Author August: Adrian Walker – Apocalyptic Writing

To view all guest author posts so far and for a chance to win a £40 Foyles Giftcard visit the Author August Page.

I read Lucifer’s Hammer when I was fifteen. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s thrilling build-up to a comet striking earth got me instantly hooked on the end of the world, and I’ve been an ‘apocalyst’ ever since.

adrian walker 3Like all such people, I am transfixed by the concept of massive enforced change on a global scale. That all of the distractions and complexities of life could suddenly be removed – the idea still captivates me. Accompanying the shock and sadness we all share when the world endures another one its horrors, for me there is also a shameful thrill… could this be the one?

I don’t think this is just morbid fascination; I get no kick out of death counts. Rather, what interests me most is the possibility of life after such an event – something harder, but simpler. Perhaps, without, the overwhelming pressures forced upon us by modern existence, we would move closer to understanding what it means to be in existence in the first place.

Of course, we don’t need the end of the world to free us from the overload of western civilisation. Putting down our phones, getting out of our cities, finding peaceful spaces like hills, oceans and forests, mountain biking, running…these things are all there for the taking.

And, of course, what can overwhelm you isn’t always bad. I’m the proud father of two children, and I’m sure most parents would agree with me that, as far as massive enforced change goes, the arrival of one’s offspring is up there with asteroids and pandemics. At least, it can seem that way at the time. Those first weeks and months stumbling about in dark rooms covered in unmentionable fluids and wondering which end is up can be extremely stressful, and the way I handled that stress was through running. Long  jaunts into the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh or short blasts around Arthur’s Seat helped me unwind and clear my head.

e317dd5d24e205a0-EventimageAs a new father, keen runner and apocalypse obsessive, it was only natural that I wrote The End of the World Running Club. Its hero, Ed, feels the stress of modern life and parenthood a little more than most. It takes the end of the world to shake him up and a spot of running (550 miles, to be exact) to help him find what matters most; namely, the people he loves.

I think I’ll always be drawn to writing and reading about the apocalypse, but I’m mindful of my obsession now. The world has always been strange and overwhelming, but these days it faces real threats, not just fictional ones. If we want to improve our chances of surviving on it, then we need a mindset of hope, not doom.

So says the man who turned Birmingham into a canyon.

My personal thanks to Adrian  for taking part in Author August!

To view all guest author posts so far and for a chance to win a £40 Foyles Giftcard visit the Author August Page.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *