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View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: Everything is Broken; or It Takes a Village to Survive an Apocalypse (52 comments)

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  •  the plot flaw in Everything Is Broken... (16+ / 0-)

    ... is that it only takes a couple of people to escape from there by any available means (motor vehicle, bicycle, on foot, or even by any viable boat) and communicate with the outside world by any available means (call 911 in the next town, call the Governor's office, call a news radio station such as KCBS San Francisco).  

    Once the reports of widespread lawlessness got out, the Governor would send the National Guard, and that would be that.  

    At which point the story becomes:

    Main character sets out to leave by car or motorcycle, runs out of gas, hikes through the woods for a few days, and comes to a cabin inhabited by an older couple who know nothing of the disaster.  Makes a few phone calls and finally reaches the Governor's office which puts him through to the National Guard.  

    Eventually they hook him up with a convoy that is going in, and he waits by the side of the road.  On the way back to town, the Guard soldiers fill him in on what's been happening.  When he gets back to town, he finds the place under an emergency curfew while the remaining looters and the corrupt city officials are being rounded up to be prosecuted.  As a result of the clean-out of city government, there is going to be an election, and the progressive slate is heavily favored to win.  

    Finally, our main character gets a job working in the progressive coalition's campaign office, and the future looks bright.

    Hey, why not?  

    We got the future back.

    by G2geek on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:33:23 PM PST

    •  That's a good storyline (6+ / 0-)

      Of course, if the entire coast of Florida were equally affected it might take longer than you suggest.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 11:14:01 PM PST

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    •  Or if the Governor was like the current one help (6+ / 0-)

      would depend on how the town voted.

      I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

      by OHdog on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:27:41 AM PST

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    •  That's what happened in Lovecraft's (5+ / 0-)

      "The Shadow over Innsmouth": seaport town in Massachusetts experiences its own apocalyptic event, & some 60-70 years afterwards a visiting outsider escapes & informs the authorities what has happened. They investigate & deal with the creepy-crawlies.

      I guess in the 1920s, people weren't quite as nosy about strange goings-on in towns the next county over as they are today. I mean, if creatures out of the Cthulhu Mythos took over a small city in Mississippi or Alabama, we'd all be concerned -- wouldn't we?

      Anyway, if someone known for his weak plots like Lovecraft could think of that plot element, then it is a significant plot flaw.

    •  Some of those possibilities were addressed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, MT Spaces, llywrch

      Shortly after the disaster, a couple college kids volunteered to take their motorcycles to the nearest town and get help.  Unfortunately, their bikes were in the garage of a house Dickie and his gang were looting and they killed them.  By the time the survivors realized they needed to send another party out, Ferrara and Dickie were watching the only routes out of town and were determined to keep everybody in.  The survivors did make another attempt to sneak out, but were spotted, and Russ' Dad was killed in the gun battle.

      Now you might well say that there must have been more ways out of town.  Possibly.  In the story, the tsunami dumped a line of debris around the town creating a barrier difficult to climb without being seen.  The characters discuss sailing a boat up the coast, but this is rejected as too risky because, once again, the bad guys would spot them before they could get far enough.

      Did no one have a shortwave radio that could work on batteries, or a gasoline-powered generator?  Okay, I have to admit that the necessities of plot are determining what the characters have available, but since most of the town was destroyed, and it seems that the most useful parts of the town were hit hardest, (and the stupid mayor either sold off or was hoarding all the emergency gear), it's possible that the protagonists simply didn't have access to any useful stuff that there might have been.

      Your version is much happier.  Then again, John Shirley's version was intended as a cautionary tale, so he's gonna give us a worst-case scenario.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:16:35 PM PST

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