Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

“The end of the world has been happening, and subsequently not happening, since people could make shit up,” (Goh 3).

Katie Goh’s short book of essays on apocalypse fiction is timely and masterfully executed. Offering insight into many different examples of apocalypse fiction, it’s clear that Goh is passionate about this subject and put all her care into this book.

The End is very relevant. The Covid-19 pandemic underlies and enforces many of Goh’s analyses of apocalypse fiction, such as how the 2011 film Contagion became popular in the early days of the pandemic to people’s love of as well as a number of other apocalypse fiction movies as a coping mechanism. Goh also digs deep into what apocalypse fiction shows us, how despite some desolate settings that hint at the climate crisis other things are shown to be more important, like the father-son relationship in The Day After Tomorrow.

I found Goh’s comments on The Handmaid’s Tale to be accurate, though it’s arguably a good show I also struggled watching it and never finished it because of how upsetting the subject matter is. But Goh’s analysis of A Quiet Place blew my mind and I don’t think I’ll be able to watch that movie the same way again, if anything I want to watch it just to look for the things Goh mentions because it’s truly an amazing look at American ideals in a post-apocalyptic world.

The End is a tiny book that offers a wealth of information. While I loved its realness with the mention of the Covid-19 pandemic, I can’t help but wonder what this book will look like to readers in ten years, in twenty, when there are adults who don’t remember the pandemic or were born after it and what an apocalypse will look like to them.

58998007._SX318_Publication: October 7th 2021
Publisher: 404 Ink
Pages: 87 pages (Paperback)
Source: Owned
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤

Throughout history, apocalypse fiction has explored social injustice through fantasy, sci-fi and religious imagery, but what can we learn from it? Why do we escape very real disaster via dystopia? Why do we fantasize about the end of the world?
The word “apocalypse” has roots in ancient Greek, with apo (“off”) and kalýptein (“cover”) combining to form apokálypsis, meaning to uncover or reveal. In considering apocalypse fiction across culture and its role in how we manage, manifest and imagine social, economic and political crises, Goh navigates what this genre reveals about our contemporary anxieties, and why we turn to disaster time and again.
From blockbusters like War of the Worlds to The Handmaid’s Tale and far beyond, we venture through global pandemics to the climate crisis, seeking real answers in the midst of our fictional destruction.
Let’s journey to the end.

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