Monday, June 15, 2015

A World without Sight and Colors

The man keeps chucking post-apocalyptic novels into the Kindle cloud. He must think I really like them. I'm not partial towards the genre but I would read it. It can get depressing and that's probably why I read it. Dystopia seems a more likely scenario than Utopia.

Go through enough post-apocalyptic plots and you'll know it's the same few scenarios. It'll take a brilliant mind to conceive an engaging story or a chilling concept. Apocalypses are either supernatural, alien-induced or man-made. They need not have zombies, super-human animals or super-viruses.

Randomly opened Josh Malerman's 'Bird Box'. Read it to instrumental rock group ASIWYFA's new album 'Heirs'. After that, I ran through the author's band's old-school power-pop songs. Oof. Quite enjoyable. (Reviews here, here and here.)

Apparently beautiful creatures from another world suddenly walk amongst humans. Sighting them causes one to commit suicide in all sorts of ways. Animals aren't immune. Set in Detroit, Michigan, the story follows Malorie's pregnancy, unfolding of the 'apocalypse' and her eventual flight to safety with them. Boy, Tom who's her son, and the same-age Girl, Olympia whose mother died. Her safe-house got invaded by the creatures, no thanks to a maniac's actions, and all her housemates died. She would need help. But for now, she has to survive alone and keep two infants alive. It took her four years to wait for the children to grow up a little, get used to blindfolds and resist the temptation of seeing since she couldn't bear to blind them and they still have sight. She never calls them by name until the end of the book. She trained them and heightened their sense of hearing and touch to what they could understand of their surroundings. One foggy morning, she decided to take the four-year olds to brave the trip downriver to a self-contained survivor camp that has no windows and offer sanctuary.

It's true. Tom's recorded voice means she has arrived where Rick said the channels split. He speaks as he once did, in the living room of the house, when he used to say, Maybe they mean us no harm. Maybe they are surprised by what they do to us. It's an overlap, Malorie. Their world and ours. Just an accident. Maybe they don't like hurting us at all.  
But whatever their intentions are, Malorie has to open her eyes, and at least one is near.
She has seen the children do incredible things. Once, after flipping through the phone book, the Boy had called out that she was on page one hundred and six he was close. And Malorie knows she's going to need a feat like that, from them, right now.

So instead of zombies, we get strange creatures that is up to us to imagine what, how and all. I keep thinking pulsating light and wings, since they don't seem to touch, attack or hold corporeal form. In this new world, many have blinded themselves in order to protect themselves. How does it feel to be forced to lose our sight? To make the decision to blind your children or yourself? The writing is fine I suppose. Its ideas are chilling. The flashbacks and going-ons read like a movie script. Universal Pictures has acquired rights for the book and will have writer Eric Heisserer adapt it.

Any half-decent writing now, coupled with a savvy publisher is almost certain to be turned into a film adaptation. Why though. Are we this fascinated with end-of-the-world theories? At this rate, we might just kill off our planet before anything otherworldly does so. Look at what two hundred years of industrialization have wrought. It's depressing. Anyway, if this story going to hit the screens in 2017, I'd want to know if at any point, the audience would 'see' these creatures. Heh. It would take some pretty strong actors so as not to turn it B-grade. 

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