Day 188: Power Struggle

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July 6, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

Oh, the difference a plug makes…
I just spent the better part of the past day or so without electricity.  I want to say first that under other circumstances, I would have been enjoying it much more than I did in this instance.  It just so happened that this particular blackout struck at an inopportune time, as my “To Do” list is growing with tasks that require internet connectivity.  Frankly, if I had even a few less power-grid-enabled responsibilities, I’d probably have greeted this outage with a sense of welcome for the serenity and liberation.  I suppose, though, that my being hung up on power-drawing duties is the norm nowadays.  There’s so much we depend on – so much we take for granted – that would never have troubled the minds of our ancestors (who knew that sundown meant bedtime).  We’ve extended the human capacity tremendously, but that reach is propped up by so many invisible structures and systems that are more fragile than we feel comfortable acknowledging.  I got a taste for that discomfort, and I’m lucky of how gentle a reminder it really was in the scheme of things.  My power came back, after all.  Today’s project is thinking about what might happen if things didn’t turn out so bright.

Post Peak Fiction is a magazine dedicated to a world we don’t like to think is possible, but one that might actually be probable if some things don’t change.  Exploring the notion of a world after oil, or at least after an abundance of oil, which we currently enjoy.  Okay, “enjoy” might be a stretch, but a post-energy decline society will look upon the present as salad days compared to the struggles faced in a powered-down world.

The Post Peak genre, also called Post Peak Oil, Post Industrial or Post Energy Decent, is fiction that takes place during and after the decline of energy. Well known fiction that falls under this category include stories like The Fifth Sacred Thing, Mad Max and current populars like The Hunger Games. Basically any story that operates under the premise that our modern civilization is based on the consumption of finite energy resources and can not continue endlessly into the future could be considered Post Peak.
Post Peak Fiction Magazine will focus on narratives taking place in well thought out, believable scenarios.

Zombie apocalypses are in vogue now, but there’s a lot we can learn from visions of a chaotic future, even without flesh-eating, undead hordes.  Other scary monsters exist, and perhaps have more to teach us, without even being any less entertaining.  I’m intrigued by the Post Peak genre – as with any good Sci-Fi, there’s more going on than flying cars or dodging laser beams.  So pay attention and start looking more closely at the world around you, beyond the screen, behind the screen – take stock of what you rely on, and try not to let your things own you.  Before the world ends, though, this project deserves your support, so I hope you’ll join me in bringing it to life with a new installment.  Back it on Kickstarter before August 2.


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