Well I deprived my new world of electricity. At first it doesn’t seem so bad after all I grew up in an era before fridges or freezers and we all could preserve food - but wait a minute – the reason my world lacks electricity is because fossil fuel has vanished - no gas for cooking, so how would the food be heated that will be turned into jams and chutneys, into bottled goodies for the lean times?
Yes well – it can be done and those lucky enough to have a range or open fire could as long as they have the wood – or dried dung works quite well.
My world lost its transport systems. Okay in a town? Well no. Looting is inevitable once everyone realised there was no more food deliveries. Riots are panicky things –like a cornered animal – new rules and those who cannot kill to defend and feed their families are going to go without at best or die themselves.
So would it better to live in the countryside. Better chances of surviving? Grow your own food (fingers crossed on the weather), cut your own wood (hope you’re not in a treeless zone) get up with the dawn and sleep at sunset unless you can find some source of burnable oil (do you have an animal that can be rendered down?) Those starving folk from the towns are soon going to be knocking on your door!
So now those who are left can clothe themselves for quite a while from the shops. They can provide bedding for themselves. If, of course, they haven’t been taken over by gangs and cartels with enough guns to back up their claim of ownership. Oh I am so gloomy!
In the meantime the survivors freeze or melt as air-conditioning and heating systems go down. Having just recently had our temperatures across the UK go down to minus 16 degrees (okay I know many of you have worse!) I think a whole stack more survivors die. Recent heat-waves across Europe indicated an increasing mortality rate with every increased degree of temperature.
Back when our early ancestors colonized the globe they wandered into extreme climatic conditions and slowly over time acclimatized. Is there time for the progression from soft livers to hardy intrepids? I think so, but many would perish on the way. In later Chronicles mention of those who lose the survival battle, begin to spell out the many ways there are to die.
How hardy are we when it comes down to basics, how do our social structures cope? are questions for another day. As mentioned before, there had not been any planning in Ellen’s world, when I first sat down to write. Ellen was meant to be a short story so what need? I managed to save some of my characters from all the wars, riots and plundering by encasing them in rings of land mines – yup land mines. Now there’s a crazy idea!
Actually the mining was carried out by the government of the day to protect those who agreed. To save them from the fighting, the disorder the mines laid down for just as long as it took to restore law and order, then the army would removed them, No harm done. Indeed.
Except of course no one came back to remove them. Not for 50 years.