I LOVE post-apocalyptic/stranded-on-a-deserted island fiction. I always have. There is something very appealing to me about the resiliency of the human spirit. These stories always make me ask, "What if. . . ". What would I do if I survived the end of the world? Would I die of starvation or dehydration? Would wild animals devour me? Or, would I somehow manage to figure it out?
This obsession of mine goes all the way back to my childhood. My favorite TV show growing up was Gilligan's Island. I was completely transfixed by the "what ifs" in this show. The Professor's general lack of competence notwithstanding, this show was a great mental escape for me. I always thought it would be awesome to be stranded on an island, if for no other reason than to just see if I had what it took to survive. Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Island of the Blue Dolphins made me want to take a "three hour tour" on some catamaran just so I could be shipwrecked! As I got a little older, my tastes became darker and I was pulled into wild tales like Lord of the Flies, Z is for Zachariah, The Stand, and even the Left Behind series.
I have seen every episode of Survivor that has ever aired (well, except for the stupid recap shows that they used to run every year on Thanksgiving). I think Battlestar Galactica (the remake, not the original lame version in the '70's) was one of the best shows ever to grace my TV screen. Lost captivated me from the beginning. Jurassic Park is my favorite movie of all time. I think I may have been the only person in America that was outraged when Terra Nova was cancelled. Falling Skies makes me giddy like a kid on Christmas morning, and most recently, Revolution has piqued my interest on a weekly basis. While not quite as well produced as Falling Skies, or Battlestar Galactica, it really does make me ask the question "what if. . . "?
Now, vampire fiction. . . THAT is another story. I have never understood the fascination. I tried some Ann Rice back in the day, but it never really stuck. I have not read any of the Twilight or Vampire Diaries series' (are those even 2 different things? Don't know. . . Don't care). Quite frankly, I don't get the hubbub. Which leads me to my latest literary find. . . I have wasted the last 3 weeks of my life reading the first 2 of Justin Cronin's trilogy, The Passage and The Twelve, respectively. I have been completely sucked in (no pun intended). Yes, they are vampire books, but the root of the story is one of survival. Survival of the human race. Survival of family lines, and the bravery, resilience, and luck that allowed them to survive.
There is also a more subtle undertone to these books that tickles the more "spirtual" side of my brain. What about THE CREATOR? How much of a role does God play with respect to "luck" vs. "the grand design"? While we are afforded the luxury of "free will", does God intervene to, at times, protect us from ourselves? Where is that line in the sand? How much destruction will God allow to happen before He "swoops in" to save me? And the list of questions goes on and on. . .
I really don't know where this obsession of mine comes from, but it is something that has plagued me since childhood. It is my great mental escape. For those of you that share my odd predilection for such works of fiction, I would love to have some suggestions about other works that may not have yet crossed my path.
Ready. Set. Go!