For the longest time I didn’t like anything from the post-apocalyptic genre, but over the last couple of years I’ve found stories that I really liked and also managed to resonate with me on a deep level. Looking back I’ve realized that the one key ingredient that seperated the stories I liked from to ones I didn’t was hope. Do any of you feel the same way?
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin is set in a fantasy world that is ravaged by massive earthquakes every couple of hundred years. The inhabitants of that world have structured their whole society around surviving these natural catastrophies, which they call Fifth Seasons. They survive by building local communities (Comms), assigning each member to a “use-caste” based on their abilities and following “Stone Lore” - a survival guide set in stone by the currently ruling empire. This world is also inhabited by so called Orogenes. Those are people with the ability to cause and quell earth quakes. Those Orogenes also get blamed for the way the world is by society at large. It’s very X-Men-y in that way, but still manages to feel grounded.
The world building features many proper nouns, but they are never too hard to understand. Another major theme is systemic oppression, how it can be vowen into many smaller and larger aspects of society and how history can be manipulated to do so. Also the bulk of the main cast is made up of black women and other people of colour.
Pyre by Supergiant Games - The main cast decides to work together from jump, even though they have every reason to mistrust each other. Teamwork is not only emphasised through the games mechanics, but also through it’s story.
The tabletop RPG Dream Askew by Avery Adler isn’t out yet, but it’s design philosophy sounds like it’s going to fit right into my wheelhouse. After listening to the Friends at the Table session that played with this system and reading this interview, I can’t wait for it to be out and play it with friends.
Now I want to hear from y’all. What are your favourite hopeful post-apocalyptic pieces of media?