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Talking about the end times: how would you ride out the apocalypse in Vermont?

Young child in a vintage looking photograph stands in an empty field of overgrown weeds and empty vertical gardens wearing a gas mask. Commentary on a dystopian future
Bad news, the apocalypse has arrived. So, how are you riding it out in Vermont? This hour, we lean into the topic of a recent episode of Brave Little State and talk about the end times from perspectives both serious and less so.

Inspired by a recent episode of Brave Little State, this hour we’re talking to Vermonters about a personal approach to the apocalypse. Is Vermont a good place to ride out the end times? Would you be prepared? And who would be in your survival community?

Our guests are:

Some book recommendations from the show:
What's the most Vermonty apocalypse novel?

Proto-cycology: Creation Myths for the Apocalypse, by Angus Chaney and illustrated by Ethan Nelson.

What's the funniest apocalypse novel?

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.

What's the strangest apocalypse novel?

Blood Music by Greg Bear. Smathers says it's about "a blood-based mutagen [that] escapes a lab and not only spreads virulently but starts to create a new life form. Bear tends to write from the middle of the apocalypse, leading to a changed world, as opposed to, say I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, where you start after everything has collapsed."

A Boy and His Dog, by Harlan Ellison. Smathers says it's "not for the faint of heart. The dog has the telepathic ability to find women for the boy to prey on, and the boy feeds the dog, who has lost the ability to track food in gaining telepathy. An 'I did not see that coming' ending."

What's the bleakest apocalypse novel?

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

Which apocalypse novel made you really stop and think differently?

The Sprawl Trilogy, by William Gibson. Smathers says "starting with Neuromancer, [Gibson] created the term 'cyberspace.' He didn’t get everything right (famously, he missed cell phones), but enough that it’s worth reading. He continues to write near-future novels. Not quite cyberpunk, still fabulous. A lot of his stuff is set in a world after a limited nuclear World War III. If you want to think about what might really happen in such a nightmare scenario, why not start with the guy who predicted the internet?"

What is your all-time favorite apocalypse novel?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Philip K. Dick. Smathers says "right here, in 1969, Dick wrapped up all the bioethics questions of the next century and a half in 244 very easy-to-read pages. What is the boundary between life and death? Human and other? What value human life versus animal? What is the role of religion, the soul? Who decides who gets to live and whom do we believe? It's all here, and more."

Broadcast live on Friday, April 8, 2022, at noon.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Editor's note: Kroka Expeditions is a VPR underwriter

Connor Cyrus was co-host and senior producer of Vermont Edition from 2021-2023.
Matt Smith worked for Vermont Public from 2017 to 2023 as managing editor and senior producer of Vermont Edition.