Something to remember if you’re writing a post apocalyptic novel —

Just happened across this post from FuturePundit.

You know, I’m embarrassed to admit that it never occurred to me that bicycles are indeed a definite good thing that would keep working if a supervolcano erupted / the moon suddenly moved much closer to the Earth / 95% of everybody suddenly died / the physical laws of the universe changed to prohibit the use of high technology.

Even in Stirling’s universe (that’s the one where the laws of nature change to prevent internal combustion engines from working and stuff) . . . he puts so much thought into things, but I don’t think anybody thought of bicycles? Did they? At least not in the first book, I think? I honestly don’t remember bicycles appearing at all in that book. In one of the ISLANDS IN THE SEA OF TIME, yes, but not in the other series, where bicycles would have been lying around for anybody to take.

In the abstract, I’d much rather have a horse than a bicycle because hey, horses are way cooler than any bicycle. In the real world, I am enough bothered by arthritis not to be able to use stirrups for any length of time, and anybody can see that a bicycle is easier to feed and care for.

You know another thing about post-apocalyptic novels which sometimes is a problem for me? And here I am thinking of LIFE AS WE KNEW IT? Which is quite a good book, btw, don’t want to imply otherwise; Pfeffer did a great job with the protagonist’s voice and the story.

But WHY does no one in this rural community think, as they are starving to death, about hunting? The deer would hardly have disappeared THAT fast; you should go hunting the moment the idea of food shortages drifts across your mind.

And fishing! We go skating on the pond, but not a single person ever thinks: Hey, you know, FISH live in ponds! Not ever.

I’m sure Pfeffer must be a city girl. Don’t you think? I can hardly imagine how anybody from the country could miss these obvious food sources.

Good book though! But the next time I read a post-apocalyptic novel, I will probably be saying, But where are the bicycles?

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2 thoughts on “Something to remember if you’re writing a post apocalyptic novel —”

  1. Actually, there are lots of bicycles in the “Dies the Fire” books, starting with the first. The Bad Guys show up on bicycles, for example, and other people use them regularly.

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