Monday, May 25, 2009

I just finished The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy. A post-apocalyptic story set in and around San Francisco.

I'm not sure why this is, but it seems the military is the villain of choice in any post-apocalyptic story, whether they caused the disaster (see Stephen King's The Stand), or whether they try and take over and impose their ideas of order and discipline afterwords (see CBS's Jericho, or many others. The one semi-original piece of this book is that the apocalyptic disaster is actually accidentally caused by peace activists, instead of the military industrial complex.

In this novel, the contrast is even larger because the protagonists are artists and free spirits who live in San Francisco in a very Utopian anarchic society. Who knew that all we needed for a comfortable life we could devote to art was for 99+% of the population to die off? In addition to that silliness, there is an uncomfortable anti-American vibe throughout the book. For example, the evil military leader espouses the values of "America" and is mocked by other characters and one characters opines that they always thought the old American flag was "ugly".

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