Today’s prompt is from @dahob – Why do you like apocalypses so much?
So, I chewed on this a bit, and it came down to two major things: why I like dystopian settings, and why I like space colony stories.
I swear this is all related!
So, dystopian settings. I looove dystopian settings, although I have to admit that that’s 50% lazy writing. That is: if the setting is the bad guy, then it’s man vs. the environment, and the innate bad guys are mostly working within a bad setting.
Tír na Cali’s a perfect example of that: “Yes, I own you, but I can’t exactly free you. The Californian government will never let you go home, and, even if they did, the Americans would lock you up and pick your brain for every scrap of information about our country. So you’re stuck with me and my only options are keep you or sell you.”
Of course, in Addergoole, the reason for the uber-dystopia is right there, in the school, a living breathing person. Um. Poor thinking on my part there. O_o
“Man against his environment.” That’s my favorite style of story, of the classic three taught in English classes (Man v. self, other man, environment), and that really covers the “space colony” story part of this, too: I love the idea of carving out a new world, a new home, against massive odds. I love making something from scraps, from whatever’s left over. And with space colonies and post-apoc both, you walk into it with some “modern” tech, and some idea of how modern tech should work.
Except cargo cults, of course. But I still need to write one of those.
So why do I like apocalypses so much? Because I get to write people struggling against their environment, and persevering.
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/871496.html. You can comment here or there.
You know… in an Addergoole rewrite… maybe Regine should be around less? And it should be more obvious that it’s impossible to find/confront the director? That would make it more environmental and less ‘why don’t they just go yell at Regine?’ That way Kai’s situation of actually seeing/talking to Regine would be more obviously unusual, too.
HRMmmmm!! That’s a really good idea. Thank you!!
I’m confused. Laws are written and upheld by people, so if the laws are evil, the bad guys are the people who uphold the laws, not the laws. Laws are just things, they are not a force of nature.
Well, if your job is to “uphold the laws of the country” and one of those laws happens to be evil – do you ignore that law? Do you do your job? And laws, while just things, are often very hard to change. There’s a societal pressure against change in general.
Depends. Do they at least feel bad about it? Try to find a way to make things better? I’ve had too many history lessons about the Third Reich to buy “if it’s the law, it must be upheld”; “I was just following orders” does not cut it. Let’s consider my now-dead grandfather. Back in the day he volunteered for the Luftwaffe. I don’t even know how bad he was, if he thought gassing Jews was OK or going too far, but I know even in his old age he’d use racist slurs and say stuff like “niggers should go back to the jungle”. Being raised in a society in which being racist was acceptable and expected does not make him not-racist. (I do give more leeway in fiction or history, but some things just fall over the line of what I can deal with.)
FWIW, I looked up literary conflict categorisation, and what I found was at least a four-way split: person vs person person vs society person vs nature person vs self (sometimes more) And these make more sense to me than conflating “society” and “nature”, because society is made up of people who can be judged by moral standards, whereas morality does not apply to nature at all.