The rise of Christianity undermined tribal or clan societies by stressing loyalty to the Church over kinship. Getting out from under stifling kinship traditions fostered openness to outsiders, trade, innovation, new institutions and greater economic prosperity. However, humans naturally yearn to be members of a tribe or extended family. In his book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Sebastian Junger claims native Americans rarely ran away to join white society. Emigration always seemed to go from the civilized to the tribal. He also points out that cohesive and egalitarian tribal societies do better at mitigating the effects of combat trauma than does “modern society.”
In the Book of Ruin novels, I portray a post-apocalyptic world that emerges from our modernity. I enjoyed speculating about what would be different and familiar, forgotten and remembered. I am surprised, however, about what depictions upset readers… A reader recently took issue with another aspect of my worldbuilding – that the English that NATO Americans spoke in Germania evolved into a separate language called American.
THE BOOK OF RUIN was the winner in the SCIENCE FICTION category of the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference. Following find an interview with author W.G. Hladky.
THE BOOK OF RUIN, just won the 2020 Indie Reader Discovery Award for Science Fiction.
In my BOOK OF RUIN science-fantasy series, superflares from the sun inundate the world, crashing electronics. Endless solar storms prevent electrical machinery from being repaired. Humans are thrown into a “medieval” dark age.
A magnetic field produced by the Earth’s rotation around its liquid iron core usually protects the planet from solar winds and coronal mass ejections. That is why life on Earth thrived and did not on Mars, which has no magnetic field. However, solar storms at times have broken through this magnetic swaddling, allowing its currents to ravage electrical machinery.
Our uber-technologies have isolated us evermore from the natural ways of our world. Could we today do what the Polynesians did several thousand years ago? Lacking maps, sextants and compasses, they traveled from Asia to Tahiti, Hawaii, Easter Island and finally to New Zealand.
In my first two novels, society has forgotten how to manufacture smokeless gunpowder. Firearms are mostly black-powder muzzle-loaders, and cartridges are unreliable. Because black powder is dirtier and can cause modern guns to jam if not explode, most would not be practical in the world I created. However, a couple of my readers disagree. They believe the ability to make smokeless gunpowder and use and make modern guns would survive a collapse of civilization. (Yes Don, somebody else thinks like you).
Howard Fox of Success Insight Podcast interviewed me about The Book of Ruin series.
Foreign affairs expert Robert Kaplan wrote in his book, The Revenge of Geography, “…while geography does not necessarily determine the future, it does set contours on what is achievable and what isn’t.” British journalist Tim Marshall stated the same theme in his book, Prisoners of Geography. He wrote, “…ideas and…leaders…must all operate within the confines of geography.”
What triggers the seed of a story to germinate? Mine started more than thirty years ago while living in Germany, teaching college courses to U.S. soldiers.
In 1859, one of the largest solar storms on record struck earth. Known as the Carrington Event, the storm damaged telegraph systems in Europe and North America. Sparks leaped from telegraph machines, shocking operators and setting papers ablaze. A Pittsburgh telegraph...