There’s a key phase to survival in such an environment that is rarely covered in the literature on the subject and that is ‘scavenging’. Survival manuals tend to go straight from opening your fridge and zapping something in the microwave to making a bow and arrow out of branches and animal sinew.
While Walking Dead is perhaps one of the worst ‘survival’ shows out there, it does use the scavenge phase. Glenn was known for this. There is an art to scavenging. In fact, depending on the number of people who survive the ‘apocalypse’ whatever that might be, the danger is that the scavenge phase could cause people to lose their survival skills. An entire generation could survive off of what is left and thus not know how to reboot a rudimentary civilization. In fact, in my companion survival guides, Prepare and Survive, I focus on knowledge being key survival gear. Books! Books on gardening, on basic metal-working, on medical techniques.
Also, as a side-note about Walking Dead — unless some refinery has started up somewhere, there is no viable gasoline. And how come no one carries extra magazines? And — okay, enough.
I was thinking post-apocalyptic because today my novel, which has very little in terms of survival in it in the generic sense, BURNERS, is free. It and the follow on book, PRIME, examine a post-apocalyptic world in the Puget Sound area where the world is divided into four groups depending on life span. There are the People, the Evermores, the Middlemores and then the 98%: BURNERS, who have a median Deathday of 25.
Everyone knows their Deathday, except the People.
While we focus on wealth as delineating that top .1%, really it will be time. Life. The most precious commodity of all.
I won’t go into too much more, but BURNERS is free today. The title comes from the famous poem:
“My candle burns on both ends;
It will not last the night.
But ah my foes, and oh my friends,
It gives a lovely light!”
Nothing but good times ahead.
Or. Maybe not.
Originally published at bobmayer.com on June 17, 2017.