July 18, 2007

Only Huckapoo will survive


No one really wants to imagine is an earth entirely without people. What we groove on is imagining an earth with only one person, ourself. Last person on the planet stories are an age-old staple of speculative fiction, and with today's special effects, they're getting easier to visualize all the time.

Alan Weisman's new book, The World Without Us is something a little different: speculative non-fiction. I haven't read it, and don't necessarily plan to — seems to me like all that environmentalism might kill the buzz of an otherwise cool story — but I did get a kick out of these animations showing the world (i.e., New York City) being reclaimed by nature. Only question: where are the damn dirty apes?

[Via VSL]

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Neat. Puts me in the mind of Thomas Cole's Course of Empire (early FX masterpiece). I wondered how they'd explain broken windows without any teenagers (nature's garbagemen) around to do it. So it's bats. Nature's teenagers.

The Course of Empire. It was new to me.

My favorite dramatization of the theme of The World Without Everyone But Me is the Kiwi semi-obscurity, The Quiet Earth http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0089869/

Oh...I love Thomas Cole. His paintings are epic. I like that series too, and Voyage of Life, one version of which is in the National Gallery of Art in DC.

Cool indeed, especially the long-term timeline of decay and preservation. One thing I didn't see anywhere on the site, however, is any speculation as to the kind of disaster which would kill off all humans at once while leaving apes, cats, etc. alive. Mass suicide? "The Day the Earth Stood Still"-type retribution from an advanced alien species?

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