees

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3. Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas (HarperCollins, 2008)

Oh boy, what a week. The Doomsday Clock got updated (see previous posts on this blog) and there are a lot of factors behind the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist’s decision to move the time to 2.5 minutes to Midnight, the closest the clock has struck since 1953. One of the factors is climate change.

Six Degrees is an alarming look about how climate change will alter our world. It doesn’t seem like a major temperature change, but a 6 (C) degree rise in the Earth’s average temperature would be catastrophic. This book leads the reader about the devastation the world faces at each degree increase. By the time we get to the 2 degree world, things are already pretty bad. Some parts of the world will suffer drought, famine, leading to a huge flux of climate refugees. As the polar regions melt, other areas will experience extreme flooding. There will be extreme weather and the food chain will fall apart as the changes bring about mass extinction.

This book was written in 2008, so I’d like to follow up and see how far into the timeline presented we are– are we already in the 1 or 2 degree world? After presenting the apocalyptic 6 degree world, Lynas ends with a chapter titled “Choosing Our Future” in which he pleads for people to look forward and try to reverse our downward spiral by curbing greenhouse emissions, investing in renewable energy, and reducing the carbon footprint however possible. In that regard, the United States is the biggest offender. Sadly, it looks like our new administration has absolutely no interest in addressing this threat and has some trouble even admitting the issue is real. That is bad news for planet Earth as action needs to be taken on climate change, like yesterday.

I’m going to try to let my mind settle on this book and then I’m going to start reading another title on climate change tomorrow.

Recommended? YES.


The Apocalypse Blog explores the topics of Tea Krulos’s third non-fiction book, which is about doomsday predictions, prepping, and pop culture. It’ll be published in 2018 (if the world survives that long). His first two books, Heroes in the Night (2013) and Monster Hunters (2015) are available from Chicago Review Press here: http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/krulos–tea-contributor-296670.php

It is now two and a half minutes to Midnight

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I anxiously watched the livestream of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist’s press conference at the National Press Club to reveal their update of the Doomsday Clock this morning. It was, as they stated “particularly historic.”

The Doomsday Clock has crept forward 30 seconds (the first time the clock has ever utilized a half minute) to 2.5 minutes to Midnight. This is closer the clock has ever been since 1953, when concerns about the H-bomb and the arms race placed the second hand at 2 minutes to Midnight.

“The board has decided to act, in part, based on the words of a single person: Donald Trump,” the Bulletin stated.

Among other reasons, the Bulletin stated a major reason for their decision was careless rhetoric, threats, the belief in “alternative facts” and fake news from world leaders from the U.S., Russia, Pakistan, and North Korea.

We are “back to an age of great uncertainty,” as one of the Bulletin members stated. They reminded us that President Trump has just been in office for six days and unless things change, we will continue to tick forward. The Bulletin urged all people to call on their leaders for change and to not ignore science.

Find out more about the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (and sign up for their newsletter) here: http://thebulletin.org/


The Apocalypse Blog explores the topics of Tea Krulos’s third non-fiction book, which is about doomsday predictions, prepping, and pop culture. It’ll be published in 2018 (if the world survives that long). His first two books, Heroes in the Night (2013) and Monster Hunters (2015) are available from Chicago Review Press here: http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/krulos–tea-contributor-296670.php

They are updating the Doomsday Clock tomorrow morning and I got to tell you, I don’t think it’s going to be good

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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is an organization and publication that was formed in 1945. The idea, basically– “oh shit we just created an atomic bomb and that might not have been such a great thing, so let’s keep tabs on where this is going.”

In 1947, the nerve-wracked scientists debuted the Doomsday Clock, a metaphorical visual aid to show just how close we are to nuclear annihilation. Some years the clock ticks forward to Doomsday (aka Midnight on the clock) and other years, to a sigh of relief, it falls back in time. Over the years, the organization has added other factors to consider, in addition to nuclear proliferation: climate change, bio-weapons, and cyber threats.

Here’s some Doomsday Clock highlights:

1947: Doomsday Clock debuts at 7 to Midnight
1953: 2 to Midnight, the closest to Midnight the clock has ever been. This is the year the H-bomb was created.
1991: 17 to Midnight. The end of the Cold War pushed the clock the furthest it’s ever been from Midnight.
2015: The clock ticks to 3 to Midnight. Only two other years chimed this close: 1949 (when the Arms Race was heating up) and 1984 (the height of the “mutually assured destruction” days of the Cold War.)
2016: The clock remains stuck at 3 to Midnight. It is, as the Bulletin notes “not good.”

You can see a longer timeline of the clock here: www.thebulletin.org/timeline

What will 2017 bring? I think it’s painfully obvious that tomorrow morning we will see the clock edge even closer to Midnight.

Let me give you just two quotes from the 2016 presidential campaign:

“I would bomb the shit out of ‘em. I would just bomb those suckers. That’s right. I would blow up the pipes…every single inch. There would be nothing left.”– Donald Trump on ISIS

“…carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.”–Ted Cruz on ISIS

Just a small sample of things the Bulletin had to consider this year, in addition to other nuclear threats, and a new administration who believes bigly that climate change is a hoax and not a priority.

Tomorrow I will be up bright and early to grab donuts and coffee and watch the Doomsday roll in. The Doomsday Clock reveal and press conference will be live streamed at 9am CST here: clock.thebulletin.org and I will be tweeting out my reactions here: @TeaKrulos

Hold on to your butts.


The Apocalypse Blog explores the topics of Tea Krulos’s third non-fiction book, which is about doomsday predictions, prepping, and pop culture. It’ll be published in 2018 (if the world survives that long). His first two books, Heroes in the Night (2013) and Monster Hunters (2015) are available from Chicago Review Press here: http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/krulos–tea-contributor-296670.php

2017 Reading List: Scatter, Adapt, and Remember

Cover of Scatter, Adapt and Remember

2. Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, by Annalee Newitz (2013. Doubleday)

This year I’m keeping track of all the books I read and you are going to see A LOT of entries that are being read in research for my own book, working title The End, due out 2018 from Chicago Review Press. I will be working on it until Nov.2017, so almost a year of reading about the end of the world and global catastrophe. When I’m done, I’m planning to read Hello Kitty comic books for a month as a palate cleanser.

I won’t be writing in-depth reviews, but I’ll share a couple notes and let you know if I recommend it or not.

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember was well written, well researched, and ultimately optimistic on the Earth’s ability to survive disaster. It gave a fascinating overview of the mass extinctions the earth has faced over millions of years and how animals and humans have persevered by using the three keywords of the title. I learned a lot about a variety of things from Google Flu Trends to the ancient (literally) underground Turkish village of Göleme.

Recommended? YES.

Books I Read in 2017: Burning Bright

In 2015 I kept track of every published piece I wrote on this blog. In 2016 I did absolutely squat with this blog. This year I thought I would at least keep track of every book I read. I mean, I am paying for the domain name. I do plan to read a lot this year, some related to research I’m working on, some for pleasure (and how I do miss that while I’m working on researching a book). This first book was started in 2016 and finished yesterday– I read it in fits and starts.

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1. Burning Bright by Nicholas Petrie (2017, Putnam)

I’m not sure where I first heard of Nicholas Petrie’s debut book, The Drifter, but I picked it up and read it and enjoyed it. It’s an action thriller/ mystery and I loved it because the backdrop was Milwaukee (Petrie is local). The key scenes take place in Riverwest, the north side, the east side, and downtown. Several specific locations are visited– Colectivo on Prospect, Cafe Corazon, the US Bank building. Petrie’s protagonist Peter Ash is an interesting character, too– a veteran struggling with PTSD in the form of extreme claustrophobia.

When I saw that Petrie had a follow up Peter Ash novel, Burning Bright, slated for a January release I pitched an “Off the Cuff” (Q  & A) to the Shepherd Express to tie in to the book release. I interviewed Petrie by phone and his publisher sent me an advance reader copy of the book. Here’s the feature: http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28983-a-thriller-with-a-milwaukee-setting.html

In Burning Bright, Ash is trying to find solace in the Redwoods of northern California when he encounters a woman who needs help– a cute, wily investigative journalist name June (be still, my beating heart). The two embark on a danger filled ride from California up to Washington. The MacGuffin of the story is a computer program named Tyg3r which may or may not have something with June’s father, who is nicknamed “the Yeti.”

Petrie did a great job with this book. Character development was great, the plot intriguing, the action satisfying as eating popcorn in an air-conditioned movie theater in July.

You don’t necessarily need to read The Drifter to understand Burning Bright, but it would add another level of understanding.

Nicholas Petrie debuts the novel at 7pm tonight at Boswell Books.