August AW Blog Chain: Fire and Ice Prompt

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

- Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

This post is part of the August 2012 Blog Chain on Absolute Write.  This month’s prompt is Fire and Ice:  You can do either or both, compare and contrast, or anything else that suggests itself. Write wherever the prompt inspires you, fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry. 
I had trouble coming up with ideas for this prompt.  Eventually, I settled on the poem Fire and Ice by Robert Frost, which made me think about how the end of the world is a common theme in many books and spreads many genres.  How do I think the world will end?  Well, I’m all for planet collision in a few billion years.  It is inevitable that we will die both individually and as mammals.

Zombie apocalypse – Horror

Ironically, although I consider this the worst of everything on the list, I can’t think of any stand-out novel.  Zombie books are pretty standard.  Someone gets infected.  They infect other people.  The whole world becomes infected.  End of story.  I’m actually pretty damn scared of zombies.  If I was ever involved in it – there’d be a murder/suicide.  I could not handle killing someone close to me even if it meant my own survival.  I could not kill my own kid.  I don’t care how zombiefied he became.  That’s my kid.  The thing that both turns me on and chills my core when reading zombie novels is that the end is inevitable.  It is so infectious that no matter how careful you are, the zombies keep multiplying.  They keep eating and killing.  There is no hope, no matter how much the characters in these novels try to believe in it.  I’m definitely open to suggestions on Zombie books that break the mold.

Big Brother – Dsytopian

As much as I’m looking for a zombie book to break the mold, this dsytopian novel defines its genre.  I have yet to read a dsytopian novel that shatters as many core values and beliefs as this one does.  Although the entertainment value of this book isn’t as great as say The Hunger Games, it definitely defines what scares us most about Big Brother taking over.

1984 by George Orwell

Blurb:  Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Mass Disease – Horror/Science Fiction

If you’ve heard of the Black Plague that wiped out one third of Europe’s population in the dark ages, then the premise that an escaped virus/disease wiping out 99% of the United States’s population shouldn’t be too far-fetched for us to believe.  On a side note, I learned from watching an episode of Secret of the Dead that 14% of direct descendants of survivors (sampled from the town of Eyam) of the Black Plague have a immunity to the disease that caused the Black Plague.  It seems as though nature protects us through evolution from complete annihilation from diseases.

The Stand by Stephen King

Blurb:  This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.

In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript.

Now Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. The Stand : The Complete And Uncut Editionincludes more than five hundred pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral complexity of a true epic.

For hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King’s gift. And those who are reading The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival.

Individual Disease – contemporary

Cancer is a disease that has touched everyone’s lives in modern day.  Sometimes a friend.  Sometimes a relative.  Sometimes yourself.  There is no cure for cancer – only some are lucky to enter into remission.  One of my relatives is currently in treatment for skin cancer and doing well.  Two years ago I lost another relative to liver cancer – it only took 3 months for him to go from healthy to dead.  60% of people who get cancer are expected to die within five years.  1/4 of US deaths are from a cancer related disease.  This isn’t science fiction.  It’s no wonder that it is so prevalent in fiction.

One Last Wish by Larlene McDaniel

Blurb:  You don’t know me, but I know about you…. I can’t make you live longer, I can stop you form hurting. But I can give you one wish, as someone did for me.
Three letters. Three last wishes.

In Mother, Help Me Live, Sarah discovers that her birth mother, whom she’s never known, is the one person who may have the bone marrow she needs to survive. When Sarah journeys to find her mother, she learns the real meaning of family.
Let Him Live tells the story of Megan’s friendship with Donovan, who is hoping to receive a liver transplant. Megan helps make Donovan’s wish for his mother and little brother come true, along the way, Megan comes to understand true giving.
In Sixteen and Dying, when Anne finds out that a blood transfusion she had seven years ago has made her future uncertain, being given one wish helps her face her pain. She chooses to spend the summer with her father on a ranch out west—and there she meets someone who will change her life.

Rapture – Christian Fiction (Non-fiction?)

Holy Bible: King James Version

Even if you don’t believe in God, you can’t deny the existence of this story.  It may just be the oldest written story on how the world may end.  Basically, belivers go to Heaven and the rest suffer through Hell on Earth with the Anti-Christ in control until the end of time.  I actually haven’t managed to read the entire Revelations, since the writing style of this book is both archaic and preachy.  Funny enough, I’ve actually read the entire Old Testament.  Can’t get into Part 2 of the book.  Oh, well.  Religious beliefs aside, the events in the Rapture and other parts of the End Times have been retold in countless fiction books.  Probably the most well known series is Left Behind by Tim LaHaye.  I really didn’t like the writing quality of the Left Behind series, though I did enjoy the storyline.
Blurb:  Book 1 in the best-selling Left Behind series is available once again in mass paper. Airline pilot Captain Rayford Steele guides his terror-filled 747 back to the ground with more than 100 seats empty except for clothes, jewelry, eyeglasses, shoes, and socks. He and Cameron “Buck” Williams, who had been on Rayford’s plane, launch a frantic search for the truth.
There are quite a few other ways to end the world, such as a natural or nuclear disaster…but let me end this post by asking how do you think the world will end?  What are your favorite books that deal with either the end of the world or death in general?

Please check out the other participants of this month’s prompt:

By Lizzy's Dark Fiction Posted in Default

17 comments on “August AW Blog Chain: Fire and Ice Prompt

  1. Thanks for sharing an interesting poem by Robert Frost, and the thought-provoking potential endings to the world as we know it. Nicely done–Cheers!

  2. Love the poem by Robert Frost.

    On the individual disease ending, doctor’s discovered a cancerous tumor on my mother’s neck and she died 3 weeks later. Cancer does not discriminate.

    Great post for this theme.

  3. The Stand is the one that freaks me out the most. There’s something disconcerting about traveling across the country amongst the dead bodies with only a dream to keep you moving. I love that book, though.

  4. Lizzy, I love poetry, even the really strange stuff :) but this Frost poem has to be one of the greatest. Still, I can’t read Stephen King anymore. Great writer, but he gives me nightmares.

  5. Pingback: AW’s August 2012 Blog Chain: Fire & Ice « Neither Here nor There….

  6. Pingback: Fire and Ice « reverse perspective

  7. Great post! I really enjoyed the poetry, the review of all possible “armageddons” and your personal intake on them. By the way, a zombie apocalypse just might fun :D

  8. Pingback: AW Blog Chain – Fire And Ice « The Graveyard

  9. Pingback: August in Review | Lizzy's Dark Fiction

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