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post apocalypse(winter)

Rileyshima

For some reason the earth has frozen over and this is a story of the few survivors. causes could be aliens, asteroids, nuclear winter or maybe just no one knows. the cause could also cause mutations in the living being on earth. from humans to plants. this idea is open for how ever you would like to use for.

Crumbly Writer

My brother suggested, after everyone has died, aliens show up and claim credit, claiming the global plague was actually medicine to extend everyone's life (so they don't get sick) so they'll live for several hundred years. Thus the plague picks only the strongest and ensures there's only enough people for the earth's resources.

I told him: write your own damn story!

wallsend3

i'm a post apocalypse junkie... but would be nice to see a more true to life version... dropped in to a world with only knowledge and past memories to help him... no lorry loads of equipment... no friendly 'aliens'... probably loaded up with information and an ear for languages plus a 24 hr settle time to sort him/herself out then they are on their own... live or die by their wits.

Replies:   Dominion's Son
Dominion's Son

@wallsend3

The story you talk about where someone is dumped on a copy of earth in a more primitive state is not something I would consider post apocalyptic.

For me, to consider a story post apocalyptic there must be some element of the collapse of civilization and or the near extinction of the human race as a central part of the story.

Replies:   tppm
tppm
Updated:

@Dominion's Son

Lest Darkness Fall, by L. Sprague de Camp kinda combines the two. Modern guy goes back to Rome (the city) during the reign of Justinian, who ruled from Constantinople, and tries to forestall the, already started, fall of the Roman Empire

Crumbly Writer

Going way back, I once read a story about a science expedition who uncovers a [living] Roman Gladiator frozen in the ice who has trouble adapting to real life. It turns out, near the end, that he was poisoned with something that prevented his freezing solid in a glacier from killing him.

It was traditionally published, but I can't remember what the heck the story was. But it was a 'reverse do-over', where someone from the past is brought to modern times.

harry-lime

I like the concept and have a fascination with this genre. The suggestions all seem feasible as a structure for a story. I tend to see the story as one related to an issue with the "cooling of the Earth's core" that has resulted in surface icing. Possibly there are several "non-frozen" small areas where humanity and animal life and plant life are flourishing. The survivors must trek to those places in order to continue the struggle to survive. Sort of a "Garden of Eden" second chance to improve the human race. Conflicting "Garden of Eden" areas can fight against each other for superiority just like modern day countries seeking world domination.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@harry-lime

I tend to see the story as one related to an issue with the "cooling of the Earth's core" that has resulted in surface icing. Possibly there are several "non-frozen" small areas where humanity and animal life and plant life are flourishing.

Harry-Line, if that's your story line, then may I suggest that you set the story about 100 years in the future (i.e. after the apocalyptic events), and bypass the whole 'fighting over the leftover goodies' and make it all about a fight for survival between equally desperate stories. You may also focus on 'thermal vents', the same things that support life in the deepest parts of the oceans, rather than places that 'just happen' to be warm. They'd still be cold, and the volcanic source could always cause poisoning or explosions. I nice beginning could be a group of nearby traders discover that an existing colony have all died due to a poison leak from the thermal vents, so they rush to grab the location before other groups can claim it.

I could see that succeeding. One thing I get tired of is motorcycle gangs fighting with military vets over resources they can pick up virtually anywhere they look.

I'm not sure how 'scientifically valid' a cooling of the earth's core temperature is, however. :(

Replies:   madnige
madnige
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I'm not sure how 'scientifically valid' a cooling of the earth's core temperature is, however. :(


Not very, the earth's core has a certain amount of heat that can't just disappear and there is radioactive decay causing heating (which caused the early scientific estimates of the age of the earth to be wrong). Cooling of the core would take many thousands of years to have a noticable effect, but climactic change in the thin biosphere could happen much faster. An ice age is obviously possible at the current conditions (which aren't significantly different from the last ice age), and could be triggered by a few missed sunspot cycles (like the 'little ice age') along with global warming causing increased climactic variability; the cold-and-reflective-white ice-age condition would be quite stable and we're more likely to survive that than the other end of a global-hothouse with high CO2, methane and clouds giving a stable greenhouse effect like on Venus (the CO2 and methane mainly being released from the ocean by warming temperatures).

Edit:
'Fallen Angels' (Niven, Pournelle & Flynn) has this pretty much; the ice age is triggered by 'green' measures stopping the global warming which was holding the naturally developing ice-age at bay.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

Dern! The editor ate most of my response while posting. Poor-editors didn't die the GG Forum!

The biggest key to PA stories is deciding what type of story you want to write.

1) The government breaks down and people revert to a kill-or-be-killed world.

2) You focus on the apocalyptic phase, where everyone dies due to some odd method and everyone watches the people suffering.

3) You start the story in the future, when few remember what destroyed the world and you take off from there.

In #1, the story focuses on what people do if the government is no longer there to support them. Strangely, most conservative writers posit a world where government IS needed to form a functioning world! The story ends up focused on 'evil government' vs. 'evil people'.

In #2, you focus on the apocalyptic event which wipes out the world's population. This ends up being mostly sad. You MUST include a rational scientific reason for the world to end, as it's more important in this case than the others.

In #3, you start with a clean slate and a dysfunctional world in need of revolt. The end of the world really doesn't matter in the least. Instead the story focuses on how dysfunctional the new world is.

harry-lime

I like those concepts advanced by madnige. I am attracted to the PA genre as a reader and have written several short stories in an erotica/PA theme that were not particularly popular. My Motorcycle Gangs (Looters), Government forces (Military) and Survivors PA themed story looked at the storyline from 3 POV. Not well thought out but seems popular with about 300K downloads on the net. Crumbly writer's scientific thoughts are all valid and I agree with them but then again most of the produced products of that genre in film and in print are not in the least scientifically possible and most readers wouldn't even question some ridiculous scenarios either here on earth or another unlikely planet.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I forget what it was called, but one of the best plot leads for a PA story I saw, but it never went that far, was a short story about two cleaners arguing while cleaning in a combat command centre and one accidentally hits a button as they pack up. The story closed with them closing the door while exiting and the screen coming alive with a message about the remaining seconds to nuclear strike launch. I always liked the idea of an accidental nuclear winter.

Daydreamz

I once started a story where the two sides in the Final World War had created automated killer satellites. The satellites worked by detecting characteristic human brainwaves and nuking the DNA in the brain stem with entrained radiation beams.

There's a little bit of a plot hole about people who hid in bunkers and so on, but people didn't know they'd been hit and died some time later, so there's a bit of wiggle room over it.

Of course scientists and military were the first targets, so it didn't take long for the satellites to run out of control and over time kill all the humans on earth, except... some genetically engineered dickgirls :) Their brainwaves are just different enough.

So the girls have all the infrastructure intact, they're genetic scientists, and they resolve to rebuild mankind in their own image - unaggressive, empathetic, and happy to pass the time with sex instead of conquering everything. Oh and they don't age.

It was basically a morality story, about homo sapiens as a plague species, too aggressive to survive; and maybe getting into evolution as a system.

My very moderate storytelling ability tragically failed the test of turning this into a gripping tale, so if anyone feels like using any of it, please help yourself. Drop me a line so I know to read it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
JohnBobMead

In re the OP's thoughts on renewed glaciation, Robert Silverberg wrote a novel, Time of the Great Freeze, back in the Sixties; some libraries may have a copy. In the story its several generations after the renewed glaciation,, several old-time cities survived by building domes which have been covered by the ice, action deals with a party travelling from New York City to London over the surface. A pretty good story.

Crumbly Writer

@Daydreamz

My very moderate storytelling ability tragically failed the test of turning this into a gripping tale, so if anyone feels like using any of it, please help yourself. Drop me a line so I know to read it.

Not every story idea/plot makes it to completion, even with the very best authors. Usually, those stories are just put on the shelf. Often, with some indirect thought (just holding it in mind but not worrying about it), you'll find another way to resuscitate the story.

Replies:   tppm  Daydreamz
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

Are we, collectively, sure we want to use PA as the short name for post-apocalypse? Its a well known abbreviation for Pennsylvania. I have no dog in the fight, for all I know Pennsylvania is a disaster and earned its mail code as a synonym for life after disaster.

I also sometimes see PA as the abbreviation for Personal Assistant.

Replies:   Rileyshima
tppm

@Crumbly Writer

Or, if you become a big name author, your descendants will either publish them as is or commission a ghost writer to finish them.

Crumbly Writer

If they can make the story work, more power to them. However, the ghost written books rarely sound as good.

Richard, after I start a discussion on post-apocalyptic stories, I fall into calling it PA just to save space, since everyone knows the context. When I start a new thread, I won't use it initially.

Rileyshima

@richardshagrin

I've taken to using PAW for post-apocalypse world.

Daydreamz

@Crumbly Writer

That's a kind thought @Crumbly Writer :)

I'm toying with a space travel version of it, as it happens.

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