News ยท 01/17/2010

Yvette Ward-Horner on 2009

Contributor Yvette Ward-Horner (author of “Dogs and Refugees”) writes in response to our recent question about what sparked imaginations in 2009.

2009 was the year that solidified my desire to write a post-apocalypse novel. I couldn’t decide which was worse — watching the snake-faced bankers writhe in the light after they were yanked out from under their rocks, or seeing how easy it was to distract the rest of the country with detailed coverage of things like Balloon Boy, and Octomom, and the detox visits of interchangeable Hollywood celebrities. But perhaps the worst thing of all was a conversation I had with my brother while visiting him in Australia.

“We heard about the big shooting in the States,” he said.

And I responded, unthinkingly, “Which one?”

So this is the type of stuff that makes me envision a novel about the future. I know it’s been done, but I think it should be done again. And again. And it shouldn’t involve aliens, or nuclear war, or zombies driving around in Hummers with machine guns. It should bring forth ordinary people who can barely remember the fleeting glory of a once-great nation and it should illustrate how greed and apathy and listening to taped 911 calls for amusement led to the collapse of a powerful civilization. Meaningful fiction often acts as a mirror and is doing its job well when it makes people wince. That’s what fiction is for, that’s why it is necessary.