Marco - Book Reviews

***** - Excellent
**** - Good
*** - Okay
** - Bad
* - Terrible
+ - Half-star

Field Guide to the Apocalypse
Meghann Marco
SSE (Simon Spotlight Entertainment)
Nonfiction, Humor/Media Reference
****+

DESCRIPTION: So, you survived the end of the world. Meteor impact, alien invasion, killer mutant beasties, global warming, rampant viral pandemic... there are many ways for civilization to collapse and Earth to be irrevocably changed for the worse. However it all went down, you made it through. Congratulations. Now what are you gonna do?
In this new post-apocalyptic Earth, the old rules mean nothing. If you want to stay alive you'll have to adapt fast. What should you eat if you’re scrounging for food on a frozen Ice Age tundra? How can you race your ultracool retrofitted assault vehicle across the wastelands when there are no more Shell stations to refuel at? What do you do if you find yourself in a drug-induced False Utopia eating dead friends for lunch? How can you stop the world from ending to begin with? This book offers tips and tricks for the would-be apocalypse survivor in all situations, many gleaned from the irrefutable disaster-survival geniuses of the silver and small screens.

REVIEW: My decision to call this book Nonfiction is a bit arbitrary, given the number of movies, books, and TV series cited, but enough factual information is presented that I decided it was better suited to this category - that, and it's self-aware about using Hollywood tricks and character archetypes. I got this book for free at a sci-fi convention, but I would've gladly paid full price for it. It's hilarious and informative (disturbingly so, as Marco explains the mechanisms behind global warming and other potential apocalypse-inducing planetary processes.) I wasn't familiar with a few of her movie/TV references, and some I knew only through cultural osmosis, but it was still great fun. My only complaint is that Marco goes overboard on the swearing. Swearing grows less effective the more it's used, and at some point it becomes downright annoying. Aside from that, this is a highly enjoyable read, though I suspect that the timing - this being just after the horrific Hurricane Katrina disaster that wiped more than one town off the map and plunged the survivors into a state of apocalypse-like desperation and chaos - will affect sales and people's ability to laugh at topics such as "The Modern Girl's Guide to Looting."

You might also enjoy:
The Salmon of Doubt (Douglas Adams, Nonfiction - Essays and writings by the author of the famed "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series)
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Douglas Adams, Fiction - The irreverent adventures of Arthur Dent, an average Earthman who survives the planet's demolition by hitching a ride with an alien friend aboard a passing spaceship)
The Remnants series (K. A. Applegate, YA Fiction - Five hundred years after a meteor wipes out life on Earth, the survivors aboard a retrofitted space shuttle awaken in an impossible world)
Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby? (Alyson Beatrice, Nonfiction - A "Buffy" fan writes of the fannish life)
It Came! (Dan Boulton, Fiction - An alien robot invades England in a graphic novel spoof of old B-grade movies)
Running with the Demon (Terry Brooks, Fiction - A teen girl with a magical secret and a mysterious man with a cane work to avert the end of the world)
Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card, YA? Fiction - After insectoid aliens nearly destroy the Earth twice, child prodigies are taken to an orbital battle station to learn the new rules of interstellar war in order to save Earth)
The X-Files: Fight the Future (Chris Carter, adapted by Elizabeth Hand, Fiction - Two FBI agents search for evidence of a global conspiracy to hide evidence of malevolent aliens on Earth)
The Tripods: When the Tripods Came (John Christopher, YA Fiction - An English teenager witnesses the alien invasion that strips humanity of power on Earth)
Extreme Science (Phil Clarke, YA? Nonfiction - A look at scientists who have pushed the boundaries of knowledge and ethics)
Survival 101: The Essential Guide to Saving Your Own Life in a Disaster (Marcus Duke, Nonfiction - A basic guide to surviving without modern conveniences in times of crisis)
I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie (Roger Ebert, Nonfiction - The famed film critic's reviews of his least-favorite movies)
Survival Kit: Build a Perfect Bug Out Bag For Any Disaster (Sasha Fields, Nonfiction - Prepare your own emergency survival kit)
The Nitpicker's Guide for X-Philes (Phil Farrand, Nonfiction - A guide describing the plot holes, inconsistencies, and continuity errors of the first four seasons of "The X-Files" as only a fan can)
My Side of the Mountain (Jean Craighead George, YA Fiction - A New York City boy heads out to the Catskills to live off the land in the forest)
The Shadow Children sequence (Margaret Peterson Haddix, YA Fiction - In a dystopian future, people are kept on the brink of poverty and third children are illegal)
Chomp (Carl Hiaasen, YA Fiction - A father-son animal wrangler team deal with an egotistical "survivalist" TV star in the Florida Everglades)
After London or, Wild England (Richard Jeffries, Fiction - After civilization collapses, humanity reverts to brutal feudalism)
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (Diana Wynne Jones, Fiction - A tongue-in-cheek guide to epic fantasy adventures)
The Dragon Quartet (Marjorie B. Kellogg, Fiction - Elemental dragons and their human companions travel around the world and through time to avert a global catastrophe)
The Gunslinger (Stephen King, Fiction - In a world hurtling toward Armageddon, one man searches for salvation)
Ten Things to Remember When: Committing Murder (Michelle Lord, Fiction - A handbook to help you stay out of jail)
All My Friends Are Dead and All My Friends Are Still Dead (Avery Monsen and Jory John, Fiction - Picture books about people who can't seem to make friends)
The Red Dwarf series (Grant Naylor, Fiction - A Liverpudlian loser aboard a Space Corps mining ship becomes the last human alive in the universe after a radiation leak traps him in stasis for three million years)
The Darwin Awards (Wendy Northcut, Nonfiction - Through true-life story to anecdotal urban legend, this book celebrates those humans who selflessly remove themselves from the gene pool by dying in spectacular idiotic ways)
The Brian Robeson series (Gary Paulsen, YA Fiction - A city boy whose bush plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness must learn survival skills from scratch)
The Transall Saga (Gary Paulsen, YA Fiction - A mysterious beam of light transports a boy to a hostile alien wilderness)
The Last Survivors series (Susan Beth Pfeffer, YA Fiction - After an asteroid alters the Moon's orbit, teens chronicle the devastating impact on civilization)
The 2099 series (John Peel, YA Fiction - A rich boy in the future learns that he isn't who he though the was, and that his real ID is linked to a dark group about to unleash Doomsday)
Sharcano (Jose Prendes, Fiction - A reporter and a scientist investigate world-shaking events that spawn quakes, volcanoes, plagues, and lava sharks)
Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: A Brewster Rockit, Space Guy! Collection (Tim Rickard, Comics - The adventures of the clueless hero Captain Brewster Rockit and his dysfunctional crew aboard the orbital space station R. U. Sirius)
The Forgotten Arts & Crafts (John Seymour, Nonfiction - An overview of the skills and trades of yesteryear)
How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters (Andrew Shaffer, Fiction - A "survival" guide to various made-for-TV movie disasters such as shark-filled tornadoes and mutated mega pythons)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race (Jon Stewart et al., editors, Nonfiction - A handy guide for aliens visiting post-human Earth)
The Martian (Andy Weir, Fiction - Left behind after a botched mission, an astronaut must survive on Mars until help can reach him)
Blade Runner - The Final Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2007, 25th anniversary version DVD; heavily referenced by Marco as an example of an Advanced Technological Dystopia)
Independence Day (Single Disc Widescreen Edition) (1996 movie DVD; an example of how to avert the Apocalypse)
Logan's Run (1976 movie DVD; referenced by Marco as a good example of a False Utopia)
The Road Warrior / Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (Double Feature) (1982 double-feature DVD; referenced by Marco as an ideal Post-Apocalyptic Desert Wasteland)
The Matrix (1999 movid DVD; referenced by Marco)
Planet of the Apes (1968 movie DVD; source of an entire chapter outlining how to escape from intelligent apes)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Widescreen Special Collector's Edition) (2004 movie DVD; cited by Marco)
The Twilight Zone - Season 1 (The Definitive Edition) (1959 TV series DVD; several episodes are cited by Marco)
The X-Files - The Complete First Season (Slim Set) (1993 TV series DVD; cited by Marco)

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