If we survive Dec. 21, 2012 (the last day of earth’s existence, according to the ancient Mayan calendar), the apocalypse won’t disappear. All you have to do is look at the popularity of post-apocalyptic TV shows like The Walking Dead and Revolution. The apocalypse is here to stay.
Whether it’s a zombie apocalypse or a world without electricity run by a Gestapo-like militia (as in Revolution), people can’t get enough of the apocalypse. They want to know what it’s like to try to survive in a world teetering on the brink of annihilation.
Back in the day, you needed a bunker mentality to even acknowledge the apocalypse. The end of the world appealed only to kooky flakes holed up in caves cached with a plethora of canned beans, double-barreled shotguns, a couple thousand rounds of ammo, Sterno, and enough bottles of Johnny Walker to open your own gin mill. Sadly, or maybe not, those days are gone.
Nowadays, more or less everybody is watching The Walking Dead, reading zombie books like Max Brooks’s World War Z or Stephen King’s Cell, or watching movies like 28 Weeks Later. The nearer the end gets, the more we want to experience it, it seems.
In fact, zombie apocalypse books are so popular they have become a separate genre, instead of being lumped under the rubric of horror or science fiction. And yet, bookstores don’t get it. Behind the curve, they still stack zombie books in their Horror or Science Fiction shelves, as does the public library (at least the one in my vicinity).
The world’s changing. Not long ago, zombie books didn’t even exist, but now zombie books, due to their proliferation, especially among small publishers, demand their own separate section in bookstores. After all, the apocalypse is just beginning!