I remember first encountering S.C. Flynn around 2014. He labeled himself as a “…reader and reviser of science fiction and fantasy.“.
I really had no idea that he was a writer as well. You can imagine my surprise and rather blatant joy to learn that his first published book was going to be post-apocalyptic/dystopian in nature… YES!!!!
Not only that, but it was going to by YA as well, and truth be told, I have come to enjoy YA literature almost more than that geared strictly towards adults… it tends to be faster paced and does a great job at keeping the reader engaged and wanting to read. YA lit ain’t just for kids, ya know! He asked me if I wanted to read an ARC, to which I promptly replied “Hell yes!!!”. I really enjoyed his story and am very much looking forward to reading more in this series. You can read my review of Children of the Different here.
So let me present S. C. Flynn – reader, reviser, and now… a published post-apocalyptic author!
‘The roots come out of the earth, fighting back against mankind’s concrete prisons. As if the soul of the world were pouring out again.’
These days, a lot is rightly said about the damage done by industrialized human society to the Earth’s environment. Global warming is melting the world’s ice caps; in time, this will raise the water level such that certain coastal areas will be rendered uninhabitable. Rising temperatures in Equatorial Africa will increasingly make agriculture impossible there. These issues and others to come will probably affect the entire planet, even to the point of killing off humanity in its entirety.
We are caught in a self-perpetuating death drive.
As great as these problems are, they are limited to the human point of view. The Earth itself is indifferent to whether or not we exist. If things continue as they are, it will eventually rid itself of humanity – or most of it – and start a new drive to life of its own. A drive back towards growth, cleanliness and diversity. Any humans left would have to make do as best they could in a game where they no longer make the rules.
The situation of a vastly reduced human population trying to survive after the collapse of technological civilization lies at the heart of post-apocalyptic fiction. Scavengers – people living off scraps of that previous civilization – are currently very popular, as are zombie-style chaos, but other reactions would also be logical. Trying to rebuild what was lost. Destroying all traces of it as evil. Or trying to forget all about technological civilization and following a new life trajectory, one that involves letting yourself be absorbed in to the Earth’s life drive:
‘I and the others like me are the human roots left after the Madness. We are like nature’s soul, small as we are.’
That might seem either utopian or dystopian, depending on your point of view. The difficulty of imagining that kind of life stems more from our total dependence on machines than from any real impossibility in living much closer to, and in tune with, nature. After all, our ancestors did so for many centuries. If enough time were to pass, or if the shift in mentality caused by the apocalypse were sufficiently great, it might be possible.
The end of technology and mass communication would mean the end of large ideologies, and various small isolated groups might experiment with different approaches to life, each one “ethical” according to its own rules. Among them, there might even be a group that works to bring back the best of technological civilization, while avoiding the errors of the past.
Literature can – and should – try to imagine these different ways of living and of being. It can help us to understand what to look forward to. And what to avoid.
‘She could feel the life pulsing, life of a kind she had never felt before. Rich but impossibly ancient. She knew that these creatures had seen every kind of being come and go. They had been there long before anything else, and they would be there long after humans were gone.’
[artwork by Eric Nyquist]
About the Author
S. C. Flynn was born in a small town in South West Western Australia. He has lived in Europe for a long time; first the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of his ancestors. He still speaks English with an Australian accent, and fluent Italian.
He reads everything, revises his writing obsessively and plays jazz. His wife Claudia shares his passions and always encourages him.
S. C. Flynn has written for as long as he can remember and has worked seriously towards becoming a writer for many years. This path included two periods of being represented by professional literary agents, from whom he learnt a lot about writing, but who were unable to get him published.
He responded by deciding to self-publish his post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, Children of the Different and, together with an American support team, aimed for a book as good as those created by the major publishers.