Guest Post: Joseph D'Lacey – Why I (and maybe you, too) ♥ the End Times

April 12, 2013 Author Feature, Guest Post 4

by Joseph D'Lacey

Joseph D’Lacey, author of Black Feathers [read Tab’s review here] joins us today to discuss why he (and we) love the end times.

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The word Apocalypse comes from the Greek ἀποκάλυψις, the direct translation being ‘un-covering’. It implies the disclosure of knowledge or a revelation, not the destruction of our planet.

Funny, isn’t it, that seers have been predicting the end of the world throughout recorded history and yet here we are, still bumbling along – though perhaps with more potentially planet-killing problems than we’ve ever had before. Earthquake, World War III, Drought, The Greenhouse Effect, The Ice Age, Coronal Mass Ejection, Justin Bieber, Tsunami, Super-virus, Flood, Meteorite Strike, Zombies (look no farther than your own nation’s government to see the risen dead plotting their biggest meal EVER) etc, etc.

Such a familiar roll call.

That’s odd, though, isn’t it? Why do people focus so much on the end of the world? Wouldn’t we rather be thinking about something nice like Fettuccini Alfredo, kinky cosplay or installation art? Perhaps we can’t enjoy a thing completely without the knowledge that it could all be taken away in the next instant.

If so, what a bunch of weirdoes.

I bet they don’t waste time imagining the end of the world in your average famine-hit nation or war zone  the world’s already ending for those poor people. So, all this talk of Armageddon, is it just an amusing luxury for those who can afford to worry without actually staring death in the face?

Hey, in case you think I know the answer to that one, I really don’t.

But I do have an idea about why the apocalypse lingers – nay, flourishes – in contemporary Western consciousness. It’s as though we find it easier to imagine the end of everything than we do the end of our own lives. I think we instinctively know that by contemplating the world’s destruction we might understand something important. About ourselves. About, well…everything.

What would we do in that situation? Would we be a force for good or an agent of destruction? When absolutely everything is at stake, how would we behave? It’s as though we crave that conundrum just to find out who we really are and why we’re here.

Hold on. Find out? Like discover? Like Un-cover? Could it be that apocalypse stories actually have a purpose?

I think they do. I think the idea of self-knowledge through the threat of destruction is a kind of philosophical tool. Sure, in many cases, the apocalypse is just plain fun. I mean, there are few things more entertaining in film or fiction than a band of disparate survivors doing their best to keep going under the most impossible of circumstances. But how readily we see ourselves in those characters and in those situations; in facing death at the hands of something colossal and beyond our power to control, we decide who we are and what it is we stand for.

As a reader and viewer, I love a good apocalypse. But as a writer, that love goes deeper. I can lead my characters to a place where everything is at risk. Not only their lives but the meaning of their actions; how they want to be remembered, what their names will stand for in the eyes of eternity. It’s such fertile ground both in terms of character and story. When it’s the end of the world, anything goes. Anything. For an author like me, with a love of Horror, SF and Fantasy, I couldn’t be in better territory than that which is about to be blasted out of existence.

In my Armageddon stories, I often throw my characters to the wolves (Garbage Man, The Kill Crew, The Failing Flesh) but Black Feathers, and its second part The Book of The Crowman, was very different. I wanted something to look forward to in the end of days, some sense of purpose in the face of the ultimate destructive force. I think it was my attempt to find the revelation in apocalypse. As though, on some level, I understood the roots of the word even before I looked it up.

Wow, look at that! Those are some dark clouds rolling in. Unusual colour, too. Tinged with red. How odd. Brrr. Did someone turn off the heating? And…it got so dark all of a sudden. Looks like something blotted out the sun.

I’d better go. Another end of the world scenario beckons…

Black Feathers

Black Feathers is a modern fantasy set in two epochs: the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, and generations into the future in its aftermath, the Bright Day.

In each era, a child undertakes a perilous journey to find a dark messiah known as The Crowman. In their hands lies the fate of the planet as they attempt to discover whether The Crowman is our saviour… or the final incarnation of evil.

Black Feathers

Find: Amazon | BD |Goodreads
Follow: Website | Twitter

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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4 Responses to “Guest Post: Joseph D'Lacey – Why I (and maybe you, too) ♥ the End Times”

  1. Kim Harris

    Hi Tabitha, Just to say I saw your blog because I made the trailer for Black Feathers, and I love your blog, really nicely put together.

    Best wishes


    • April

      Thanks so much for stopping by Kim! I really love the trailer for Black Feathers, very cool. I haven’t read the book but I’m more curious than ever now.

  2. Wendy Darling

    I love a good post-apocalyptic story, too–they are so much more interesting to me than dystopian ones, although I certainly enjoy those when they’re done well, too. It’s fascinating to see how human beings behave under difficult circumstances, and the dire running-out-food-might-have-to-eat-your-neighbor threat always makes for a potentially good time. 😉 Thanks for this guest post!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden