Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Prudent Prepping: Books, Before Prepping was Cool

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

 Summer Reading List

A stealthy way to introduce Prepping to Alternate History, 
Fantasy and Science Fiction fans 

I can't remember a time when I didn't have a book or magazine to read, or drool over as an infant. My Mom says I taught myself to read by looking at Life magazine and describing what was in the pictures, and then she would read the short paragraph to me, pointing out the words as she went. When I was being punished and sent to my room, I would randomly read the encyclopedia. Books are still at the top of my list as a way to relax and unwind, and they often provide the side benefit of teaching me something new. Which leads to the topic of the week:

The End of the World (usually with a better ending)!

How do you get someone who is not already 'invested' in prepping to become interested in the topic? One way could be through books. This is how the idea (but not the actual act) of prepping started to grow in me.

The first time the term 'post-apocalyptic' stuck with me was from the movie, On the Beach, based on the novel of the same name by Nevil Shute. In this book, World War 3 has just ended and Australia has avoided the fallout cloud, but only temporarily. As is almost always the case, the book was better, but the movie does a good job of covering the main points. Oh, and Fred Astaire driving a D-type Jag, dueling with Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins was pretty neat to a young car nut! I didn't like the 2000 re-make at all.

This lead me to Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, published in 1954. The book describes how a small Florida town survives a nuclear war.

Sometime in the late 1960s I bought my first hardcover book, I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson. I hope everyone is familiar with the story of The Last Man On Earth and how he survived the plague that turned everyone into vampires and zombies. Check out some of the movie versions - except the last one. It was not very faithful to the book at all.

From this start, there are too many books for me to remember, but here are a few standouts:
(In no particular order)
  • A Canticle For Leibowitz and sequels, by Walter M. Miller Jr
  • The Warlord series by Jason Frost
  • The Ashes series by Wm. W. Johnstone
  • The Postman, David Brin
  • The Ashfall trilogy by Mike Mullin. This series is notable in that it is a natural disaster (the eruption of Yellowstone volcano) and not nuclear war or plague that disrupts the U.S.
  • And the fiction (and non-fiction) of James Wesley, Rawles.
As you can see, disaster survival is a popular theme among science-fiction writer. What have you got on your library shelf, in the desk drawer at work or in your Bug Out Bag that can be added to this list? The best books are those which are both entertaining and provide ideas on how to survive. 

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