Friday, September 27, 2013

Alas, Babylon

This reminded me a lot of One Second After. (Only this one was written a few decades earlier.) They both center around some southerners who have some survivalist mentality. A big event happens that rips away modern technology, and the people manage to create a society. They are the "good guys" who hole up in their semi-rural community, while the city dwellers resort to becoming savage marauders.

In Alas, Babylon, the catastrophe is a nuclear war. Russia uses submarines to launch nukes at most major US cities and military sites. The US managed to launch a retaliatory force that wiped out much of Russia. In the end, the US won, but in the process, life was severely disrupted for most everybody. Even "survivalists" who had been prepared, merely found themselves the greater targets. Humans may attack with guns, but dogs and other animals could also become dangers. Some people don't even get that far. They see the "meaning" of their life ripped apart by the changes, and manage to end it rather than try to adapt.

Makes you wonder if this is what happened to some ancient civilizations that were only encountered in later stages. Perhaps the Australian Aborigines or American Indians had a civilization much more advanced than us today, but managed to wipe most of it out before the Europeans came around. The "survivalists" that were left reverted to the primitive ways of life.

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