• search-icon

VIDEO: Authors Share How Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Envisions New Beginnings

It's not the end of the world — it's the end of that world.

The coronavirus pandemic has altered life globally. Although the devastating disease is not literally the end of the world, it feels in many ways like the end of a world. For better or for worse, when we emerge from quarantine, our outlook and lifestyle will likely be altered for some time. 

Sci-fi authors like Chuck Wendig, Peng Shepherd, and others have already shared their thoughts with The Portalist about how apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction can inspire hope in times of panic. 

In light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, we're now looking back at this prescient video from 2013, in which sci-fi greats like Ellen Datlow, Robert Silverberg (pictured above), Elizabeth Hand, and others discuss the capacity for apocalyptic fiction to envision new beginnings, even when life as we know it is ending. 

In the interviews, many of the authors touch on the impact climate change has had on our public consciousness. Many feel this generation is living through the beginning of the end of the world, witnessing environmental destruction that will have a major impact on future generations. 

As Elizabeth Hand explains, science fiction gives readers a safe outlet to imagine the kind of wide-spread global destruction we can expect from climate change, and to ask, "How might I survive something like that? Would I survive something like that?"

Apocalyptic sci-fi does more than depict worst-case global scenarios, though. It also offers an opportunity to consider hope, and what a new world might look like. As sci-fi editor and historian Robert Wolfe says in the video, apocalyptic sci-fi is less end-of-the-world fiction, and more "end of that world fiction."

As the pre-coronavirus world fades in the rearview, sci-fi offers an opportunity for us to come to terms with the end of that world — and embrace the hope inherent in a new one. 

Explore new beginnings with these ebooks today!

At Winter's End

By Robert Silverberg

The Winterlong Trilogy

By Elizabeth Hand

Orbital Decay

By Allen Steele

Featured still from YouTube.

This post is sponsored by Open Road Media. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for The Portalist to celebrate the sci-fi and fantasy stories you love. 

Published on 29 Mar 2020

scroll up