Stories about the end of the world as we know it have been popular…well, at least since John of Patmos wrote his little Apocalyptic story that Christians now call The Book of Revelation. Even before that, pre-literate cultures the world over loved to tell stories about how the world would end and what would happen after.
As for me, I love Apocalyptic and post-Apocalyptic stories, and I’m clearly not alone. It’s everywhere in our culture: books, movies, comics, and even music. We simply love to contemplate what will happen when our nice neat shit goes up in flames.
I have a good friend who is terrified of robots (or ro-butts, as we like to say). She can’t even stand to see posters for the upcoming 4th Terminator film. If she were faced with a robot Apocalypse, she would probably throw herself off the nearest tall building. And her fear of androids is even more profound. You can’t even mention the Phillip K. Dick book around her.
One of my online writing buddies and one of my college buddies both have full-blown zombie-phobia. College buddy hyperventilated about fifteen minutes into the nouveau-zombie film 28 Days Later.
As for me, I’m one of those people who’s sure that Sartre was right: l’enfer c’est les autres. Hell is other people. For me, neither zombies nor robots are as scary as my fellow humans. I could only read The Road in broad daylight and I won’t be going to see the movie.
So that’s my question for today: when you think about some hypothetical “End Times,” what scares you most? Which of the four horsemen haunt your dreams: death, war, famine, pestilence?