Coronavirus will spark a resurgence in apocalyptic fiction

Credit: Goodreads

Zombies? Everyone run for your life!

Credit: Goodreads

Nuclear warfare has destroyed the planet? Send everyone to space!

Credit: Goodreads

The Rapture is upon us? Better start praying!

All three scenarios mentioned above are all plots in many apocalyptic fiction novels and movies. The genre is hefty and champions favorites like “The Walking Dead,” “The 100,” and “Angelfall.”

Now, most apocalyptic novels do have ties to some sense of reality. Zombies stem from deadly and malformed diseases. Nuclear warfare is not totally implausible (Have you heard of the Cold War?). Multiple religious texts mention some kind of world destruction powered by a god or gods, livid over humanity’s sins.

There is no shortage of things writers can transform into an apocalypse, which is why I won’t be surprised when a resurgence of the genre hits over the years to come due to the influence of the coronavirus.

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 is creating mass panic throughout the world. People are flocking to supermarkets to raid the toilet paper (like that will help) and cleaning supplies aisles. The United States and other big powers are shutting down borders to prevent the spread of the virus. I mean, it’s practically the precursor to novels I’ve already read (once again, those novels are indeed fiction, and I don’t actually believe the things in them will happen, but it’s healthy to have an imagination).

The scare is real. And I don’t know about some writers, but most find writing to be a creative outlet for the emotions they’re experiencing at the time. The majority of what I write outside of this paper is semi-autobiographical. I weave myself into each story or poem. I’m even considering writing some apocalyptic based work during this whole catastrophe. I don’t want to leave my house, and I can’t watch Netflix forever, so I might as well do something productive.

The two sub-genres within apocalyptic fiction that I think will boom within the next few decades are 1) zombies, of course, and 2) dystopic. Dystopic in terms of frightening and undesirable governments (I already hate where the U.S.’s government is heading, and the coronavirus is exacerbating that.) The government’s attitude toward the coronavirus is infuriating: slow response to preventing the spread, refusal to supply tests, and the fact that the lower and middle class have significant disadvantages like unpaid sick leave.

Put those pens to paper or fingers to keys! Whip up a manuscript. Get ahead of the game because I see— zombies, no, I’m just kidding—the desire for good apocalyptic novels in the future.

Camden Burris

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