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The Problem with SHTF Fiction

October 7, 2012 10:41:21.843

I admit to a weakness for post-apocalyptic fiction - I love a good "SHTF" book. The thing to keep in mind though, is this: most of these books are highly unrealistic. There are a few scenarios I can think of where things really would collapse in terrible ways:

  • Some kind of super bug that wipes out a high percentage of the population (much worse than the black death, say)
  • An extinction level asteroid/comet strike
  • A "Carrington Event" type of solar blast that took out a large percentage of the world's transformers

What a lot of these books posit is some kind of economic collapse that leads to chaos after the value of the dollar implodes. The problem with that kind of thing is simple: we have real life examples of developed nations hitting a financial collapse (Argentina, and now, Greece). Are there problems? Yes. Do they lead to a collapse of the grid and some kind of Hobbesian war of all against all? Not so much.

I'll probably keep reading this kind of thing because they are a guilty pleasure for me. I just won't end up being one of those prepper types stockpiling two years of food, water, and ammo in my basement because of it.

posted by James Robertson


Re: The Problem with SHTF Fiction

[anonymous] October 8, 2012 11:17:32.343

When the black helicopters arrive, it'll be too late.

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