Human Survival ?

With all the recent books and movies on the zombie apocalypse, I started thinking. (And I’m binge watching Falling Skies.) Regardless of the type of apocalypse, (zombie, nuclear winter, etc..) the human race would have a hard time with survival.  The reasons may surprise you.

1.  Lack of caffeine. Face it, current civilization runs on caffeine.  Most people can not function without a number of cups of coffee in the morning and then additional cups in the afternoon.  Once the stores of coffee are depleted, or destroyed, I see people turning on each other over a few leftover beans.  It takes weeks to wean off of caffeine, I know I’ve tried, and those weeks are not kind.

2. Lack of electronics. If caffeine is a strong addiction, electronics may be worse. With the evolution of smart phones, we’ve sacrificed our ability to write a coherent sentence, read an actual map, and use a book for research. How will we find our way to the mountains for safety from rising waters? Or how will we determine what plants are medicinal and which will kill us?

3. Foraging for Food. Without  grocery stores, it won’t take long for canned foods to become extinct. At that point, having access to green food and fruits will be all that stands between you and a nasty little thing called scurvy.  If you plan on keeping your teeth, you must learn to identify edible wild foods and/or garden.  This is where pesky little things called books become very useful. Observation of birds and wildlife may be helpful, but they can eat things we can’t.  Chose wisely grasshopper.

4. Shot that buck.  Unless, you plan on being a skinny gatherer, you must learn to hunt and fish. Current public open tends to frown on gun ownership, but you’ll be proud of that 2nd amendment when fast food is a deer running through the forest. Or course you’ll need a gun to shoot zombie’s too.

5. Comfort. Once the grid falls to rubble, small daily conveniences will become obstacles. No air conditioning or heat will be a shock for those of us who try to live at a constant 72*. Let’s not forget running water and a stove for cooking.  I went camping with Girl Scouts, I’m not a fan of sleeping on the ground and sweating to death while I wait for my hotdog to cook over a fire.  And they never taught me how to purify lake water to make it drinkable or start a fire with a flint.

There you go, my top 5 reasons, the human race won’t survive the apocalypse.  Excuse me while, I get back to Falling Skies.

What would you have difficulty living without?


Short Story Long- collection vs. single story

Forgive me if I sound crazed.  I was hit with a new idea last night and it kept me up past my bed time. Writer yawns and breaks off another piece of chocolate.  I just finished a short story, my first real fantasy.  It was a little hard to write at first but came together fairly easy.  I even enjoyed the editing process.  I’m still looking for a better title, but that will come.  My intention was to find a home for it in a magazine or e-zine.

Great plans… Last night another group of characters came to visit, and they brought with them an idea.  Instead of seeking publication now, wait.  Write a series of short stories set in the world I just created. Hmmmm, writer sips her tea and gazes out window as mosquitoes carry squirrel away.

A collection of short stories tied together with a common thread and theme.  Interesting idea.  I have enjoyed playing with this set of characters, expanding the world to see what else is there would be cool.  But a short story collection?  Not to be crude, but is that idea sell able?  I guess if it’s good it is.  If not I can break it up and send them out separately. Writer hears dog bark at Roux.  Barking ends abruptly.  Writer scratches feed Roux, off to-do list.

A short story collection brings with it a long list of questions:

  • How many stories make up a nice collection?
  • How many can a person read before getting board with the idea?
  • Should they range in style, say light fantasy to scary?
  • I know there are more, but that’s all my sleep deprived brain can handle….

What do you think about short story collections?