The Terrifying Truth About Why We Love Apocalypse Stories

From Mad Max to The Road to the illustrious career of Roland Emmerich, it’s clear that the modern pop-culture consumer loves apocalypses. Climate change and the threat of nuclear war or worldwide super-virus make imagining an apocalypse easy. And if you look back through history, it’s obvious that as long as there has been civilization, there has been the fear of complete and utter worldwide destruction.

One of the most prolific names today in speculative fiction is N.K. Jemisin. The first two books of her Broken Earth trilogy have won the Hugo Award for best novel the last two years consecutively. If you want to read the best sci-fi about the apocalypse, you need to be reading N.K. Jemisin’s books.

That’s what we did, and N.K. Jemisin was kind enough to join Cracked’s Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim in New York for a conversation about world-building contemporary sci-fi, some of the most interesting real-life apocalypses in human history, and the difficulties of writing end-times fiction when the world so often is stranger and crueler than fiction.

Footnotes:

The Stone Sky (N.K. Jemison)

6 Baffling Modern-Day Disasters of Biblical Proportions (Cracked)

5 Horrifying Apocalyptic Scenarios That Have Already Happened (Cracked)

The Epic Volcano Eruption That Led To The ‘Year Without a Summer’ (Washington Post)

4 Reasons ‘The Walking Dead’ Hates Humans More Than Zombies’ (Cracked)

Red Mars (Kim Stanley Robinson)

N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ To Be Developed As TV Series at TNT (Deadline)

The Latest in Science Fiction and Fantasy (New York Times)

How Human Beings Almost Vanished From The Earth In 70,000 B.C. (NPR)

New Study Documents Aftermath of a Supereruption and Expands Size of Toba Magma System (Oregon State University)

1491 (The Atlantic)

What Caused the Mystery of the Dark Day? (BBC)

How Many Slaves Landed in the U.S.? (PBS)

Descended from a Slave, This Family Helped to Open the African American Museum with Obama (Washington Post)

Visualizing Firebomb Damage Done to Japan During WWII (Slate)

The Relationship Between Hurricanes and Climate Change (New York Times

The Years of Rice and Salt (Kim Stanley Robinson)

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