Come the Clima-Apocalypse, what will you pack in your 'Get Out of Dodge' survival kit? Paolo Bacigalupi's answer is the best one here!
PERFECTLY PACKED FOR THE ....well, read on....
What does one pack for the end of the world? The writers of Fiction Unbound sought expert advice from Paolo Bacigalupi, among others, asking him:
Paolo Bacigalupi:So candidly I hate the concept of the Bug Out Bag and I feel like this is precisely what is wrong with a specific strain of literature and that’s apocalyptic literature. It’s not dystopian in the classic sense. It’s not a broken future. I think of myself as writing accidental futures. I think there’s a strong layer of the pornographic in apocalyptic literature, the deep desire to see everyone wiped out so that a plucky band of deserving people can restart the fucking world. And somewhere in there they’ll battle motorcycle gangs.
The zombie apocalypse is going to look exactly like the drought apocalypse and there’s no specificity to why any of those things exist except to give us the excuse to run around and shoot at bad people. I despise that trope because it leads to this idea that only if you bottle yourself up in a shed with a bunch of guns and canned food will you actually survive. And I do feel like - talking about toxic tropes and talking about weird templates - I see preppers, see these people living inside a false narrative about what human survival is. Bugging out is not a survival tactic. Solving the problem now is a survival tactic. Looking at our bad decisions now and not being dysfunctional is a survival tactic.
We’re in this together. Why wait until everything falls apart? Maybe we should just stop the fucking apocalypse. By the time you’re talking about a bug out bag you’re already dead - you already failed. You failed as a species and you’ve also failed as a person. There’s that repetitive “epic adventure” quality and the ego of saying “I’ve got my plan! Look at me, I’m the clever one.” Well, no, you’re not - you’re toast. You let your society burn around you. It’s not an adventure, it’s a big fail. So I think by the time you’re talking about bug out bags it’s too late. The fact that we do talk about them, says so much about our current abdication of our responsibilities for our society and our world.
There’s my very bitter take on that.
Paolo Bacigalupi is the author of two novels--TheWater Knife and The Windup Girl, which won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards.