All of us who write speculative fiction (I dabble myself sometimes) are guilty of it: absolute dependence on the apocalypse. What would we do without that cataclysmic day when the nuclear bud flowers and we are all turned to ash (except one or two necessary characters, maybe)?

I would like to raise an even more deplorable prospect: suppose there isn’t one?

I know, I suggested in my piece ‘Calling Occupants..’ that as an infestation rather than a species it was only a matter of time before Mother Nature gave herself a good shake and sent us scattering, and to be honest I think that is the most likely scenario for the end of the human race, but just imagine the alternative – a world so heavily populated we have to self-pollinate GE crops in skyscraper gardens, live on pills and drink water that has been recycled so many times….is that your vision for the future?

Soylent Green?

Imagine having to uphold a moral code when all religion has died. Imagine life with a neighbour no more than a yard away – all day, all night. No cars, no public transport, very little work apart from the basics needed to keep the system going.

Seems to me there are very few books to explore this version of a future, although the possibilities are endless. I could name only a few, the above-mentioned being one example – anyone got any titles for me to read? Anyone got any additional ideas to build on a plot I know I’ll never personally write? Me, I prefer the apocalypse: and my hero, riding through it on his motorbike with the last female human as his pillion – she is, of course, both mysterious and beautiful….


  1. I never thought about that, but you’re right. Most everything takes on an apocalyptic theme and not the other way around. Interesting concept. One can only hope we get our act together as a species so that our future doesn’t have to be apocalyptic OR over-populated and resource-poor.


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