The End Then

Started reading The Stand yesterday. I read the first version back when 1985 was still The Future. This version, the expanded, mostly-what-Stephen-King-would-have-had-published-in-the-first-place, had the dates updated to 1990 plus. (This second version was published in 1990.) It’s a nice little time capsule reading it now in 2003.The world he wrote of had no internet, no cell phones and no cable. Certainly there were cell phones and cable TV but their impact on society was so slim that they aren’t mentioned in the book. There are three television networks, easily co-opted by the powers that be.

I read Year Zero by Jeff Long a few months ago. Published in 2002, that was another doomsday plague novel and it shows the difference between the world of the eighties and the world of today. In Year Zero the survivors watch the world fall apart on cable and the internet. Those involved in trying to find a cure watch the heat signatures of human civilization fade out by hooking into the satellite networks. They know where on earth there are survivors by finding their campfires at night from orbit.

I call Mom in a few minutes. I’ll get some laundry started before then. Have some breakfast after. Finish up a few more panels of Wild Nights in Oz. (The way I’m doing has turned each page into memory hogs on the computer so I’ve broken each page into sections. I’ll reassemble it all at the end.) Then do some illustrations for the Kung Fu Dictionary for Mandate of Heaven. Guardians of Order approved the proposal on Thursday so we’ve got until the end of May to get the thing finished. It’s our deadline not theirs but we’d rather get it together sooner than later.