William Gibson once said, ‘The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed’. I’ve been thinking about that quote a lot in the last few days. About how it was framed as uneven access to positive change, but applies just as well to negative change; about how a grim version of the future might land in some parts of the world, but need time to spread out and take over the rest. How we can feel safe and secure, far away from danger, until suddenly we’re not.
I’ve also been thinking about the way the setting of the Mad Max films changes over the course of the series. In the first film, Max is a highway patrol officer, a cop in a functioning society (albeit one that’s doing it rough, and where eating tinned dog food is just fine). Then the setting – the world, society, environment, notions of what’s ‘normal’ – keeps sliding further and further into the abyss, each new film showing us an Australia that’s more broken, more ruined, more lost. Madder and madder within a man’s lifetime.
…yeah, my head’s not really in a great place, as you can probably tell. It’s my birthday; I’m 49 today. It’s not starting off as being the most enjoyable age, so far.
Fiction involving apocalypses tends to paint them as all-or nothing. If they’re something coming in the future, then they’re something to be averted or prevented. If they occurred in the past they look monolithic, their fine details unimportant.
It’s different when it’s apocalypse right now, when things are falling apart around us in real time. From inside the slowpocalypse we can see the uneven rate and intensity of collapse, the highs and lows, the gradually widening cracks in the foundations of our world.
But then again, maybe that means we have a window of opportunity to do something about it. Because if the End Times aren’t a monolithic moment but a protracted and uneven decline, there are lots of opportunities for optimism, for working together, for helping each other, for making a difference. To move just that little bit faster than the apocalypse before it’s done and dusted.
Right now it’s very difficult to consider what life will be like when I’m 50, whether my life or literally everyone else’s. But I guess we’ll all work it out together.
We have to.
NON-DEPRESSING OBITUARIST 3 UPDATE:
- It’s still finished!
- I reread the MS after a week of mental downtime and revised a few things that weren’t working.
- The revised MS is now with my alpha readers, and I’m hoping to get feedback from them in 2-3 weeks.
- The cover is done! I was hoping to share it with you folks today, but I’m still waiting on the final files. Should be able to splash it around this week.
- Unless things go disastrously wrong – and that’s a caveat for pretty much everyone and everything right now – we’re still on track to publish in late April.
So stay tuned! For as long as that remains possible!