Post Apocalyptic Survival and “The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller

Since first being exposed to the the genre, post apocalyptic fiction has been an affinity of mine.  My mom’s copy of On the Beach by Nevil Shute, snuggled, worn and thin, between books collected over years of casual reading, was my initial glimpse into a world that had previously only existed in cheesy religious movies about the rapture. I hated those movies, A Thief in the Night was at least retro amusing. When they later came out with the book series in the early 2000s, my head and eyes ached. Give me Brave New World, 1984 and A Canticle for Lebowitz any, and every day. I even kinda enjoy the worlds created for games like Bioshock and Fallout 3. I never played, but when my ex did, I would sit behind him immersed in the guidebooks, directing missions through the wasteland.

So when waiting for a flight out of Orlando, with a choice between The Dog Stars or someromanticfluff, the choice was obvious. I don’t do fluff… or Victorian literature, but that’s neither here nor there.

From that moment on, The Dog Stars became my traveling book. After tagging along from Orlando, it began accompanying me back and forth to work daily, and then it broke my heart.

It’s the classic story of a man and his dog, only transported into a world in which the masses have been wiped from the earth by a flu adjacent virus, and of those who survived, many developed what is only described as a contagious “blood sickness.” It’s a sweet and harsh story centered in seeking personal contact in an inhumane world.

I don’t want to say much, but I can say it’s not for kids, or weak stomachs, or sensitive souls with no backbone to support them. There’s a good deal of swearing, a bit more blood, and a very realistic fear of imminent violence which are all encase in a ‘kill or be killed and fed to my dog,’ kind of world.

If you can handle it, read it. The characterization is great, as is the unique voice in the first person narrative, of a partially numb survivor that somehow maintains the ability to remind us of the beauty and hope in the smallest of moments. The comfort of your sleeping dog’s weight against your knee. We listen to Hig, our hero of sorts, push on daily with only a survival driven, gun modification enthusiast, and a dog named Jasper as protection and company. His prose is sparse and pointed, and although I usually lack those writing qualities, I admire them wholeheartedly.
Canis Major & Minor & Lepus
This is he first passage I noted,

“Grief is an element. It has its own cycle like the carbon cycle, the nitrogen. It never diminished not ever. It passes in and out of everything.”

and this is one of two that stays with me,

“I once had a book on the stars but now I don’t. My memory serves but not stellar, ha. So I made up constellations. I made a Bear and a Goat but maybe not where they are supposed to be, I made some for the animals that once were, the ones I know about.”

I’ll let you find the other for yourself.

Love and happy reading,

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Nearly Finished Time Machine For Sale

image

If I could afford such an illustrious machine where would I go?

Would I go back and just experience life, or would I change things?
To Paris in the 20s to hang with the expat crowd and soak up their genius? Maybe kick Gertrude Stein in the shins?
Into the future and hope we’ve finally become a healthier country that also has hover boards?
Or to 2008 and not buy that wedding dress?
Where would you go, and would you change anything?
Oh Southport Corridor, what will you think of next.

Mice, The TARDIS, and Chalky part 2

Now on to the TARDIS!

I must admit, I do so love being a bit of a nerd. So when I came across the wonderful blog Allons-y Kimberly, I wanted to hug my notebook computer a little. In a DIY section she has instructions for some great DIY Geek Cat Toys. I couldn’t resist the TARDIS. The instructions are hers, and the only adjustment i made was stitching instead of hot gluing the front panels because I don’t actually own a glue gun (yet).

I only have one picture of mine because Grey Davis the cat destroyed the crap out of it several times and now it looks like a wonky destructo TARDIS.

Grey Davis and her TARDIS

Grey Davis and her TARDIS

She doesn’t really understand “sharing” either.

Here are the basics:

You can either stitch around the edges of the two felt cut-outs or flip it inside out like I did to make it a little more poofy for the kids. I also left out the newspaper and replaced the cotton balls with a generic stuffing.

The  rest of the instructions are hers, and the only other adjustment I made was  stitching instead of hot gluing the front window panels because I don’t actually own a glue gun (yet).

SUPPLIES

blue & white felt & thread

scissors & hot glue gun

cotton balls

newspaper

catnip

You can follow the link above, or just click on the lovely pictures below for full instructions.It’s an incredibly easy craft to complete. I promise you won’t regret it.

tardis instructions1tardis instructions

Now, come along Ponds…