15/365: From Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America, which I just finished reading. Booklist describes it as:
… a hallucinatory vision of the end of America caused not by the usual sf culprits—disease, war, aliens—but by an entirely plausible economic collapse. What happens, he posits, when you lose the “laws and regulations but leave the capitalism”? The past returns with a vengeance, that’s what. Land is for the grabbing again, slavery reemerges, and Indians rise to reclaim their heritage. Notorious criminal the Aardvark, recognizing the opportunities in the slave trade, invests early and builds an empire, ruling from his Manhattan tower. Opposing him are the Slick Six, international criminals led by Marco, who intends a revolution out of which America can be reborn. Marco’s odyssey through a wasted America is full of legendary characters and strange sights, from the murdering circus of Cyclone Cal to the traveling home of the hippie Americoids.
The book is at it’s best when it veers from the main story with vignettes about post collapse America. The one pictured above is of Los Angeles, where the poor move into the abandoned neighborhoods to re-boot society and can’t help but think: this life is better.
I think this is why we like post-apocalyptic fiction so much: the thought of being forced into a simple life. If you can survive the initial mayhem of the collapse and avoid the untethered evils of the new world. You are rewarded with a life without 9-5 work, bills, traffic, or other modern stressors.
Of course my theory is blown away by more fatalistic end of the world stories (e.g. The Road).
Anywhoo, you can read the whole section pictured above on Google books. Take a couple minutes to give it a go. If you like it, scoop up the book.