Over the next week, and probably on Election Day itself, I will finish the proofs for my fourth and final (for now) World of Ruin novel.
And that’s not a coincidence.
I started writing the novel that would become the World of Ruin series in the first year of Bush W’s presidency, at age 18. I was writing about our world—the World of Ruin is the world that conservatives want.
I was young and righteously angry and not all that great a writer—now, nearly 20 years later, I’m older, better as a writer, and still just as righteously angry. And I’m tired, but more on that later.
I still see it that way.
The post-apocalyptic fantasy setting of the World of Ruin is the dark, broken reflection of the world that came before—the World of Wonder. It was, if you listen to the tales in the dusky taverns of Tar Vangr, a utopia, where folk were happy and didn’t have to work and lived lives of equality and luxury.
And then it ended in a worldwide magical war that people could only survive by hiding underground for centuries while they awaited the day the broken environment would become livable again.
Some people misjudged this, listened to their bad leaders, and came out of isolation too early, and the magical radiation killed most of them and warped others into ravenous monsters.
If you said “Fallout” or “COVID-19”, you are correct either way. Twenty years ago, I couldn’t have predicted the pandemic, but neither should any of us be surprised that the least responsible president ever has overseen the downfall of our country and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
And of course, the current series is about the impending downfall of the last remnants of civilization, victims of both external threats and internal pressures, and offers a whole host of bad guys who are bad for the same reason they are in our world: they’re sexist, racist, homophobic, fascist pricks who get off on exploiting and harming others.
The World of Ruin series is about the cycle of apocalypse. Here’s the thing: the World of Wonder wasn’t great either. It faced escalating environmental havoc and the loss of resources, increasing economic disparity, and pointless international tension between ethnic groups. Toward the end, its governments rapidly gave way to fascism, as we humans tend to do when approaching an existential crisis. And instead of fixing its problems, they fell to infighting and dysfunction and finally global war. All that technology, privilege, and wisdom, and they couldn’t save themselves from xenophobic, power-hungry assholes who blew it all up.
And that’s the road we’ve been on as long as I’ve been alive. And I’m tired of it.
Book 4 is the culmination of that cycle repeating itself. Of evil people trying to fuck over everyone and gobble up power for themselves. And the resources to oppose them are becoming scant.
Next week’s election is one of our last chances, if not THE last chance, to save our country in specific and the human race in general. We are rapidly approaching the point of no return on the environment, 225,000 Americans are dead of a virus our government continues to dismiss as a hoax, and our economy is on the brink of yet another devastating collapse because of wealth inequality.
We are heading toward the World of Ruin, because that’s exactly what the powers that be want. God knows why—too many people are too tough to control, maybe? They don’t want to share their ill-gotten wealth so much they’d rather kill everyone? Or maybe they’re just too ignorant and driven to satisfy their own prurient needs to look even a LITTLE ahead.
Now is the time to stand up and fight.
Your world needs you.
Don’t let it fall to ruin.
Cover to book 4 forthcoming!