I don’t know how it was for you, but I hated my teenage years. And I came from a normal family. Think about kids today growing up. There are more dysfunctional families than ever before.
But what’s this got to do with prepping and the novel Flotilla mentioned in the title? I’ll get to that shortly.
If you pay attention to the news, you’ve possibly had the same thought I’ve had many times. We live in a dystopian world. It’s like 1984 or Brave New World. Maybe you have your own science fiction book or movie to compare it to. But you get the idea.
Not only is this the world we live in as adults, but it’s the world our children and teenagers face, too. There’s nothing like stating the obvious, but we as preppers have to take this into consideration. How will our young people make it?
Dan Haight contemplates this in his young adult novel Flotilla. Dan was my guest this week on DestinySurvival Radio.
Who is This Guy Anyway?
His bio reads as follows…
Daniel Haight is an emerging writer whose credits include the Flotilla series and many published short stories. As a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he is equal parts ‘geek’ and ‘blue collar’ with a love for writing, developing technology and working with his hands. A former disk jockey, Dan is often heard on radio and podcast shows all over the world. He works as a modest IT guy during the day and writes in his off-hours.
Is This More Than Just a Story?
Flotilla is the first book in a dystopian science-fiction novel series. It’s the story of Jim Westfield, a teenager who is sent during summers to live with his father on a seasteading colony off the coast of California. Jim’s no angel, but his father is an even shadier character. And the issues Jim faces are real today for many young men and women facing our messed up world.
There’s no heavy message or secret truth in this novel, but it does have applications for preppers. Dan says he wanted to write a story about akid living on the ocean. But Jim has to grow up while immersed in extraordinary circumstances. I can’t help but wondering how much we’ll all do some growing up if there’s an SHTF event.
The novel takes place in an anarchic city at sea where Jim’s father lives. A key occupation is raising fish on the ocean. One woman practices hydroponics. One man operates a shooting range. But a cast of strange and dysfunctional characters engages in drug running and other scams as well.
This colony at sea is a libertarian sort of place which handles crime in its own way. And they’re quite concerned about avoiding both pirates and law enforcement.
Jim is challenged with putting his addiction to alcohol behind him. At the same time, he discovers how to cope in a less than wholesome environment. As if that weren’t enough, he must deal with betrayal by his father.
Then one day a number of coordinated biowarfare and dirty bomb attacks send the U.S. into meltdown and chaos. The national emergency leaves Jim and his sister alone to handle the people his dad ripped off. Jim has to pull heroism from within to survive.
The book is an adventure with elements young and older readers alike will appreciate. There’s action, romance, and the adolescent tensions faced between childhood and adulthood. Reviewers like it.
Flotilla pulled me in right away with the prologue, where Jim gives a message, hoping someone would find it. Almost halfway into the book, there’s a turning point where Jim finds himself stranded on land and has to figure out a way to get back home to his mother, where he spends the school year.
About three quarters of the way in, the biowarfare attack happens. I was disappointed it took that long to get to it. But this is the first in a series after all, so there’s more to come in the aftermath of the chaos. It’s not hype to say the novel’s ending will leave you eagerly waiting for the sequel.
By the way, Dan wanted to make his story as authentic as possible, so he includes GPS coordinates at the end of several chapters to show where Jim’s journey is taking him. You can Google them and follow along.
Is Seasteading for Real?
The idea some have for seasteading is to create mini-nation states open to experimenting with new ways of life.I’ve read an argument that says it’s a scheme cooked up by unbridled, controlling big corporations. But I can’t blame businesses for wanting to get out from under oppressive taxes and regulations.
Is seasteading practical for some preppers? Dan Haight says it might be a viable alternative, but much depends on the people involved. But then that’s true of any community scenario.
Seasteading makes a great backdrop for Dan’s story. And, as with any independent community, resourcefulness is a necessity for survival. Yet there has to be at least a tenuous connection to the rest of the world–for getting more supplies, if nothing else.
Where Can You Find Out More?
Of course, I encourage you to listen to DestinySurvival Radio for September 12, 2013. Dan and I talked about so much more than I can share here.
For example, we touched on “Doomsday Preppers” and pirate radio. We also discussed what Flotilla is not and exchanged a few of our respective thoughts on what makes a good story.
Questions to Ponder
Could seasteading be a viable option for preppers? Perhaps most preppers couldn’t do it because it takes money and influence.
Or does it?
Who says preppers couldn’t escape the rat race and band together to form their own seasteading community? Might they make out at least as well as the colony in Flotilla?