I’m happy to announce the first selection of the Apocalypse Blog Dystopian Book Club: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Here is a plot description of Butler’s 1993 novel from Wikipedia:
“Set in a future where government has all but collapsed, Parable of the Sower centers on a young woman named Lauren Olamina who possesses what Butler dubbed hyperempathy – the ability to feel the perceived pain and other sensations of others – who develops a benign philosophical and religious system during her childhood in the remnants of a gated community in Los Angeles. Civil society has reverted to relative anarchy due to resource scarcity and poverty. When the community’s security is compromised, her home is destroyed and her family murdered. She travels north with some survivors to try to start a community where her religion, called Earthseed, can grow.”
The book was nominated by club member (and author) Ryder Collins and is widely available online, at bookstores, and in library systems. We will have an in-person meeting to discuss the book the last day of the month, Tuesday, Feb.28, 7pm at the Riverwest Public House (Facebook event page HERE). Takeaways from the meetings and online discussion will follow March 1 on our Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482975718409410/
There is no fee to be part of the club, just a desire to read a dystopian themed book every month and discuss the story and parallels we see to our current world. February is a short month, so put “get copy of Parable of the Sower” on your to-do list!
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.
They are updating the Doomsday Clock tomorrow morning and I got to tell you, I don’t think it’s going to be good
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