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Highlights from Volume 41 ‘Apocalypse’
This issue invited authors to respond to the proliferation of scenarios for the apocalypse in popular culture.
John R. Hall (2013) believes that numerous examples suggest that ‘an apocalyptic mood is no longer confined to cultures of religious fundamentalism’ but also demonstrated in ‘diverse mainstream apocalyptic references’ (p.1). In the media, the apocalypse generates news headlines; in October 2013, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that scientists had found ‘evidence of an apocalypse on a planetary system similar to our own’ (von Radowitz). In 2012, the belief that the end of the Mayan calendar on 21 December would mean the end of the world triggered thousands of blog posts. A poll of 16,000 adults showed 8 per cent suffered genuine anxiety that the world would end on that day. Nonfiction texts, such as The World Without Us (Weisman 2007) and The World in 2050 (Smith 2010) use current scientific data to project future scenarios that show civilizations crumbling and the climate radically altered as a result of global warming. The welter of recent TV series, movies and books depicting fictional versions of the apocalypse—Revolution (2012), Melancholia (2010), Defiance (2013), The Hunger Games (2008, 2013), War of the Worlds (2005), Tomorrow When the War Began (1993, 2012), I Am Legend (2007), The Road (2006, 2009), Oryx and Crake (2003), even a children’s film, Wall-e (2005)—revealed a renewed fascination with images of the end of the world.
In this special online issue of LiNQ, contributors use poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction to explore the symbolism of the apocalypse. The word ‘apocalypse’ derives from the Greek work ‘revelation.’ Each of these submissions reveals both contemporary anxieties and the capacity for resilience in the face of personal, national and global apocalypses.
Hall, John R. Apocalypse: From Antiquity to the Empire of Modernity. Wiley, 2013. Ebook.
von Radowitz, John. ‘Scientists find evidence of an apocalypse in another planetary system.’ Sydney Morning Herald 11 Oct. 2013. Web. 7 November 2013. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/scientists-find-evidence-of-an-apocalypse-in-another-planetary-system-20131011-2vc51.html
Monsters (creative nonfiction)
By Nicole Crowe
By Jane Downing
The Last Days (fiction)
By Shane Platt
Atman’s Oculus (fiction)
By Jesse Short
harbour: harbinger (poetry)
By Margaret Ruckert