Well, I didn’t have the best of weeks in the sense that work was too busy and stressful for my liking but more importantly, the postal service resumed their longstanding grudge against me by not delivering the 40k miniature I wanted for almost a week later than they should have. Since I finally received it on Thursday, I have nothing really to show off on it yet sadly but I am happy to say that I have started painting it and will definitely have progress to show next week.
As the title suggests, I did get one miniature painted this week for Fallout. I talked previous about the evolution of synth technology well with the completion of the Gen 2 Synth, you can now see Gen 1, Gen 2, and the Courser which is the most advanced and human-like. I like how the Gen 2 Synth came out as the textures are kind of hard to replicate with a brush but I think I’ve gotten the spotty wear across pretty well. The base is quite busy on this miniature and I really like how the various elements came together too. While it is cool to have three minis done for The Institute, I basically have repeat sculpts to paint from here on out so that is less exciting. Fortunately, I only need 2-3 more painted to have a “force” I can use in the game so I’ll keep chipping away at them as I have the desire.
I did start some other Fallout things but none of them are done or interesting at this point so that is all the hobby progress I have for this week.
Since this would be a short post if that is all I had to discuss, I wanted to discuss a couple of pop culture things that are hopefully fun/interesting First off, I recently finished Samurai by Stephen Turnbull. It was a great read and I learned a lot about samurai from it. I want to give a big thank you to the nicest guy in wargaming, John at justneedsvarnish.wordpress.com for recommending it. I will certainly be reading more about samurai in the future and maybe one day when I have more storage space than I know what to do with (ha!), I’ll do some gaming in this historical setting.
The other thing I was thinking about this week is that the Post-Apocalypse genre has become one of my favorites in recent years. With the Post-Apocalypse genre, I can’t claim to have read or seen everything out there but I felt compared to share a few of my favorites within the genre and a few others that I find noteworthy as well. In writing these out, I realized that I have barely seen any movies or TV shows that are within this genre, so focus on the areas that I know best. I also fully admit that I’m not hugely into zombie movies and I’ve never seen the autobiographical movies about living in Australia which are known as Mad Max either so there won’t be a ton of those on my list either. With that said, I’d love to hear any recommendations you might have for post-apocalyptic media below too!
The Walking Dead – An obvious choice but also a really good one. I’ve never watched the TV show(s) for TWD but I have read most of the comic series and its pretty good. The Walking Dead is the rare exception to me not being into zombie post-apocalypse media because of its quality. It has a lot of soap opera elements to it (without feeling like a soap opera if that makes sense) and is grim and somber. I like the overall world where most people are dead and nature is starting to reclaim buildings slowly but surely. As the story goes on, the characters and plot do suffer a bit but its still worth reading and one day, I plan on finishing the last couple volumes of the story.
Old Man Logan by Mark Millar – While some issues of Cable also have a really nice post-apocalyptic feel too, I really was impressed by this grim vision of the future in the Marvel Universe. It is a clever twist on familiar characters and there is nothing like it in the superhero world. Marvel brought this character back in more recent years and I’ve read some of the comics in that series which are good but they are not post-apocalypse just as a heads up. The movie Logan is also loosely inspired by Old Man Logan but I don’t think it has much of a post-apocalypse feel so it doesn’t quite make it into this genre either.
Last of Us and Last of Us II – You can thank this game for wanting me to discuss this with you today. I’ve nearly beaten Last of Us 2 and I find both of these games to be the pinnacle in the post-apocalyptic genre. There are basically zombies in the game but the human foes can also be quite scary. This game is set in the Seattle area which is lush but also rainy and depressing when it needs to be too. With limited ammo, you have to scavenge and craft stuff where you can (which is really fun actually) and the story and characters are as good you will find in video games. I can’t recommend these games highly enough and I am especially thinking of friend of the site, Grumpygnome, who needs to get around to playing these games one day. I bet he’ll find they’re of an even higher quality than The Mandalorian!
Fallout series – An obvious choice and I had to say something about it! While most people know Fallout, I would say that the story isn’t generally the draw of these games. It is the quests you go on and the opportunity to explore various cities that have both real and fictional locations within them. It is a very rich sandbox game that is a blast to make your own stories in. That is a big reason why the miniature game is a lot of fun too!
Walking Dead: Season One by Telltale Games – If you like TWD, you NEED to play this game. It has the best story and characters in the TWD universe. The game is an adventure game like the old point-and-click genre popularized on the PC so you don’t have to be a “twitch” gamer who plays first person shooters all the time to handle this game. You often have to make brutal decisions to decide who survives and stays with your group and that is a big part of the fun. The story and characters are deep and realistic so that helps too. The ending of this game is powerful and will make you feel some strong emotions too.
The Road by Cormac Mccarthy – If you like some grim and depressing feelings in your post-apocalypse, this is for you! The setting is interesting in that it seems like the Earth is quite possibly doomed but for reasons you can only guess at. The people who are left alive are not nice either. In this environment, a father must protect his son and guide him across the US. There is a movie of this that I have never gotten around to seeing. I imagine it is not for those with weak stomachs and quite frankly, neither is the book. The Road has such beautiful, minimalist prose that I’m happy to go back to whenever the mood strikes.
The Postman by David Brin – This is a more optimistic version of the post-apocalypse where the world can be recovered to some degree. Set in Oregon or Washington (I can’t recall which), the accidental hero embarks on a quest to unite the remnants of humanity while working as a humble postman. I think the writer was striving for something with a bit of a sense of adventure like you see in the fantasy genre and while parts of the book are kind of cheesy, like the villains, it is a good tale. There is a movie version of this which features none other than Kevin Costner. I have no idea how good it is and I’ve never been drawn to his movies so I’ve not gone out of my way to check it out.
Silo trilogy by Hugh Howey – The first two books are pretty darn good and interesting but the third was just poor and left a bad taste in my mouth. This series has a bit of Sci-Fi feel because the remaining humans live in these underground silos specially built to keep them safe. But what happened on the surface and why is the protagonist living in one that is mostly abandoned? Some of these mysteries pay off and others not so much over the course of the trilogy. Howey is probably the leading author in this genre currently and has a number of Post-Apocalypse books published and while the Silo trilogy was ultimately a disappointment, I should probably give another one of his books a try since the genre is somewhat sparse.
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. – The setting of this book kind of reminds me of Warhammer 40,000 but less grim and less of Sci-Fi feel. Technology has been lost and cannot be recovered. People misunderstand and rely on superstition to try and make sense of the past. The monk protagonist is timid but earnest in his research and seeks to find out information from the lost world. This book lacks action and while charming and unique, takes a certain kind of reader to appreciate. It definitely stands out from anything else on the list though and that’s why I wanted to mention it.
So those are some of my favorites in the Post-Apocalypse genre. What favorites do you have? Are there any post-apocalyptic books, movies, or TV shows you don’t like? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!