Published on April 8th, 2014 | by Julie Finn1
The Moon is Gonna Kill Us: Survival Tips from Moon Crash
This blog is about being ready for anything- from hurricanes and power outage to food riots and zombie outbreaks. If you’re a fan of the Moon Crash series, however, you might know that death by moon is a lot more likely than death by zombies.
That’s one of the many reasons that Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Moon Crash series (Life As We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone, This World We Live In, and The Shade of the Moon) makes for such an interesting read. You can *maybe*, depending on personality factors that you shouldn’t feel you have to discuss with me, imagine your Zombie Escape Plan as a likely scenario rather than a fun conversation starter, but the moon being knocked off its orbit by a wayward asteroid? Ensuing chaos? Life as we knew it being dead and gone?
Totally plausible, right?
Survival mode, rather than zombie escape mode, also makes these books an interesting read throughout the duration of the series, and second-guessing the main characters’ decisions about how they’re going to survive is always a fun hobby. In Life as We Knew it, for instance, Laura empties her bank account and pulls her kids out of school so that they can panic buy everything in the grocery store, and her disregard of the sacredness of her savings account and her willingness to live knee-deep in canned tuna if normality returns are what keep her family alive through many lean months. In The Dead and the Gone, however, Alex and his sisters live nearly as many months slowly starving in their New York City apartment before it occurs to them to, you know, BREAK INTO ALL THE VACANT APARTMENTS AND TAKE THE FOOD!
Alex’s family has a much harder time than Laura’s also because they’re poor (can’t panic buy a car-load of canned goods when you’re poor), they’re stuck in the city (can’t bug out of NYC without wheels!), and they lack the kind of antiquated tools that one needs to survive off the grid. Laura’s kid, Miranda, panic buys some oil lamps on Day 1, and their house, conveniently has a wood stove, plenty of trees, and enough family members to supply the kindling. If only they’d also invested an equal amount of time in building some human-powered generators and a couple of greenhouses they might have done pretty well for themselves long-term. As it is, much of the Moon Crash series revolves around people trekking from here to there, there to here, looking for rescue that just ain’t gonna be there.
In fact, the final book of the series, The Shade of the Moon, is an excellent illustration of what could happen when people rely on “rescue” from above; this book is also my favorite of the series, because it espouses my own personal post-apocalypse predictions. You see, I have a graduate degree in, among other handy fields, Medieval studies, and I know a lot about feudalism.
You know about feudalism, too–lord in a castle, surrounded by peasants? That’s feudalism, and it’s an excellent theory of what could happen post-apocalypse, when those people who’ve always had more still have it, and those people who’ve never had the most have nothing. Perhaps those wealthy people with all the contacts will found their own little survival enclaves, hmm? And maybe all the other survivors can be their servants, and live outside the enclave, and get just enough food to keep living but no more, while the rich people get more food AND air purifiers AND electricity AND schools and day care and all the grunt labor force they could ever need from those desperate survivors just outside the fences.
Don’t want that? Then Susan Beth Pfeffer would say that you should get a bicycle. And some oil lamps. And lots of canned goods. And excellent medical skills.
And some like-minded friends with whom you can found an idealistic survivor’s town where no one hoards all the supplies, and no one has to serve anyone else.
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