Post-Apocalyptic Worlds

I watched the movie The Book of Eli recently. I would recommend it. Apart from a great performance from Denzel Washington (of course) it has an interesting premise with a bit of a Sixth Sense twist at the end (although not as well carried off).

What I found interesting was its portrayal of the post-apocalyptic world. The film only hints at what happened but it must have been bad because the world is desolate and barely habitable. I thought the technique the director used to convey this was very well done – the colors are so subdued that the film almost looks like it was shot in black and white. In many scenes the only color is the brown of Denzel’s face.

I’ve been considering the portrayal of post-apocalyptic worlds in books and film recently because my next book Faraday’s Mine will be set in a post-apocalyptic world (the apocalypse arrives in Newton’s Ark but you don’t really get to see what the world is like afterwards). But it is a very different post-apocalyptic world from that portrayed in The Book of Eli or many other stories. The events in Newton’s Ark cause some temporary climate effects, but the ecosystem soon recovers. Imagine a lush world in which robots and other automated systems keep all the infrastructure as good as new, but maybe there’s nobody around to enjoy it…

More Sci Fi Keeping it Real

I posted recently on keeping the sci fi real in my first novel Newton’s Ark.

I just ran across this article about stopping an asteriod specifically debunking the scenario presented in the movie Armageddon of using a nuke to split it in half.

Here’s a relevant passage from my book:

“Despite all the holo-movies you might have seen where they destroy the asteroid before it hits the Earth and everyone lives happily ever after, it isn’t possible with the technology and time we have available. To nudge the asteroid off course we have to hit it far enough out that we would need to launch now. Problem is we don’t have anything with the range and payload required….”

“Can’t we just nuke the damn thing when it gets closer to Earth?”

“Yes sir we can, but we risk turning a single very large asteroid into multiple asteroids, each still plenty big enough to wipe out a large city. Better to have only one object to track and to limit the impact to a single location.”

I think this quote from the article nicely captures my philosophy:

…fiction is all about the make-believe. But good science can make for a more plausible narrative, making it easier to suspend disbelief.

This post brought to you by author D.A. Hill.