Friday, April 18, 2008

Survival manual neatly dressed as fiction

A survival manual neatly dressed as fiction.

This has to be one of the worse lines ever. Why?

Because every fiction writer in the past five years, who when combined with the Internet, and with even the slightest bent for "the end of the world" sits down at at the computer, the first tome he puts out is "a survival story, neatly dressed as fiction, but actually a how-to manual for when the world goes down the toilet".

Today's TEOTWAWKI author believes that every SHTF novel now has to have J.W. Rawles theme in order to be successful.

Have you read Patriots? Pick any version. The three in print. "Double Ought", "The Grey Nineties", or how about the screenplay?

The story is simple. A massive meltdown of America's economic system leads to chaos and anarchy across the country. A group of people, having long ago prepared a retreat in rural Idaho, take refuge and spend the following years fighting off hordes of convicts, cannibals and New World Order shock troops all while preaching the Good News.

The story is full of action and fast dialogue and the characters are basically decent people.

"Patriots" gets bogged down in overly detailed lists and descriptions of every type of firearm, ammo and accessory imaginable. Story characters become faceless blobs identified only by the make, model and finish of their weapon.

When I first read "Patriots" (an online version several years ago), I was halfway through the book and still had no idea if Mary (Todd's wife in this version) was tall, fat, red headed, two-headed or skinny as a rail. But I did know she carried a Remington 870 Junior Model in 20 guage.

Regardless, the tedious trend today has every post-SHTF writer, especially the Internet based writers, attempting to copy and surpass the "Patriots" model. I wonder sometimes if writers remember some of the great TEOTWAWKI novels like The Stand, Alas Babylon or Lucifer's Hammer? Camoflage patterns were not quickly identified, but the characters and storyline were first rate, riveting and memorable.

I like "Patriots" and think it should be on your survivalist fiction bookshelf. Further, I try and keep up on Rawles' blog from time to time for helpful survival information. However, I wish that prospective survivalist writers would attempt their own writing style and focus on character development and storyline first.

"Patriots" is out with a new, extended and updated version for 2008. Check out Amazon for great pricing and availability.

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