Refuge – Why Preppers Will Enjoy This Novel

Before I tell you about Refuge and why preppers will enjoy this novel, allow me to step back and look at what I see as the bigger picture concerning fiction for preppers and survivalists.


A Few Words About Prepper Fiction

You’re probably aware that there’s a growing number of prepper or survival related novels out there these days. Frankly, I can’t get too enthused about most of them. Maybe my opinion might change if I did read more of them, but here’s how I look at it.

I read plenty of science fiction and even some fantasy. (There’s quite a bit of crossover between the two these days._ So I’ve developed a certain amount of tolerance for the outlandish or weird. But not too much, if you please. I don’t mind having my disbelief suspended while I escape into a good story. But it had better be a good story indeed.

However, if I’m going to read a prepper novel that supposedly portrays a projected reality in the not too distant future, it shouldn’t be weird or outlandish. It shouldn’t be ridiculously complicated with a political or religious world that’s hard to comprehend. I don’t want to learn a whole new universe.

Characters should be believable to me. I have a hard time relating to military types or super survivalists. I want to read about people who aren’t so extraordinary.

I also don’t want to get bogged down in a lot of technical sidetracks. Granted, factual material makes the story credible, but I don’t want to be overloaded. After all, am I reading an entertaining story, or am I reading a survival manual? How credible is the technical stuff anyway? And how am I supposed to know for sure?

OK, so call me fussy. You may have a different outlook on prepper fiction, and you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. I’m simply telling you mine.


A Few Words About Scott B. Williams

One author who satisfies my standards for prepper fiction is Scott B. Williams. He was my guest on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio show to talk about his latest novel, Refuge: After the Collapse. Scott has been on my show several times before to talk about both his nonfiction and fiction writings. This past July, he was on with Coauthor Scott Finazzo to talk about The Prepper’s Workbook. The info about the author in Refuge says…

Scott B. Williams has been writing about his adventures for more than twenty-five years. His published work includes dozens of magazine articles and eleven books, with more projects currently underway. His interest in backpacking, sea kayaking and sailing small boats to remote places led him to pursue the wilderness survival skills that he has written about in his popular survival books such as Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late, and Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters: Build and Outfit Your Life-Saving Escape. He has also authored travel narratives such as On Island Time, an account of his two-year solo sea kayaking journey through the Caribbean. With the release of The Pulse (2012) and The Darkness After (2013), Scott moved into writing fiction with plans for many more novels in the future.


A Few Words About Refuge

Refuge - After the Collapse


Refuge is the follow up to The Pulse. Both books tell of how a small group of ordinary people cope in the aftermath of a solar EMP. The Darkness After is also set in that same world, but has different characters and is aimed at a young adult audience.

In the first novel, The Pulse, Artie and Casey, his college age daughter in New Orleans, are hundreds of miles apart when the EMP hits. Somehow they get back together in spite of the odds. That’s where Refuge picks up. Casey’s friends Grant and Jessica need to meet up with Artie’s brother Larry. Along with them is Larry’s friend Scully. They plan to meet up with Larry down river and escape in his boat to a safer place than the wilderness of Mississippi and Louisiana.

Only things don’t go as they intended. Grant and Scully go to get supplies from a cabin Grant knows about, and they have trouble with unwelcome intruders. Artie and Casey discover Larry has had his own problem with unwelcome visitors. It soon becomes clear that, while the EMP has definitely created its own difficulties, the characters in Refuge, find their greatest threat comes from other people.

This isn’t a novel with nonstop action, but you’ll be surprised when and where the action does take place. There’s time to get comfortable with the characters and their setting between bursts of activity. Chapter breaks will leave you in suspense to hold your interest. That’s definitely the case with the first chapter, where the scene begins with Larry on his catamaran. Believe me, you’ll want to keep reading.

I believe Refuge does what Scott intends for the story to do. It makes you, the reader, think about ordinary people who face challenging situations in a post-disaster setting which is far different from normal life. It entertains without being either frothy or too heavy. If it’s been a while since you’ve read the first novel in this series, the story is written so that you’ll remember what happened then as events in this second book unfold.


A Few Words About Our Conversation

One of the topics we talked about was writing fiction versus nonfiction. While that may be of greater interest to writers, it gives you a glimpse into Scott’s approach to what you’ll be reading from him.

Scott and I don’t give much of the story away, so I encourage you to read it for yourself. We covered several points I’ve already touched on above, and we discussed some important things I don’t want you to miss. I hope our conversation will pique your interest in reading Refuge.

Hear that conversation by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for November 6, 2014 (Right click to download.) Click on any of the book titles you see linked above to get info and place your order for that book. Find more information about Scott and his current works in progress at Why not keep up to date by subscribing to his newsletter?

As always, if you have any thoughts on what you’ve read above or heard on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, feel free to leave a comment below. How do you think you would cope in the aftermath of a giant EMP? Do you think we’ll face a greater challenge from disrupted technology or from other people?


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

2 thoughts on “Refuge – Why Preppers Will Enjoy This Novel”

  1. right to the point of my butting in here.
    we are so close to a breakdown of what we were accepting as government, I am sure we do not need to use fiction.—–people that were fine a few weeks ago are scared to being unable to talk of what is coming. Seems it is real and waiting for the shoe to fall any second.
    I am hauling to and repairing a mountain place and expect to retire there any time the shoe falls. a few folks have moved somewhere??
    A Broad daylight home invasion here couple days ago and the bad guy shot the home owner that just came home for lunch. He is out there 24 hrs…. Too many gator ponds are all over this area. later. Some folks I know say they will NOT inform laws of any casualty from break in of their places .
    People that used to chat easy are now acting like they are just too busy to notice we are here

Comments are closed.