If I may return to our fiction review for a moment, 2012 seems to be an apt time to take in an apocalyptic tale or two. I’ve previously discussed the amusement I have with the 2012 doomsayers, not unlike Y2K (over a decade ago already!).
First ask yourself this: What would you do if you were faced with a major disaster? In particular, are you prepared for what may happen tomorrow, next year or an hour from now? Tornado? Earthquake? Some man-made cataclysm?
We’ve become such a pampered society, we think buying bread, milk and toilet paper is how to prepare for a coming storm. Most have no idea what do do if their power went out for more than a few hours. They think the government will be there to save them (forget Hurricane Katrina already?).
This lack of common sense preparedness – the classic Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared” said it best and simplest – will someday haunt us. That’s why I recommend folks give the novel One Second After a read.
It presents the most extreme scenario: An EMP attack on the U.S. renders nearly all electronics useless. If you don’t know what an EMP attack is, look it up. It is a real threat. Perhaps the government should worry more about this than meddling in our lives. In any case, William R. Forstchen paints a dire situation as a small town tries to survive until help arrives. It does arrive, over a year later. In the meantime, the realities of a collapsed society unfold in frightening detail.
Hopefully, we never see a disaster of this magnitude. Even smaller ones could push us to the brink. The Yellowstone supervolcano, the long overdue mega-earthquake along the fault near the Mississippi or some terrible nightmare set in motion by a depraved mind all lurk in the darkness. Then again, they may never happen.
This novel, entertaining as it is, will make you ponder what you would do. Though-provoking and perhaps extreme at times (we hope it is), it nevertheless may help snap a couple people out of their funk.
Don’t let laziness be the death of you.