In the context of our newly-transformed world, I have just finished re-reading two post-apocalyptic classics; Nevil Shute’s “𝙊𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝” (1957) and John Wyndham’s “𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘿𝙖𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙏𝙧𝙞𝙛𝙛𝙞𝙙𝙨” (1951). I was curious to see what relevance they may have for our current situation. “𝙊𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝” was a disappointment the second time around. Stylistically, it has become an anachronism, with laughably formal dialogue and clunky articulation generally. Its depiction of a dying world in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust was also somewhat naive and unbelievable, with mankind sitting around passively awaiting their fate.
By comparison, Wyndham’s “𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘿𝙖𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙏𝙧𝙞𝙛𝙛𝙞𝙙𝙨” has withstood the passage of time much better. Although still containing some antiquated expressions, Wyndham’s writing style is crisp and sparse, drawing you into the narrative. In fact, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book on my second reading. Despite its somewhat bizarre central scenario – a world where almost everyone has gone blind overnight and mankind are now being hunted by a new breed of poisonous plant (yes, I know, it sounds utterly ridiculous!) – the story still engaged me because of Wyndham’s competent writing style. It is an interesting depiction of a society having to reformulate itself in the wake of a global pandemic.
If you’re looking for something more recent, my book, “𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝘽𝙚𝙘𝙠𝙤𝙣”, is also post-apocalyptic. It depicts an unexpected global event that ravages the world and forces a group of survivors to embark on a journey they would never have previously considered. Purely by coincidence, it was published in December last year, just a few short weeks before the Covid-19 outbreak. It is interesting for me to read back over it now and see the many similarities with our own unexpected situation. Among other themes, the book explores the necessity to make tough decisions and develop critical situational ethics and policies in response to a totally new predicament. Don’t be put off by its science fiction designation – it doesn’t have any aliens or fanciful elements!
“𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝘽𝙚𝙘𝙠𝙤𝙣” reached no. 2 in the UK and no. 3 in the US over the Christmas holidays (in its sub-genre) and is consistently receiving 5-star reviews worldwide. It is available from Amazon as a paperback or eBook.