If we experience a disaster, such as an EMP, consequences will be long term. The choices we make will have their own consequences as well. On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, I explored that a bit with Scott B. Williams, whose latest novel touches on these things.
The book is called Voyage After the Collapse. As you might guess from the title, it’s about escape. In this case, escape out to sea. And it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Meet the Story Teller
Scott B. Williams has been my DestinySurvival Radio guest several times before to talk about both his fiction and nonfiction books. We always have enjoyable conversations. If you’re not familiar with him, here’s background info.
Scott B. Williams has been writing about his adventures for more than twenty-five years. His published work includes dozens of magazine articles and more than a dozen 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 nonfiction books such as Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late.
He has also authored travel narratives such as On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean, an account of his two-year solo kayaking journey through the islands. With the release of The Pulse in 2012, Scott moved into writing fiction and has written several more novels with many more in the works.
Sample the Story
Artie Drager and his brother Larry must sail back to New Orleans to find Artie’s daughter, Casey. This isn’t an easy task in the wake of disaster. Meanwhile, Casey and those with her experience their own set of troubles. Eventually they unite and seek to escape to sea. That’s where this latest novel picks up the story.
We meet some new characters at the beginning of the book, such as Tara Hancock and her teenaged daughter, Rebecca. Soon enough we meet Artie, Larry, Casey, Scully, Jessica and Grant–familiar characters from the previous two books.
Several forms of adversity plague the novel’s characters. They face down marauders, military police, inclement weather and difficulties of their own making.
As with Scott’s other novels, bursts of action and adventure will keep readers interested and in suspense. Just about the time you think you know what’s coming next, Scott throws a curve ball.
Scott’s experience as a sailor shows throughout the story, making it more believable. You’ll feel like you’re right there on the boat as events unfold.
See a Bigger Picture
As I told Scott, I hated it when my English teacher in school made me look for such things as a book’s theme and character motivations. Yet when I read a novel like this one, several things seem to jump out at me, without having to search for them.
Voyage After the Collapse is a fun read, and I hope you find yourself as engrossed in it as I was.
What follows are some of my contemplations. You’ll have to hear my conversation with Scott (linked below) to hear each of his responses to my musings. I’ll briefly touch on a couple of them.
The not-prepper prepper – Tarah may not have thought of herself as a prepper, but she was wise enough to have supplies at home to get through a hurricane, since she lived along the northern Gulf Coast. She was doubly fortunate to have the Sarah J., a sailboat belonging to her parents, at the ready and well supplied. It enabled her and Rebecca to escape to a safer place.
Scott told me Tara isn’t that unusual. Some who live along the Gulf have boats in which they escape to other places for the winter months.
The need for self defense – There’s no lack of violence and killing as the story’s main characters defend themselves from those who mean them harm. Violence doesn’t dominate the novel by any means. But keep in mind, the post -disaster world Scott envisions isn’t a pleasant one.
As for living in today’s world, Scott recommends you and I have a concealed carry permit and carry a dependable firearm.
Looting vs. scavenging – Larry’s crew proves they’re thinking strictly of survival when they loot a grounded sailboat whose owners had been killed. Their reasoning was that it was better for them to have the supplies than for bandits to have them.
Would you and I do the same sort of thing under similar circumstances?
Getting along – Having adequate food, water and shelter are obviously vital, but interpersonal relations may present one of the greatest challenges we face in the wake of a major crisis. This may trump whatever it is that’s going on in the world outside of our little conclave.
We see tension between Larry’s companions when Tara and her daughter are invited to go with them to a safer place in the Bahamas. It goes both ways though, as Tara reckons with the new situation and the people she’ll be with.
This should give you and me pause in the event that we face the issue of what to do about those we encounter after collapse, whether dealing with friends and family or strangers in need. And, like Tara, what should be our attitude if we’re on the receiving end of help from others?
The immensity of it all – We see the contemplations of those, such as Casey, who realize they’re in the midst of a scenario that won’t be fixed any time soon. It may be the same for you and I under similar circumstances. The immensity of a disaster has to be grasped and coped with, no matter how much we’ve prepared ahead of time.
The calling attraction – And then there’s that four letter word sex. Larry finds Tara physically attractive. Jessica tries to sleep with Grant.
I won’t spill the beans on how these work out in the novel, but it’s a reminder that we’ll have to deal with such things in our own family or prepper group. Anticipate and know how to resolve problems that will no doubt arise.
Overcoming something stupid – As if it weren’t difficult enough sailing two vessels near each other without modern technology for guidance, Tara’s 13-year-old daughter Rebecca does something foolish to thoroughly complicate matters. She was depressed and not thinking straight when she did it.
We should be aware that, whoever will be in our little prepper community, is likely to experience depression and mood swings. We may be prone to it ourselves. We must be prepared to deal with the stupid things people do as a result.
Again, interpersonal relations may be our greatest challenge.
Enter “the law” – The sailboats get split up and lose each other in squalls and rain. Both vessels are intercepted by Naval authorities who were operating under Department of Homeland Security rules. This part of the novel is tense and unsettling.
The crafty islander – Without giving away story details, we see Scully put into a situation where he proves his resourcefulness and self reliance skills. He also takes the opportunitye to do a heroic good deed for a young couple harrassed by bad men. These are characteristics we observe from the two previous novels in this series.
Scully is based on someone Scott met years ago, and we’ll see more of him in a future sequel.
There’s hope – In one of the latter chapters, Larry, Rebecca and Casey engage in an encouraging conversation, noting there’s always hope, no matter how bad things get. That’s good for each of us to remember.
More to come – The novel ends with a few loose ends, leaving me wanting more. I trust your reaction will be the same. Scott promises there’s more to come. Here’s hoping it comes sooner than later.
Hear What We Said
Hear my conversation with Scott B. Williams by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for January 7, 2016. (Right click to download.) To learn more about Scott’s upcoming books or to contact him, visit his website: www.ScottBWilliams.com.
If you got cash over the holidays and would like to spend a little of it on leisure reading, get a copy of Voyage After the Collapse. Click on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. You’ll be taken to the page where it’s featured, and you can place your order there.
Scott’s novels are about ordinary people caught in an extraordinary situation. And he makes his novels as realistic as he knows how.
Enjoy them as the good reads they are, and don’t be concerned about whether you see the things that came to me. You may see something different. If so, share it. Leave a comment below. Let me and other readers know what you think.