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The Re-Emergence of the Post-Apocalyptic

A few weekends ago, my in-laws were in town.  They brought us some lovely furniture that my father-in-law had made, and we visited a little.  We talked about TV that we liked, and The Walking Dead came up.  We talked about scary stories and how they have changed between their generation and ours.

While standard horror, action, and thriller stories are still wildly popular,  both in literature and visual media, there has been a rising trend of post-apocalyptic stories. This article from io9  in 2009 catalogues the rise in the number of post-apocalyptic stories by the causes of the apocalypse. This article from SF Signal last year poses the question of the rising popularity of post-apocalyptic stories to a number of popular authors in the genre.

Why are these stories so popular? I'll offer my own reason. We know that our world is fragile. We anticipate a possible end with every news story that we see in our feed. A landslide.  A hurricane.  A shooter.  A terrorist attack.  A virus frozen in Antarctic ice.  And we are afraid. We have mini brown-pants moments when we think about these things happening to us or those we love.  And we want to know how to handle it.  We want to know what to do.  So we look to these stories for guidance or inspiration or bad examples to learn from.  And we're lucky to have them.

Why do you think post-apocalyptic stories are popular?  What are some of your favorites?


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