People’s Apocalypse, The : Edited by Jenny Forrester and Ariel Gore, $15.95 By Steve Hart

May 17, 2013

With a variety of authors and writing styles, this anthology of apocalyptic stories, visions, and nightmares is the stuff that kept me up as a child. My mom always talked about the day Jesus was going to return and rapture all the good Christians. That shit drove me to despair and nihilism for years. So, I approached this book with some trepidation. I’ve noticed a few of my friends have become “preppers” or people who are prepared for an economic collapse, war, and a shutdown of the electrical grid. It’s one thing to be prepared, but stockpiling cans of food, guns, and ammo isn’t going to get you very far. Because of this, I enjoyed the how-to articles more than the fictional stories. How to build a teepee or a solar oven is always useful information, stockpiling food and raising goats is a commendable exercise, I suppose. However, I live in Maui. When the boats that import food stop coming (like they did post 9/11), I have no illusions of surviving for very long. I know how to hunt, grow food, fish, build a home. I understand soil science and botany and even took a few survival courses a long time ago, but when an entire island becomes a mass of starving, angry people, I doubt I will be able to protect any food or livestock. To paraphrase Uniform Choice, “There’s always someone with bigger piles of ammo, chump.” While it may be fun to hypothesize about how I would survive an apocalypse, I hope that I’ll be one of the first to go. Living off the land is fucking difficult. Add hordes of gun-wielding maniacs to that and there’s a dystopian future I want nothing to do with. –Steve Hart (Lit Star Press, distributed by Microcosm Publishing)