[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
We asked this week’s panelists…
Q: In the past few years there seems to have been a rise in popularity of post-apocalyptic stories, not only in fiction, but in film as well. For some reason, people are fascinated with society having to start over after some sort of devastation, whether it’s plague, floods, weapons of mass destruction, or of course, zombie apocalypse. Why do you think readers are so drawn to post-apocalyptic stories and settings?
Here’s what they said…
Susan Beth Pfeffer
Until Susan Beth Pfeffer
‘s New York Times
best-selling novel Life As We Knew It
was nominated for an Andre Norton Award, she had no idea the book was science fiction. Even with three other books in the series, The Dead And The Gone
, This World We Live In
, and the upcoming, The Shade Of The Moon
, she still can’t spell apocalyptic.
In some ways, post-apocalyptic stories are Cinderella/Horatio Alger variants. It’s always fun to identify with the person who has nothing and ends up triumphant over those who have more.
Of course Cinderella had her fairy godmother and Alger’s heroes were generally befriended by wealthy older men, and neither had to deal with zombies. But they still struggled against great odds and ended in a much better place.
Cinderella and the Alger hero started out in poverty and their problems arose from that. But the popularity of post-apocalyptic stories has grown while the United States has been in recession. I’m willing to believe those floods and plagues and even the zombies are in some ways stand-ins for unemployment, a weak housing market, credit card debt, outstanding college loans, and shrunken retirement plans.
In better times, you’re more likely to have romantic vampires!