Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dystopian vs. Post-Apocalyptic Week 10: A Trio of Distinction

No introduction needed. 
Warning: Get ready to chuckle.  

Kellee, in her excellent intro to this blog series, points out the difference between post-apocalyptic and dystopian works. I want to expand on that and illustrate the differences with three short stories. You ready? Here goes:

Apocalyptic Fiction:
Fred: Hey, everything’s peachy keen.
Joe: Yep, sure is. Who says peachy keen anymore, anyway?
Fred: OMG, it’s an asteroid/supervolcano/rapture/giant snuggee knitted by aliens to warm the earth!
Joe: Run! We’re all going to die!
The rest of the book: Fred and Joe struggle to survive while falling in love.

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Fred: Everything sucks since the aliens wrapped the earth in a giant snuggee.
Joe: Yep.
Fred: Let’s rebuild civilization.
Joe: Why?
Fred: We could brew beer.
Joe: Right-on!
The rest of the book: Fred and Joe rebuild civilization for the same reason we built it the first time: to brew beer. (Note to students: This is a historical fact, not an endorsement of beer. Your teachers and parents would be very upset with me if I endorsed beer. Although it did probably create civilization. And presumably your teachers and parents are pro-civilization. Here’s a good overview of the role of beer in civilization, for those who are interested.)

Dystopian Fiction
Fred: Everything sucks.
Joe: Shh, they’re listening.
Fred: Let’s overthrow the government.
Joe: Why?
Fred: I heard they’re going to ban beer next week.
Joe: Where’s my gun?       
The rest of the book: Fred and Joe overthrow the evil dystopian government while falling in love and preserving their favorite beer recipe for future generations. (Note to students: This is also not an endorsement of beer. Except by Fred, who is a fictional character. If you follow directions from fictional characters, beer is the least of your problems.)

And there you have it, the difference between Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, and Dystopian stories according to Mike Mullin. And their similarities: they’re all about beer.

Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really hoping this writing thing works out. Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife and her three cats. 
Ashfall is his first novel.   The first two chapters are available on his website: You may reprint the first two chapters in whole or in part on your website so long as you do not charge anyone anything to access them.

You can access Jen and my review of Ashfall by clicking on the cover photo above. 

Also, remember on 3/31 Jen and I will be hosting a Dystopian vs. Post-Apocalyptic blog hop where you can write your own post about the topic and link back here. Hope you can join us!!

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