Sunday, September 12, 2010

Funny Apocalypse

While surfing the web and trying to find the answers to my technology questions, I came across this website: Survive the Apocalypse, and found it quite hilarious.

It didn't really answer my question of how much power a generator needs to produce to run a small city, but it did make me laugh, and there's some interesting tips. I especially enjoy the "Escape from..." series that the blog owner does, where people email him for escape routes and he talks about the best way to escape from their particular city.

Happy Sunday!


  1. Unless you're writing a hard sci-fi (where you'd include specific numbers in the correct measurement unit so the reader knew you've thought about it), it's best to keep things abstract. So, the answer is "however much you want it to." :)

    Now, if you're trying to determine size or some other descriptive mechanism, then there are some other questions that need to be asked:

    How small a city is small? (Both in area and population. Energy dissipates over a distance, so the wider a distance, the more energy required to power the same amount of tech in a smaller energy.)

    You've said technology is retarded after the catastrophe, was there an invention of a greater resource that can self-sustain and/or yield large amounts of power (such as a fusion reactor).

    Is there just one generator or many (based on all of the above)?

  2. Hmm...these are good questions. I don't have the answer yet. I am thinking the population of the city is sitting around 9K people, pretty big for the times.

    I am not shooting for "perfectly accurate" but I don't want anything glaringly out of place either.

    I want to remain abstract, and I don't plan on actually mentioning hard numbers, but again, I don't want something so implausible it jars the reader out of the story.

    For my purposes, I would like them to have some semblance of electricity and long range communication devices (like a cell phone). I can make these things unreliable enough that if the plot needs it, the generator could give out.

    At the moment, there isn't an invention that makes the power generators more efficient, but maybe I should include one. I would feel more comfortable attributing these variables to something I can manipulate via magic, rather than having it be just like Earth (which is implausible by itself) and therefore, inaccurate.

    You are correct though, abstraction is the key. I just need to know if my main character can take hot showers, or if she has to bathe in a pond, or if she can cook her meals on a stove or what. This is mainly why I am concerning myself with these aspects of the I can see how my character interacts with the world.

    Thanks for your comment!