The following is the rough draft of the opening of a story I am writing:
“It was a Tuesday morning in October when the world as we knew it ended.
At 10 am our local time all electricity worldwide stopped, and everything that needed power to run stopped. Planes feel from the sky, cars stopped, and every nuclear power plant in the world lost containment. Millions died.
Off course we didn’t know most of those details then, as we had lost all communications. For the next week we struggled to make sense of our new world. The laws of physics seemed to have been overturned, as nothing we did seemed to turn the flow back on. Humanity quickly descended into barbarism, with looting, rioting and murder rife.
Then the power came back on. Slowly over the next week we came to grips with the horror that had engulfed the world. We were forced to revaluate our priorities. I was a small time librarian, living on a small lifestyle block with my wife and five kids. I lived on the cutting edge of technology administering to the library systems.
We thought the worst was over. We were wrong.
On midnight October 31 2016 the monsters came out to play.”
Why am I sharing?
I enjoy the Science Fiction, Fantasy genres, and have pretentions to being a writer. One day I might finish one of my stories. One of the aspects of Science Fiction, especially that sub-genre speculative fiction, is to posit the question “What if?”
Which is where this story comes in and this post. I thought to myself “What if we lost all power and the ability to generate electricity?” Very quickly this led me to think beyond the realms of fiction into reality.
There are a number of real life issues surrounding the idea of us losing power beyond any fantastical scenario dreamt up for entertainment. For instance, just how would we cope in a small rural library, if power was disconnected for an extended period of time. I don’t know about you but 95% of my job is tied to a computer, and a hundred percent of our stock control is online. If power became unreliable how set up would we be to return to a card catalogue and manual issue?
On Friday I saw an article about a school in the United States which has decided to get rid of it’s physical library and replace that with an almost purely digital one. Is it too soon to reject the physical media? What about archival material only found in a digital format? What if we lost the power and ability to access digital only media? How valued and sustainable would the modern library be?
I don’t have any answers, but wonder what would our monsters be?