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Is Futuristic Too Weird For Post-Apocalyptic?

Zak9

Scribe
I'm beginning a novel of mine and I'm looking for it to be post-apocalyptic. I have a fairly designed plot, but there is something I am conflicting over.
There is a place in this fantasy world unaffected by the apocalypse where everyone is happy and wealthy, unlike the rest of the planet. I was wondering- do you think it should be a place with wealth and resources but post-apocolyptic technology? Or should I make it extremely futuristic with incredible technology far beyond our world's?

Thanks for your feedback! :)
 

Saigonnus

Auror
Well, I would equate it like Rome in comparison with most of Europe during the height of the Roman empire. Rome was the center of the world back then, a metropolis of art, science and knowledge where the rest of Europe was still very unadvanced in comparison.

It could be that the city had some sort of protection against whatever caused the apocalypse (or maybe they caused it), where everything was nuked back to the stone age. People there would seem to live forever (80-90 years) in comparison with the 45 year life expectancy of the stone age due to advanced medicine/technology. It could be a great catalyst for change, especially if they are corrupt and try to hold back the rest of life on Earth to it's present level and they are outnumbered; could be a good start for revolution.
 

CupofJoe

Myth Weaver
Even today you can leave a 21C city and in few minutes/miles be with people that have a close to basic or subsistence life.
The wealth and the benefits are never shared equally.
After any apocalypse the chances are that some places/peoples will survive more or less intact, while other take more of a hit.
Questions I would want to know is how "high" the general standard of living was for most of the population or more exactly how far most people "fell"... for me the gradient pre- and post-apocalypse is key...
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
I'm beginning a novel of mine and I'm looking for it to be post-apocalyptic. I have a fairly designed plot, but there is something I am conflicting over.
There is a place in this fantasy world unaffected by the apocalypse where everyone is happy and wealthy, unlike the rest of the planet. I was wondering- do you think it should be a place with wealth and resources but post-apocolyptic technology? Or should I make it extremely futuristic with incredible technology far beyond our world's?

Worth pointing out - really high tech societies (aka modern civilization) are pretty much totally dependant on resources of various sorts often coming from not so high tech socieites. The obvious example is oil - despite all the gree talk, fact remains modern civilization is totally dependant on oil, and even a seemingly slight change in oil supply can really effect things. Likewise, I believe certain essential electronics require minerals found only if a few places.

Given this, a really advanced 'star trek' type society isn't likely. But one with moderately sophisticated electronics, some automobiles, and the like probably is.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

Troubadour
There is a place in this fantasy world unaffected by the apocalypse where everyone is happy and wealthy, unlike the rest of the planet. I was wondering- do you think it should be a place with wealth and resources but post-apocolyptic technology? Or should I make it extremely futuristic with incredible technology far beyond our world's?

I've always been partial to the extremely futuristic society w/incredible technology in these situations -- Logan's Run is a good example from film/literature and I recall a few modules from TSR's old Gamma World game that played on this concept. It creates a wealth of story possibilities.

As Thinker X points out above, these types of things would require enormous resources to maintain. I've always liked the scenario where the society is maintained by robots/super-computers and the citizens really don't understand the technology that keeps things going.
 
One concern you have to worry about is that they can't be too insulated, because unless they have very basic needs, they're going to need to branch out to feed their lifestyle.

In my post-apocalypse, I have a race of post-AI creatures, called Galateans, that live in futuristic cities, called Olympias. These cities have a large sphere of influence, and the network of Olympias is still such that they are basically in control of an entire continent of the world. I can imagine an empire or a country continuing to advance, but I cannot imagine a single town or city.

You also have to consider the rate of advancement. For instance, what are the odds that the one town has the next Archimedes, Newton, or Einstein? Considering that those three individuals lived across 2 millennia in different countries, let alone different cities, and then that you'd not only need the wonderful individuals, but also all of the dots connecting those individuals in your ONE location...

Well, anyway, suffice to say that the more futuristic it is, the more you'll have to stretch. You can do this with population size, a utopian view towards education of the masses, sophisticated AI that does the stretching for the humans, and plenty more. I'm not saying it's a nail in the coffin, but it's definitely something you'll have to consider in order to dig out of the hole.
 

Penpilot

Staff
Article Team
I say choose which ever one you like the best, which ever one you think works best for the story you want to tell. So first think about the story you want to tell then choose.

A super advanced city in the middle of a apocalyptic wasteland isn't out of the question if you just make sure you do a tiny bit of hand waving to explain away how the city survive on it's own. It doesn't have to be 100% scientifically accurate. You can BS it a bit.
 

Zak9

Scribe
Thank you all so much! I am now planning on the rest of society constantly supplying their resources to make it more realistic. Also, I like the idea of revolution, it could play a huge part in the plot.
 
Revolution's always a good idea. After all, the wastelanders are going to want some of that paradise-- they'll have been beating on its gates from day one, so it's probably well-defended, and from there it could evolve to some arrangement where they supply the city. And that's still going to be tricky; those outside will still hate being left out in the waste, and start setting Very High Prices for food and such. --No wonder so many tales like this hand-wave it with Paradise being able to manufacture most of its needs, and sometimes keeps an invisibility screen up as well.

So I expect there'd be tension there. At best, Paradise might have a plan for providing medicine and other needs to the outside to keep the peace, and might eventually become the capital of a reborn civilization-- or its tyrant, of course. More likely, someone out there starts using old or Paradise weapons to conquer other tribes, or attack Paradise, or attack tribes and Paradise is forced to defend them, and...
 

Zak9

Scribe
Revolution's always a good idea. After all, the wastelanders are going to want some of that paradise-- they'll have been beating on its gates from day one, so it's probably well-defended, and from there it could evolve to some arrangement where they supply the city. And that's still going to be tricky; those outside will still hate being left out in the waste, and start setting Very High Prices for food and such. --No wonder so many tales like this hand-wave it with Paradise being able to manufacture most of its needs, and sometimes keeps an invisibility screen up as well.

So I expect there'd be tension there. At best, Paradise might have a plan for providing medicine and other needs to the outside to keep the peace, and might eventually become the capital of a reborn civilization-- or its tyrant, of course. More likely, someone out there starts using old or Paradise weapons to conquer other tribes, or attack Paradise, or attack tribes and Paradise is forced to defend them, and...

Very interesting! I think I will probably have them come by once in awhile to pick up supplies, momentarily giving medicine and some food- just to keep them in place, but never enough for sufficient nutrients. It will keep everyone angry, but not revolution-angry yet. Not until my protagonist comes along.
I also like your idea of old Paradise weapons. Perhaps raiding a storage center and using it against them?
 
I also like your idea of old Paradise weapons. Perhaps raiding a storage center and using it against them?

Certainly. Or any other way knowledge could spread-- defectors, prisoners, spies, and anything else that can let it leak or be stolen, from Paradise or from ruins of the other cities and battles. That's the thing about technology, unlike magic: knowledge leaks.
 
If you want to see how it works, simply travel as a rich westerner to any third world country. My wife and I went to Egypt about two months before the uprising. Everywhere we went I was extremely conscious of the covetous, envious and even hostile looks we were getting from large groups of people with (apparently) not much else to do.

Put yourself in their shoes, and you will soon have the emotional matrix for your story.

(We are so lucky living in the west. Anyone with sufficient leisure time to write fiction is wealthy indeed.)
 
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