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Site Suggestions, Support and Resources => Media, Links, & Resources => Fiction and Non-Fiction Books/Magazines => Topic started by: Sanveann on May 27, 2012, 03:11:45 PM

Title: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Sanveann on May 27, 2012, 03:11:45 PM
OK, I hope I'm not stirring the pot too much for a newb, but I've read, frankly, a lot of pretty bad books in this genre. The thread on favorites made me wonder which ones you guys really hated.

For me: "Patriots." I'm sorry, I appreciate what Rawles was trying to do (mixing the information with the story), but it was just SO poorly executed. The dialogue was painful, and I think I finally quit reading about the time they mentioned the guy using dial-up to telecommute to work.

Also pretty bad: "Desperate Times." The story was actually pretty good, but the characters weren't fleshed out whatsoever, and the editing was ATROCIOUS. Just painful to read, with all the apostrophe abuse.

(Full disclosure: I'm a professional copy editor, so I tend to be very hard on books that are poorly edited. I've sometimes wondered about freelancing as an editor for self-published authors!)
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: nkawtg on May 27, 2012, 04:09:23 PM
Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters: Build and Outfit Your Life-Saving Escape
There is nothing in this book which isn't easily obtainable on the internet.
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BfHtwZ46L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg)
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: soupbone on May 27, 2012, 04:22:29 PM
OK, I hope I'm not stirring the pot too much for a newb, but I.....

It's (its?) called "fresh blood", (,"?) Sanveann - an infusion of which is good for the health of the forum on occasion. Be careful, though, some might consider it "fresh meat"......... Folks here are polite, for the most part, and if anyone crosses the line, just edit their posts.  :D

The worst survivalist books I have ever read was the Survivalist series by Jerry Arnheim (IIRC) The story line was illogical - the Russians successfully invaded the US and were imposing their rule in selected areas. The hero of the story was trying to make his way from the west coast to his BOL in the Blue Ridge; his wife and kids were attempting to do the same thing from the Northeast. The books chronicled their adventures. The dialogue was something else: "He drew his Metalifed .45 Colt Combat Commander equipped with....(Here follows three paragraphs of absolutely BORING technical specifications down to the amount of torque on the grip screws - or so it seemed)...and fired." (".?)

On the flip side, one of the best books I have ever read on the subject was Alas Babylon, a book from the late '50s or early '60s, during the height of the cold war. It describes the goings-on in a small Florida town when there is a complete collapse of society. It is very well written and it addresses several of the social wrongs in the America of the period. It is still relevant today, from the psychological standpoint.

Welcome to the forum, and I am looking forward to your posts.

soupbone

PS: I don't know where you are in your prepping, but nkawtg makes an excellent point. There is a lot of very qualified expertise here who are willing to share their knowledge - for free. Prepping is "in" now, and a lot of folks are out there trying to make a buck off of other's fears. While you are perusing the forum, don't forget to check out the "Around the Campfire" thread to see our other side.

soup
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Sanveann on May 27, 2012, 05:06:54 PM
Holy cow, what an embarrassing place to make a typo! Should say "Worst" in the header there, not "worse" :) (Like I always tell my friends, I don't edit copy when I'm not on the clock, lol! Especially not my own, apparently ...)

Thanks for the warm welcome, soupbone :)
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on May 29, 2012, 12:05:04 AM
Soooo. . .do you mean fiction survival books or "how-to" books?

The Professor
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Sanveann on May 29, 2012, 01:18:03 PM
Soooo. . .do you mean fiction survival books or "how-to" books?

is

Oh, I suppose either :) My picks were just fiction because there are SO many bad TEOTWAWKI books out there!
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: endurance on May 29, 2012, 01:29:20 PM
It's (its?) called "fresh blood",
It's  was correct.  Contraction of it is.  If you can say "it is" and it makes sense, it's it's.  If it's possessive the 's doesn't apply like it would with other words (ex. the mayor's car).   ;)
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: hobbs67 on May 29, 2012, 02:29:19 PM
Quote
Also pretty bad: "Desperate Times." The story was actually pretty good, but the characters weren't fleshed out whatsoever, and the editing was ATROCIOUS. Just painful to read, with all the apostrophe abuse

Pretty bad is an understatement for "Desperate Times" and "Desperate Times 2 -- Gun Control".  Terrible, terrible books.  It was like the author made an effort to make each of the characters as unlikeable as possible and the story unrealistic as could be possibly imagined before putting a big scoop of anti-gun moralizing on top.  It was Teotwawki as written by a 13 year old liberal emu kid. 

(Hint -- I really did not like Desperate Times)

Rawles is far from a great literary talent, but I did enjoy Patriots despite its flaws.  Survivors otoh was a waste of time and I would put that squarely in the worse/worster/worsterest camp.

Soup, I really Alas, Babylon too.   

 
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Sanveann on May 29, 2012, 06:52:14 PM
An emu kid or an emo kid? ;) (Because, frankly, I would have been impressed by the book if an emu wrote it! That's about the only circumstance I would have been impressed by it, though, lol! I read a sample of the second one but saw it was just as poorly edited as the first, so I refused to pay for it; I did at least get the first one free.)

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Nadir_E on May 29, 2012, 08:30:04 PM
There have been a few that had grammatical or spelling errors, but I tend to look past those (and wonder who the editor was) but as stories that just bothered me, I put "On the Beach" (yes, a Cold War classic) near the top of that list.  The defeatist attitude was just too much for me to tolerate.  I've read another from that era that was a precursor to Red Dawn (i.e. US invaded) and it was equally defeatist - makes me wonder what was in the water back then. ;)

-N
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: ChrisFox on May 29, 2012, 10:08:13 PM
Biggest problem I have with the ones I have read is all the protagonists are a bunch of Mary Sue's. Every thing they do seems to work out in the end. They are the moral good guys and anyone with tattoos and rides a bike is evil and there to rape their perfect wife/daughter. Where are the antiheroes or the really good villains. Mostly it's measly bureaucrat types or sociopaths hell bent on destroying the do gooders.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Dawgus on May 30, 2012, 04:17:19 AM
I've yet to find one "how to" book that I'm really happy with. All of them tend to cover the same basic things, and are very broad in the areas covered. I know it would be difficult to do, but none have been region specific. Personally, I would have no use for tropical or arctic survival techniques, which every book I've read seems to cover.

 I'm not much of a fiction reader. Actually, the first piece of fiction I've read in over 10 years was Patriots, and I absolutely hated it. IMO, it was so far out of reality that it was almost laughable at times. I'm not quite sure what I expected, but I was not impressed at all.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Nadir_E on May 30, 2012, 12:23:35 PM
Biggest problem I have with the ones I have read is all the protagonists are a bunch of Mary Sue's. Every thing they do seems to work out in the end. They are the moral good guys and anyone with tattoos and rides a bike is evil and there to rape their perfect wife/daughter. Where are the antiheroes or the really good villains. Mostly it's measly bureaucrat types or sociopaths hell bent on destroying the do gooders.

Agreed - I gave up on the Deep Winter series for this reason - EVERYTHING just falls into place for the main character and that struck me as entirely unrealistic.  I agree that the MZB/rapists seems to be part of the "formula" as well (Lights Out / 77 Days in September to name a couple).  I feel that "One Second After" is a bit better in this regard - lots of moral dilemmas and no white hats.

-N
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: backwoods_engineer on May 30, 2012, 12:59:53 PM
Some of the "worst":

- "Patriots".  Yeah, it has some good info, but the writing is terrible.  It's like reading the speeches in Ayn Rand: nobody talks like that.

- "Prepper's Road March": The Mormon jargon threw me off right away.  I found it to be unreadable.

- "Lucifer's Hammer": lots of absolute balderdash.  Seriously, a commune?  I like Niven and the Chaos Manor dude as much as the next guy, but there are 20 prepper/post-apoc books better than "Hammer."

- "Deep Winter / Shatter / Remnant / Distance": it pains me to add these books to this list.  But I must.  Things just "fall into place" too easily for Rick Drummund, the main character, and those around him.  Yes, I still love the story, but great prepper fiction it ain't.  "Lights Out," "77 Days in September," "Castigo Cay", and "Renewal" are WAY better.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: archer on May 30, 2012, 01:24:41 PM
I hated "Patriots", did not even finish it and that is unusual for me.
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: hobbs67 on May 30, 2012, 02:59:22 PM
An emu kid or an emo kid? ;) (Because, frankly, I would have been impressed by the book if an emu wrote it! That's about the only circumstance I would have been impressed by it, though, lol! I read a sample of the second one but saw it was just as poorly edited as the first, so I refused to pay for it; I did at least get the first one free.)

Yes, I agree it would have been much better had it been written by 10,000 emus pecking away at 10,000 typewriters. ;D

Mental note, emu is the bird, emo is the way dramatic kid dressed in all black.


Quote
"Prepper's Road March": The Mormon jargon threw me off right away.  I found it to be unreadable.

How could I forget the Prepper's Road March books on a list of worst prepper books.  Its the gold standard for bad prepper fiction.  At one point their bug out convoy consists of a tractor, a front loader, a John Deere riding mower, atvs and a moped and they all are drunk driving them to the bug out location with some playing instruments on the way. 

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: jpbearit on May 30, 2012, 03:36:20 PM
My buddy and I have a long standing debate on "Dies the Fire" by S.M. Stirling.  While I love the book, he says it’s way too slow and the only characters worth reading about are goofy witches, so what’s the point. 

If you have that Fantasy kink it your head and you want to read an interesting retelling of the Arthurian legend from a modern prepper POV, you might like this book. 

WARNING: Stirling has what some of us call Tolkien’s disease.  He has been known to ramble more than a little bit on topics not essential to the progression of the storyline.  If this bothers you I recommend getting the audio book. Fast forward can save your experience.

@Sanveann
Don't worry overly much about being "fresh meat" here.  In my experience, even when one of us newbees stick our foot in our mouth, folks politely ignore your foibles or politely ask you if you need a bit of salt and prepper to make it easier to swallow.
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: BadgerAngel on May 30, 2012, 03:44:05 PM
Wait, no, seriously?  Drunk driving on -- oh, man.  See that just kind of makes me want to torture nyself just to read that scene, because that just sounds frickin' hilarious.

The only "prepper" book I've read is Lights Out.  I have a love-hate relationship with it. 



Yes, I agree it would have been much better had it been written by 10,000 emus pecking away at 10,000 typewriters. ;D

Mental note, emu is the bird, emo is the way dramatic kid dressed in all black.


How could I forget the Prepper's Road March books on a list of worst prepper books.  Its the gold standard for bad prepper fiction.  At one point their bug out convoy consists of a tractor, a front loader, a John Deere riding mower, atvs and a moped and they all are drunk driving them to the bug out location with some playing instruments on the way.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Sanveann on May 30, 2012, 09:07:13 PM
My buddy and I have a long standing debate on "Dies the Fire" by S.M. Stirling.  While I love the book, he says it’s way too slow and the only characters worth reading about are goofy witches, so what’s the point. 

I'm actually reading "Island in the Sea of Time" right now and loving it! But "Dies the Fire" didn't impress me in the sample I read, and from the reviews I saw, I thought the Wiccaness would get old for me.

Quote
@Sanveann
Don't worry overly much about being "fresh meat" here.  In my experience, even when one of us newbees stick our foot in our mouth, folks politely ignore your foibles or politely ask you if you need a bit of salt and prepper to make it easier to swallow.

I'll make sure it keep it close at hand ;)
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: antiwraith on September 10, 2012, 07:55:03 PM
I agree with some of the other posts, "Patriots" was awful!

However I highly recommend "Light's Out" as well as 299 Days!  Bothbare good reads!
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on September 10, 2012, 09:39:36 PM
Anything by Don Paul?

The Professor
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Nadir_E on September 10, 2012, 10:32:10 PM
I've encountered some bad prepper porn books, but the worst (so far) was Don Chase's "After the Storm."  Didn't make it through the first book in the series (on Kindle).  There was a lot that rubbed me the wrong way (i.e. illogical or nonsensical).  The straw that broke the camel's back, was when the author had an overweight, cigarette smoking protagonist out-run an Army patrol chasing him with a HMMWV.  Right.  We'll all become supermen when the balloon goes up.  I was actually reminded of the scene from Zombieland where we're introduced to Rule 1 - Cardio. :)

Save your pennies and steer clear of this one,
-N
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: endurance on September 11, 2012, 02:36:04 PM
Anything by Don Paul?

The Professor
I won't bash the guy too bad.  There is some value to some of his writing and there have been times I've used some of the stuff I learned in Great Livin' in Grubby Times.  I can't remember what at the moment, but there have definitely been lessons I appreciated 15 or so years ago (whenever it first came out) and I was living a pretty grubby life... and enjoying it.  I think it was the very start of my recognition that survivalism didn't have to be about nuclear war, it would just be about finding tricks to make living a better life with no money.

I don't know anything about what he's written in the last five or so years.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on September 11, 2012, 03:00:51 PM
I was given four of his books a long time ago.  Most of what I read was, IMO, poorly thought-out and there was entirely too much self-aggrandizement.

From the cross-armed scowling image on the back with the statements to the "Russian Bear" to the creation of a hammer-head on the base of a knife (oh, that's copyrighted, of course. .. right along with a rubber guard on my field knife).

It seems to me he just likes the sound of his own voice (or the appearance of his own writing). . .something with which I'm somewhat familiar.

But then, it was for a different type of prepping.  Most of his stuff, IIRC, was written back in the 80's when we faced the spectre of a global nuclear war.  But even then, I didn't find much that was very useful. It seemed like he was forcing some things, grasping at straws to appear unique.

I just didn't find them as good prepper books.

The Professor



Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Chemsoldier on September 11, 2012, 08:35:42 PM
I won't bash the guy too bad.  There is some value to some of his writing and there have been times I've used some of the stuff I learned in Great Livin' in Grubby Times.  I can't remember what at the moment, but there have definitely been lessons I appreciated 15 or so years ago (whenever it first came out) and I was living a pretty grubby life... and enjoying it.  I think it was the very start of my recognition that survivalism didn't have to be about nuclear war, it would just be about finding tricks to make living a better life with no money.

I don't know anything about what he's written in the last five or so years.
I have a similar view of the man.  He was an early source of information for me as I was transitioning to survival mindedness.  Some of his books were fairly useful, some of his later ones were countless rehashes of the same themes.  He was ahead of his times, his work would have made great Kindle only pubs.

Patriots was junk, if it came out in todays prepper book market (admittedly in a genre he helped to create) it would hardly attract any notice.

I will give One Second After credit for being one of the best written and with the most mass market appeal.  Light Out and 299 days were also very good.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: NWPilgrim on September 21, 2012, 01:40:17 AM
One of the worst is "2030" by Albert Brooks.  Fantastic plot themes of financial cliff and generational angst over the debt burden.  First half of the book is so promising.  But it has the absolutely worsterest (hahaha!) ending I have encountered. It's like he got tired of writing and just punted, the Chinese save the day and everyone lived happily ever after without describing how the two main themes were resolved or if they were resolved.  He just ignores the themes from the first half, and the second half becomes a lovefest over two brilliant Chinese businessmen.  At least it had good proof reading which was nice, but the ending sucked.

I actually liked Patriots a lot when I read it as an Internet novel (Grey Nineties? and some other pre-published title).  It was the rebirth of the survivalist genre and had a lot of thought to it.  Knowing that he actually has built his life similar to what he describes in the preps is thought provoking.  And it was decent writing compared to a lot of self-published survivalist "books." BUT, Rawles' second book "Survivors" was just stupid.  Shallow, everything works out perfectly vignettes, and really ignorant portrayal of Catholics.  There was nothing useful or interesting happening in that story.

There have been a few others I've read posted on other forums that were terrible stories and incredibly poor writing.  Do some people write just to try to piss off the English language? No, writing in the voice of ignorant "country folk", misspelling, using the wrong spelling repeatedly, and giving the bird to sentence structure is not cute. No it is not cute!  Hell no! Are their reely peeple whomsover dont no the defference between there and their, to and two and too, hear and here, know and no?!  From the wealth of poor writing I must surmise that if we escape the clutches of a financial collapse we surely will suffer a LANGUAGE COLLAPSE!
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: devildog78 on October 19, 2012, 10:18:28 AM
Survivors has to be one of the worst books I have read in this genre. On the other hand some really good books are Lights Out, One Second After, 299 days, and Alas Babylon.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 19, 2012, 11:03:15 AM
For several years I was a non-fiction guy (history, howto, etc.) but for the past 18 months I've been reading a lot of fiction.

Here are my favorite (mostly prepper?) fiction books I've read in the last few months:

Feathers on the Wings of Love and Hate: Let the Gun Speak - John Grit
The Enemies Trilogy - Matthew Bracken
Weapon of Jihad - Karen D. Crumley, James G. Crumley
299 Days - Glen Tate
Castigo Cay - Matthew Bracken
The Gods of Color - Gunnar Sinclaire

By it's nature, prepping anticipates the future.  To me, that often makes reading non-fiction books about future predictions to be condescending and tedious.  I've found that fictional settings allow character development and conflict to develop that an instructional book wouldn't address.

Specifically consider Heavy G's wife in 299 days.  She had her "head in the sand", was in denial about the circumstances, etc.  That's a real issue for many folks.  Adding "get your spouse on board" to a task list found in a howto book, is a lot less helpful than reading a narrative of human interaction.
Title: Re: Worse survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Cooter Brown on October 19, 2012, 11:12:27 AM
... convoy consists of a tractor, a front loader, a John Deere riding mower, atvs and a moped and they all are drunk driving them to the bug out location with some playing instruments on the way.

How on earth did I miss this one. Sounds like my college days!
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: flippydidit on October 19, 2012, 11:18:12 AM
I personally have a Hate-Hate relationship with most of the fictional offerings in the "prepper" genre.  In order of my reading, I started with Patriots.  After this "standard" I moved on to Light's Out, and then One Second After.  These three pretty much tainted my view on other writings in the genre.  I'm very snobbish with my requirement for punctuation, spelling and grammar.  I figure if I'm giving you money, you can at least iron out the use of tools required to call it a BOOK.  After reading great reviews, I was suckered into the all time "worsteresterest" prepper book I've ever known (I've read more than those previous three, although none of them blew my skirt up).  The worst book, in my opinion is Avalon.  My red flag should have been the Amazon reviews (praising of course) that were written by friends and relatives of the author.  Avoid it like the plague.  It makes Patriots look like it could really happen.  Avalon takes place in California, however the writer must live in Candyland.  Good guys are SOOO good.  Bad guys are DUMB and SOOO predictable.  Everyone always has not just preps, but everything they could possibly want.  My children keep my attention with their stories much more aptly.  Probably because I know that their cognition of reality hasn't developed maturity yet.  I expect much better from a "published author".

That said, I try not to advise what not to read unless I also give some guidance to a better choice.  And although not really a "prepper" book, I would say that Unintended Consequences by John Ross is one of the best books I've ever read.  The author is actually qualified to write about his subject.  <shocked face>  GASP!  He isn't some "chairborne Ranger" sermonizing about things "he read somewhere".  The reader will probably learn a lot about American history, as well as firearms and the history of firearms.  All of this is done while reading a STORY (not a checklist) about characters that are believable and well developed.

Hope this helps Sanveann.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: hanzel on October 19, 2012, 12:50:59 PM

For me: "Patriots." I'm sorry, I appreciate what Rawles was trying to do (mixing the information with the story), but it was just SO poorly executed. The dialogue was painful, and I think I finally quit reading about the time they mentioned the guy using dial-up to telecommute to work.



Patriots was first written in 1995 and released in 1998.  The updated version came out in 2009 but the technology he describes was not "updated".  For many of us out in the country, dial up or satellite is the only options still if we want internet. So still using dial up for many Americans is a fact of life.  For my work I had to have a 40 ft tower placed in my front yard and use radio internet to "talk" to a tower over 10 miles away.  It was not a cheap option but it was my only option for a high speed / low latency connection (  I could not work with the high latency of a satellite connection ).  Up until they did upgrade earlier this year the best I could get was 1.5 megs from the connection.  The comment about the dial up connection was in the very beginning of the book so you would not have read very much of it.  The dialog is painful but then again so is reading Shakespeare. From a informational stand point it is still a very good informational book on prepping and survival.  Try going back and reading it, then read it again and see what information is woven into the story.  I actually pick up the book during the market crash in 2008.  You would be surprised how much of the beginning of the book was in the headlines of the day. 
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: LibertyBelle on October 19, 2012, 02:17:14 PM
For many of us out in the country, dial up or satellite is the only options still if we want internet. So still using dial up for many Americans is a fact of life. 

I have a few family members that are still on dial-up, and some that live so far off the beaten path that they can't even get cell phone service.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: lowland farmer on October 26, 2012, 09:27:22 PM
For several years I was a non-fiction guy (history, howto, etc.) but for the past 18 months I've been reading a lot of fiction.

Here are my favorite (mostly prepper?) fiction books I've read in the last few months:

Feathers on the Wings of Love and Hate: Let the Gun Speak - John Grit
The Enemies Trilogy - Matthew Bracken
Weapon of Jihad - Karen D. Crumley, James G. Crumley
299 Days - Glen Tate
Castigo Cay - Matthew Bracken
The Gods of Color - Gunnar Sinclaire

By it's nature, prepping anticipates the future.  To me, that often makes reading non-fiction books about future predictions to be condescending and tedious.  I've found that fictional settings allow character development and conflict to develop that an instructional book wouldn't address.

Specifically consider Heavy G's wife in 299 days.  She had her "head in the sand", was in denial about the circumstances, etc.  That's a real issue for many folks.  Adding "get your spouse on board" to a task list found in a howto book, is a lot less helpful than reading a narrative of human interaction.

Yep, all of John Grit's books are great. There are two Feathers on the Wings of Love and Hate books and two Apocalypse Law books. He posted on Amazon a while back that Apocalypse Law 3 is in the hands of his editor and will be out in November.

His Feathers on the Wings of Love and Hate series is about a future America under total Socialism. The population has separated into rural Capitalist/Libertarians and the city people, most in the cities are totally dependent on social programs. The government has been trying to force the "Wild People" farmers to move into the cities and become members of welfare-dependent "Redundant Headcount." They have refused and the government has decided to kill all 35 million of them, as they cannot tolerate anyone living free and independent of government handouts and private property and capitalism have been banned anyway. This sparks a revolution. The Libertarians have no choice but to fight to the death, since the government plans to kill them all anyway. It is very well written and has a lot of survival and guerrilla warfare info in it.

Someone brought up the old motorcycle gang formula. The second book in his Apocalypse Law series does have motorcycles in it (maybe six) but the riders are not members of any motorcycle gang. It's a gang of raiders who go from town to town taking supplies from others, and they have gathered up trucks and pickups to haul the loot off with and a few motorcycles are used for scouting ahead of their caravan. Most of the population is dead, so there are plenty of trucks and motorcycles for the taking, but gas is getting old and running out. Diesel stores longer, but is running out too.

I have read all of his books and will read anything else he offers in the future.

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: gloomygus on November 09, 2012, 10:28:22 AM
I totally despised Dies The Fire.  Hated it with a passion.  Got about a quarter of the way into it and gave up.  Terrible!
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: minrlwtr on December 10, 2012, 05:04:31 PM
Some of the "worst":

- "Patriots".  Yeah, it has some good info, but the writing is terrible.  It's like reading the speeches in Ayn Rand: nobody talks like that.

- "Prepper's Road March": The Mormon jargon threw me off right away.  I found it to be unreadable.

- "Lucifer's Hammer": lots of absolute balderdash.  Seriously, a commune?  I like Niven and the Chaos Manor dude as much as the next guy, but there are 20 prepper/post-apoc books better than "Hammer."

- "Deep Winter / Shatter / Remnant / Distance": it pains me to add these books to this list.  But I must.  Things just "fall into place" too easily for Rick Drummund, the main character, and those around him.  Yes, I still love the story, but great prepper fiction it ain't.  "Lights Out," "77 Days in September," "Castigo Cay", and "Renewal" are WAY better.


What Morman Jargon? I really like Preppers Road March and all the rest of the trilogy. There no religon in them whats so ever
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: blademan on December 10, 2012, 06:37:20 PM
I've only read three "prepper" books. Rawles' two and I'm about to read the third.
And one second after.
   Its pretty ironic that the title of one second after describes perfectly the ammount of time it took me to want to stop reading the book. About one second after starting.
     The first few chapters had me wanting to curl up in a hoodie footie in front of a quietly humming space heater with a cup of earl gay tea.
    This is the absloute worst telling of a good story I have come across in a long time.
   I litterally had to force myself to read it because a friend wanted to talk to me about it.
 The characters were too one dimensional, too black and white.
  There was some good group psychology in it though in how the decisions of the town got made and what kind of laws and regulations they passed as well as their relations with the nearby towns. However, some of the characters' decisions were just unrealistic.
    Like the main character's situation with his diabetic daughter.
 I think he would have actually become desperate enough to become actually dangerous and unstable in his quest to find insulin.
      The entire trial scene with the punks who robbed the nursing home and the looseness of their evidentiary process in convicting and sentencing the second guy. They ended someone's life based on subjective judgements and no actual evidence. Maybe the author's point was to show that things can go wrong and people aren't perfect, but he kinda failed there, it seemed more a cheer for small town justice with no recourse or procedure to it.
   Anyway, I don't want to hijack the thread, if I read something worse than OSA, I will post about it here.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Chemsoldier on December 10, 2012, 08:45:07 PM
I've only read three "prepper" books. Rawles' two and I'm about to read the third.
And one second after.
   Its pretty ironic that the title of one second after describes perfectly the ammount of time it took me to want to stop reading the book. About one second after starting.
     The first few chapters had me wanting to curl up in a hoodie footie in front of a quietly humming space heater with a cup of earl gay tea.
    This is the absloute worst telling of a good story I have come across in a long time.
   I litterally had to force myself to read it because a friend wanted to talk to me about it.
 The characters were too one dimensional, too black and white.
  There was some good group psychology in it though in how the decisions of the town got made and what kind of laws and regulations they passed as well as their relations with the nearby towns. However, some of the characters' decisions were just unrealistic.
    Like the main character's situation with his diabetic daughter.
 I think he would have actually become desperate enough to become actually dangerous and unstable in his quest to find insulin.
      The entire trial scene with the punks who robbed the nursing home and the looseness of their evidentiary process in convicting and sentencing the second guy. They ended someone's life based on subjective judgements and no actual evidence. Maybe the author's point was to show that things can go wrong and people aren't perfect, but he kinda failed there, it seemed more a cheer for small town justice with no recourse or procedure to it.
   Anyway, I don't want to hijack the thread, if I read something worse than OSA, I will post about it here.

Stop reading prepper fiction now before its too late.  One Second After is about the most like a normal mass market novel that the prepper community has produced.  Others have been "better" prepper books.  But aside from being horribly depressing at times, it is about the most readable from the standpoint of being like other "real" books.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: FreeLancer on December 10, 2012, 11:49:31 PM
     The first few chapters had me wanting to curl up in a hoodie footie in front of a quietly humming space heater with a cup of earl gay tea.

It might be time switch to a different tea..... ;)
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: blademan on December 11, 2012, 01:48:46 AM
Well I'm trying to get my hands on 299 days and will see what that's like. G sounds pretty cool on the show and in his posts here and his replies to my messages. So I bet his will be better at least to some degree. And I thought Rawles did a better job in either of his books than One Second After. It was so drab and over religious. Rawles was really bad at this. I mean I don't have a problem with religion in general but these books were just too much and the religion in them was too heavy handed. Comming from a multi religion background myself, I have met people like the characters in these books, and in many ways, I would not want to be in their group or even run across their group in a total collapse situation.
    These guys really are trying and actually doing something good even if their effort seems to fall below a certain standard, I have enjoyed reading them simply because of the information and ideas they have.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Chemsoldier on December 11, 2012, 06:38:38 AM

    These guys really are trying and actually doing something good even if their effort seems to fall below a certain standard, I have enjoyed reading them simply because of the information and ideas they have.
...and there you go.  Writers write for a living, most since young adulthood.  They know writing more than any other subject area.  If you look at many successful writers like Tony Hillerman, Dick Francis and Clive Cussler you find that they are successful because they take an area that their life experiences has given them significant knowledge about and coupled that knowledge with writing ability.  Their performance (in their knowledge area) produces much better average work than the "research it for a few month and write a novel" writers.

Most prepper fiction is not written by professional writers*. Amusingly, OSA is actually writter by a professional author who is also at least a prepping minded person.

Ultimately though, you hit on the key point.  Prepper fiction is about information and ideas.  If you want literature go read the work of people who see writing as an art form instead of a way of conveying important information and ideas.

*Which I define as people who write as a full time career (or attempt to) and has had work published by a mainstream press.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: cep89 on December 11, 2012, 06:52:26 AM
The worst one I have read is "Cleveland: an invasion"  Just people running from explosions and shooting other people,  no reason given for the invasion.

Founders, Rawles newest book was just the same story as Patriots with more detail.

299 days by Glen Tate is the best series out there.  Very realistic
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Shaunypoo on December 11, 2012, 09:45:42 AM
I really enjoyed "One Second After" and have given it to multiple other people who have read it and seen the prepper light, so to speak.  I think it is fast paced with lots of moral ambiguity that makes a good story.  While I enjoyed Rawles "Patriots" for what it was, other than the second rate writing he had no moral ambiguity.  He had good guys and bad guys.  And you knew who they were.

I enjoyed "On the Beach" as well.  Different point of view, but still compelling.

I read prepper fiction because one of my main areas of concern is how people emotionally handle SHTF.  Since I can't currently experience SHTF myself right now to help me emotionally prepare, I read about characters reactions.  Some are unrealistic, but some are spot on.  I use all of them as mind fuel for thoughts on how I would handle certain situations.  I read a lot of books and tend to be critical of punctuation and writing, but as long as it is a solid story with good character and plot development, I can overlook that.

"Dies the Fire" was one of the worst books I have read, period.  Too much luck too often to too many main characters.  And he really likes the Wiccan lifestyle.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: markl32 on December 11, 2012, 10:43:36 AM
I'm actually reading "Island in the Sea of Time" right now and loving it! But "Dies the Fire" didn't impress me in the sample I read, and from the reviews I saw, I thought the Wiccaness would get old for me.

I'll make sure it keep it close at hand ;)

"Islands in the Sea of Time" is a great series.  I liked it better than the Dies the Fire Series.  I especially liked the captain's internal dialog.  This made for unusually good character development in my mind.  I found myself wishing this character was real and that I could somehow track her down and have a beer with her.

The Dies the Fire series goes far away from SHTF and way into the fantasy realm after book three.  It's still good fiction, but it has fully departed the SHTF genera at that point.  By book 7 I just lost intrest in the story line...  I would think that the forst three books would be popular with the TSP crowd though.  And if you can deal with a Black Female Lesbian, than why not a What Female Wiccan?  ;)

Also note the two stories are in the same "Universe".  I don't want to give any spoilers but they are linked. 

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: tc556guy on January 01, 2013, 02:38:08 PM
There have been a few that had grammatical or spelling errors, but I tend to look past those (and wonder who the editor was) but as stories that just bothered me, I put "On the Beach" (yes, a Cold War classic) near the top of that list.  The defeatist attitude was just too much for me to tolerate.  I've read another from that era that was a precursor to Red Dawn (i.e. US invaded) and it was equally defeatist - makes me wonder what was in the water back then. ;)

-N
I've been collecting post-apoc lit since I was a kid ( 40 years give or take). There are general themes/  trends through the decades. You can see where the national mood was based on these trends. On The Beach is a product of its time.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bigjim71 on April 04, 2013, 12:09:04 AM
for just bad prepper fiction I don't know if anything beats Rawles... Patriots was just painful to read. His characters just suck. They don't act like real people. They don't talk like real people ..... They are some amalgome of the Ubermench perfect (no swearing, drinking, never question there faith). Wow I just hated them.

Survivors was a better book, of coarse you have your obligitory motorcycle gang but I just think it was a better book. Gave me hope for....

Founders, with this he took a step back and it was definatly the "Return of the Jedi" of the seriese.

I just finished book 5 299 days the visitors, did not know Heavy G from the forum is Mr Tate. If you are reading this I have  been very happy with that series, and wait with baited breath for book 6. Now I am reading Lights out, seems good so far.

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: backwoods_engineer on April 04, 2013, 06:16:22 PM
BigJim, in retrospect and after reading it twice, I'd put Book 5 of 299 Days on the list of Worst Prepper Fiction.  It just doesn't advance the storyline, and maybe I just don't care about Grant's ongoing little spat with Todd Whats-His-Name the Loyalist.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bigjim71 on April 04, 2013, 11:10:52 PM
BigJim, in retrospect and after reading it twice, I'd put Book 5 of 299 Days on the list of Worst Prepper Fiction.  It just doesn't advance the storyline, and maybe I just don't care about Grant's ongoing little spat with Todd Whats-His-Name the Loyalist.

I wee what you are saying, but I have to disagree the book itself wasn't the most exciting book in the series and not allot of practical "prepper" stuff. I think though that it is necessary to move the story along. It is telling the story of how the hero and the community are having to change as the partial collapse becomes the norm. It is also forshadowing things to come as the patriot forces actively start fighting the loyalist forces.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Oil Lady on April 05, 2013, 05:40:31 AM
The first few chapters had me wanting to curl up in a hoodie footie in front of a quietly humming space heater with a cup of earl gay tea.

In today's publishing world, a lot of editors and publishers who get presented with an unpublished manuscript (MS) for consideration will only read the first 5 chapters, OR only read the first 20 pages, OR only read the first 5 pages (depends upon genre, MS length, and the general eagerness/laziness of the one reading). He/she will read only as far as he/she feels the need to read to get a sense of the writing competency of the author, the unfolding of the plot, and also the overall tone and execution of the book.  Therefore, today's writers will spend more time overly-polishing the first 5 chapters than any other part of a book.

Yeah, I have repeatedly seen that same syndrome of gee-the-first-few-chapters-were-phenomenal-but-then-after-chapter-five-it-all-just-fell-off-a-cliff.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: mysterion on April 05, 2013, 08:53:17 AM
I haven't read alot of the new fiction about survival/post-apohalypse scenarios, but I think Earth Abides was just all wrong. I can't believe an entire generation of people would just give up technology and go back to a hunter gatherer type of living and just being too uninterested to learn how to read, use electricity or machinine steel objects.  Almost all fiction in this category is disappointing, even by gifted authors like Heinlein. The two books I eneded up liking the best was Alas, Babylon and Malevil. Patriots was kind of Red Dawn meets the NWO, and I like it in that sense, kind of like one of those feel good B rated movies you watch at a drive in after the main feature is over (When was the last time any of you went  to a drive in theater? The last one I went to was  Armageddon, and that was the last flick that theater ran before it closed for good)

Wolf and Iron started out really interesting, and so did Lucifer's Hammer.They just kind of lost the plot in the middle. The Postman was the same way.  I think that the book The Last Ship had the most potential of being a great work of fiction, and his writing style was outstanding, but then the story just fell short of my expectations, too. Still a good book though. Down to a Sunless Sea was also quite decent, and both of those books are based  on a military unit that survives a nuclear war.

Robert Ing wrote a couple of survival style books that were 3 out of 5 stars lol. That is all the praise I can give them. There are alot of new kindle ebooks with survivalist themes but even though I bought a few of them , I haven't read any of them yet.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: blademan on April 05, 2013, 10:35:22 AM
OilLady:
   I think this maybe didn't happen in this case. The first few chapters were the hardest for me to get through. The rest of the story was not much better, but the thing is that the first few chapters were so warm and fuzzy and pie in the sky and one dimensional, it was the literary equivelant of drinking liquid sweet and low. I was eager for the freaking pulse to hit finally so the guy could quit gushing about how content he was in his life.
  My gosh, it was a little much. I mean the rest of the book wasn't much better, but at least it had a little more grit to it than the first chapter or so.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: El Rhino on May 05, 2013, 10:54:34 PM
Rawles' Founders makes Patriots and even Survivors look like literary masterpieces.  I'll admit that Patriots was stacked with a lot of good info and Survivors at least had an entertaining story line.     In Founders it seemed like even Rawles lost interest in the book towards the end with as rushed as some of the big events in the storyline unfolded.   I also think that he decided to lash out against everyone who complains of too much religious material in his books by turning that up a notch in this one.   

Most of his character archetypes (weapons experts with hearts of gold and pockets full of silver that save the day without saying any bad words) make me think that this series is what Don Quixote would be like if it were written by Don Quixote himself. 
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: archer on May 06, 2013, 03:01:14 PM
Rawles' Founders makes Patriots and even Survivors look like literary masterpieces.  I'll admit that Patriots was stacked with a lot of good info and Survivors at least had an entertaining story line.     In Founders it seemed like even Rawles lost interest in the book towards the end with as rushed as some of the big events in the storyline unfolded.   I also think that he decided to lash out against everyone who complains of too much religious material in his books by turning that up a notch in this one.   

Most of his character archetypes (weapons experts with hearts of gold and pockets full of silver that save the day without saying any bad words) make me think that this series is what Don Quixote would be like if it were written by Don Quixote himself. 
i'll make sure i avoid them even more.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Niccolum on May 06, 2013, 10:23:35 PM
... I think Earth Abides was just all wrong. I can't believe an entire generation of people would just give up technology and go back to a hunter gatherer type of living and just being too uninterested to learn how to read, use electricity or machinine steel objects.

As one of my favorite novels, I feel compelled to defend it...  ;D  Earth Abides isn't nearly in the same vein as a "prepper" novel like Patriots, 299 Days, etc (which are about the only two series I've read in this genre). It was written as a post-apocalyptic novel. It's much more similar to A Canticle for Leibowitz and, to a lesser extent, Alas Babylon. It has a grim post-WWII/Cold War concern about the outright destruction of humanity on a global scale much like Canticle and Alas Babylon.

Given sufficient depopulation like that depicted in Earth Abides, how would mankind preserve electricity, machining, etc? Reading and literacy is probably the only item that I would believe isn't realistic in Steward's world - and even then I think it would take on a "priestly" hue. Few people alive today are as even half skilled as the average farmer, homesteader, or whatever of a 150 years ago. And those people stood on the shoulder of those that came before. That's Jack's whole point with 13skills.com in a small, small way. I work in IT, am fairly good at it, and I couldn't preserve computing technology in a massive collapse of society like Earth Abides depicts because the resources and knowledge capital just isn't there. Few modern industries or skills could survive because the decades and centuries of build-up to have them requires, well, decades and centuries to build up. If you wipe out just about everyone that knew how it worked in one massive wave, you'd be starting from scratch... or maybe at least 16th century Europe or China.

(Spoiler alert if you haven't read Patriots or Survivors) I think the worst prepper novel I've ever read is Survivors. I always enjoyed Patriots even though it was clearly an evolving work and I never found it terribly realistic. But Survivors was just plain awful. You follow one main character through a big portion of the first part of the book on a trek through Europe, he sails off on the boat across the Atlantic, and then ..... just randomly travels through all of Mexico on a horse in a chapter or two and arrives safely?? Are you kidding me? This is the same continent where the people in Patriots couldn't even drive to the next state over while being heavily armed without casualties?? The book also introduces characters that in no way advance the plot (like the lady who stocked seeds) just to talk about some random thing. I didn't even bother with Founders. If someone gave me the book for free or if I (literally) fell over it at the library I might read it. But otherwise, I'm done with Rawles' fiction books.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Shaunypoo on May 07, 2013, 10:16:58 AM
My whole point of view on the worst/best books of a given genre is like my viewpoint on women: there is something beautiful about each and every one of them.  Sometime you really have to dig deep to find it, but it is there, and you will be rewarded.  Are some of the books listed above really that bad?  Probably, but in the long run you will be rewarded if you find out for yourself.

I have so many books in the hopper that none of the books listed in this thread are moving to the top of the list.  That being said, if I happen to run along one of them at a bookstore or online for cheap, I will get it and probably read it.

I have read plenty of the books mentioned so far and were less than enamored with many of them, but either a nugget of information or an expression of a viewpoint made the book worth reading.  Besides, you can't truly enjoy the great books without ready a few sh!tty books now and then.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: blademan on May 07, 2013, 10:09:56 PM
Shauny,
   I understand that very well. That's kind of how I felt about atlas shrugged. In a slightly different way though. Its probably one of my favorite books of any genre, but the first time I read it ( well second, actually, I listened to it the first time.) I had to put it down  and read 3 other long books during it. (I did this in two weeks, I read a lot and quickly) it just went on and on. 1200 pages and didn't really duplicate information or go off on distracting tangents. It was amazing but tiring.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: ag2 on May 08, 2013, 12:14:00 AM
.......  And although not really a "prepper" book, I would say that Unintended Consequences by John Ross is one of the best books I've ever read.  The author is actually qualified to write about his subject. ......

I LOVED this book!!  Here is my opinion.  Although it isn't specific to the prepper genre, I believe it should be required reading for all preppers, attorneys, law enforcement officers, sailors, soldiers and elected officials who swore to defend our Constitution.  It should also be required reading in high school (consider it a novel which weaves in history) and immigration curriculum.  It's been a few years. I need to read it again.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 08, 2013, 09:31:01 PM
I LOVED this book!!  Here is my opinion.  Although it isn't specific to the prepper genre, I believe it should be required reading for all preppers, attorneys, law enforcement officers, sailors, soldiers and elected officials who swore to defend our Constitution.  It should also be required reading in high school (consider it a novel which weaves in history) and immigration curriculum.  It's been a few years. I need to read it again.

Agree. Copies of the print edition are somewhat difficult to find.  With a little leg work digital copies can be found.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: ag2 on May 08, 2013, 09:57:50 PM
I think one of the best is Mathew Bracken's Trilogy and Castigo Cay.  The trilogy is less of a how-to-prep and more of a "watch out!  Here's what's coming if we don't fight tyranny!)  But there's just the right amount of prep with very good story lines and writing.

I would like to hear Jack interview Mr. Bracken.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 09, 2013, 04:00:10 PM
I think one of the best is Mathew Bracken's Trilogy and Castigo Cay.  The trilogy is less of a how-to-prep and more of a "watch out!  Here's what's coming if we don't fight tyranny!)  But there's just the right amount of prep with very good story lines and writing.

I would like to hear Jack interview Mr. Bracken.

+1

I follow the man on twitter and FB.  He's a little hasty with some of his posts (a small amount were proven false after researching), but in general I think he's dialed into the situation at hand.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: ag2 on May 09, 2013, 10:29:39 PM
Sometimes I wonder if folks that we periodically talk about lurk or post in this forum.  I'm sure Bracken, if he does post here, uses an unassuming handle like "smurf hunter".

It's you, isn't it?  smurf hunter is really Bracken.  Back in your sneaking and peeking days as a frogman, you called the bad guys "smurfs" and that's how you created smurf hunter as your handle.  I'm onto you.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: ScottyK on May 10, 2013, 06:48:51 AM
A few years ago I stumbled upon "One Second After". I thoroughly enjoyed that book, and spent many days tired at work because I was up late reading it.

"Lights Out" was another enjoyable read.

I liked "Patriots" by Rawles, but the second and third books left me scratching my head. It just seemed to revisit the first book. I read that one of the main characters dies in the first book, but the second (or third) book gets into his life in detail. Why spend the time developing a character that you already know is dead?

I read the fiction books for enjoyment after a long day at work. But the books I like to read is the more realistic plots. Some of the books the main character has the absolutely greatest BOL, 2 years of food stocked up, enough firearms to outfit a Army division and is in perfect shape.

That's why I enjoyed "One Second After" so much, and the series by Joe Nobody. Characters caught completely unprepared. How are they going to survive and maybe even thrive?

Just finished book 5 of the 299 series. If the author is basing the story on real life people, I'm really glad I don't live in Washington surrounded by "loyalists"! Will be interesting to read how the whole Grant/Lisa thing finally comes to a head. Not everybody has their family on board when it comes to prepping.

Bought a B&N Nook HD this week, and the first book I'm reading on it is "77 days in September". Based on the positive reviews by above posters, I'll keep at it.

In short, I read these kind of books for enjoyment, as a way to wind down before going to bed. If I happen to pick up a book that ends up being a real dog, I'm not that upset. I was going to read something anyway!
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: archer on May 10, 2013, 07:37:58 AM
Sometimes I wonder if folks that we periodically talk about lurk or post in this forum.  I'm sure Bracken, if he does post here, uses an unassuming handle like "smurf hunter".

It's you, isn't it?  smurf hunter is really Bracken.  Back in your sneaking and peeking days as a frogman, you called the bad guys "smurfs" and that's how you created smurf hunter as your handle.  I'm onto you.
lol... i like that....
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 10, 2013, 09:23:06 AM
Sometimes I wonder if folks that we periodically talk about lurk or post in this forum.  I'm sure Bracken, if he does post here, uses an unassuming handle like "smurf hunter".

It's you, isn't it?  smurf hunter is really Bracken.  Back in your sneaking and peeking days as a frogman, you called the bad guys "smurfs" and that's how you created smurf hunter as your handle.  I'm onto you.

Well, my plan was for everyone to think so.  That way when I implemented my evil scheme for world domination, the authorities would knock on Mr. Bracken's door and not mine.  The guys has motive and opportunity all set up for me :)
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Westbound on May 12, 2013, 11:14:25 AM
I'm kicking off a site to review prepper literature and I've certainly got a couple to add to the "Worst" list!
Preppers Road March by Ron Foster was so bad I gave up long before I could finish.  HORRIBLE editing and writing.
Survival Mode by Mike Ballew rates pretty low in my opinion.  I've seen slasher films with less violence.  The main character runs around killing people with guns, bombs, axes, and even acid. 

You can read my full reviews at http://prepperbookreview.com (http://prepperbookreview.com) but I'll say that these are two books that were a waste of money.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Shaunypoo on May 13, 2013, 08:41:37 AM
I'm kicking off a site to review prepper literature and I've certainly got a couple to add to the "Worst" list!
Preppers Road March by Ron Foster was so bad I gave up long before I could finish.  HORRIBLE editing and writing.
Survival Mode by Mike Ballew rates pretty low in my opinion.  I've seen slasher films with less violence.  The main character runs around killing people with guns, bombs, axes, and even acid. 

You can read my full reviews at http://prepperbookreview.com (http://prepperbookreview.com) but I'll say that these are two books that were a waste of money.

+1 for taking the time to put together a site like that.  Thank you.

On a side note, don't tell people you can't finish a book if you are giving a review on it, you will kill your credibility.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: blademan on May 17, 2013, 07:43:24 AM

On a side note, don't tell people you can't finish a book if you are giving a review on it, you will kill your credibility.
   
 Good advice.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: doublehelix on May 17, 2013, 12:27:46 PM
ARKstorm was hugely disappointing.

Started out ok, then went completely off the reservation and didn't tie anything together.

I had to check to make sure there wasn't a digital conversion error and I missed half of the book.

Sadly there wasn't.

Save your $$$
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: backwoods_engineer on May 20, 2013, 03:23:23 PM
"The Resistance Rises" by Max Velocity

DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY.  This is worse than Rawles' "Patriots".  Could not even stand to finish it, and I have read a lot of bad prepper fiction (I read more of the sucky "Prepper Road March" than this). 

There is NO FAMILY anywhere that acts like Jack and Caitlin's does.  Nobody ever gets shot except the bad guys.  Whole houses get shot up, and the family escapes.  UNREALISTIC.  Sucky.  I asked Amazon for a refund.

Instead, go read the 4th novel in Joe Nobody's "Holding Their Own" series, or the sequel to "Going Home" ("Surviving Home") by Angery American.  Good books, both.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: blademan on May 21, 2013, 05:02:12 AM
@ backwoods engineer:
   Max Velocity? That's the nom d'plume the guy chose? That's totally explains why his book sucked. But some people go in for that sort of entertaiment. I used to read a lot of navy seal adventures when I was a young lad. The over the tolp testosterone dripping machismo is a little nauseating now but it sure was fun then. Isn't perspective everything?
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: backwoods_engineer on May 22, 2013, 07:10:08 PM
@ backwoods engineer:
   Max Velocity? That's the nom d'plume the guy chose? That's totally explains why his book sucked. But some people go in for that sort of entertaiment. I used to read a lot of navy seal adventures when I was a young lad. The over the tolp testosterone dripping machismo is a little nauseating now but it sure was fun then. Isn't perspective everything?

Yeah, that's his nom de plume.  I'm sure he's a squared-away operator in real life, but I'm sorry, normal citizens just don't act the way his characters do in the book.  I had to put that book down for the same reason I can't stand reading Ayn Rand: there are no real people like that.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: blademan on May 22, 2013, 07:52:19 PM
@ Backwoods:
Yeah, I know what you mean about Rand. What I realized about Atlas Shrugged (AS) is that she wasn't really wiriting characters so much as achtypes. I found the Fountainhead to be much more relatable characterwise than AS. I like the story of AS better but just barely. The movie that has been and is being made of Atlas Shrugged, is a little less obnoxious with the hyperconsistency of the characters.
  We The Living is much more character driven and much more readable for most people. Anthem is much a much more conscise expression of her ideas and can be read in an hour or two and is worth a look if you have the time.
 
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Shaunypoo on May 23, 2013, 07:06:04 AM
@ Backwoods:
Yeah, I know what you mean about Rand. What I realized about Atlas Shrugged (AS) is that she wasn't really wiriting characters so much as achtypes. I found the Fountainhead to be much more relatable characterwise than AS. I like the story of AS better but just barely. The movie that has been and is being made of Atlas Shrugged, is a little less obnoxious with the hyperconsistency of the characters.
  We The Living is much more character driven and much more readable for most people. Anthem is much a much more conscise expression of her ideas and can be read in an hour or two and is worth a look if you have the time.
 

+1 for an accurate description of how to read in to Rand.  She is more a philosopher than anything else.  I did have to grind through AS, but it was worth it.  Honestly you could just read Galt's exposition near the end and get the gist of it.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: blademan on May 23, 2013, 01:48:41 PM
Thanks shauny,
  Yeah, Galt's radio address is the penultimate expression of Rand's philosophy, along with Rearden's court speech and the same with Eoark from the Fountainhead. However, if you read only that, you miss the really cool parts of Galt telling his torturer's how to fix the torture machine when it broke and they didn't know how. And the over the top cartoonish rescue of Galt by the rest of the team.  That and the part where the government's secret weapon overloads and erases a lot of stuff and people. Those were the most entertaining parts for me.
  The story of a man who vowed to stop the motor of the world, and did.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Coctailer on June 15, 2013, 03:25:23 PM
I would have to say Lucifers Hammer is the worst one i have ever read.

There is a dude that surfs a tidal wave through LA, and 10 minutes into the disaster, a LT shoots his Commanding officer in the head and the entire squad turn to cannibalism.

They drive around Cali with a big put to make people into soup. :o
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Shaunypoo on June 15, 2013, 10:12:22 PM
I would have to say Lucifers Hammer is the worst one i have ever read.

There is a dude that surfs a tidal wave through LA, and 10 minutes into the disaster, a LT shoots his Commanding officer in the head and the entire squad turn to cannibalism.

They drive around Cali with a big put to make people into soup. :o

I thoroughly enjoyed Lucifers Hammer and am actually rereading it right now.  I think Niven and Pournelle are fantastic together.  They go off on a few tangents and get a little fantastical, but as a work of fiction it is the epitome of prepper porn.  I could use a little less of the political intrigue, but I guess that is a facet of human behavior that will never die.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Coctailer on June 16, 2013, 01:09:44 PM
Oops.... Meant to edit my post, not quote it.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: LifePrepper on August 21, 2013, 11:37:54 PM
Worst, worst, WORST I have ever read is "Terawatt".  God, it was horrible.
Here's my amazon review of it - just read that one-sentence paragraph and you'll see why I have this opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2MIVB2US0WB74/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Oil Lady on August 22, 2013, 05:21:02 PM
Sometimes I wonder if folks that we periodically talk about lurk or post in this forum.  I'm sure Bracken, if he does post here, uses an unassuming handle like "smurf hunter".

It's you, isn't it?  smurf hunter is really Bracken.  Back in your sneaking and peeking days as a frogman, you called the bad guys "smurfs" and that's how you created smurf hunter as your handle.  I'm onto you.

All joking aside ....

... All good authors will google their name at least once a quarter, and will plug in additional search criteria such as "blog" or "forum" or "vBulletin" or "Simple Machines" in order to see who all in the blogosphere and the millions of message communities are talking about them. Ditto for FB and Twitter searches. The very successful authors have an assistant who does it every month, and then that assistant issues a formal written report to the author and/or his agent and/or his publicist. 

That said, I'm sure Bracken has found this exact thread already, or else will soon.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Smurf Hunter on August 23, 2013, 04:25:02 PM
I prefer Bracken's literature to his facebooking...
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: minrlwtr on September 11, 2013, 06:59:45 PM
I guess this more of a forum for the worst and most unappreciative vocal readers. Most of the comments say they learned something from reading one of these so called bad prepper fiction books,so why be a troll? Hell go write your own if your capable. These folks made a effort and it is far from an easy job.Preppers are all about supporting other preppers. Not a bunch of grammar Nazis entertaining their egos by criticizing efforts and creating negative energy.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: backwoods_engineer on September 11, 2013, 10:57:14 PM
Worst, worst, WORST I have ever read is "Terawatt".  God, it was horrible.
Here's my amazon review of it - just read that one-sentence paragraph and you'll see why I have this opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2MIVB2US0WB74/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Aww, really?  I thought it was hilarious!  I call my cat "Rancid" on account of that book.

Yeah, it's not as good as, say, "Lights Out".  But it was worth the few bucks I paid on Kindle.  I think I even read it twice.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bcksknr on September 12, 2013, 04:43:15 AM
     While not strictly books, some of the survival magazines are a little hard to take. The problem is that unlike a novel, magazines have degenerated into shills for advertisers. I hate paying for the privilege of being bombarded with ads, most of which offer items I already have, can't use, aren't interested in, or are just plain overpriced junk. The actual articles are usually simplistic, redundant or written by contributors of dubious credentials. If I read one more article on "The Perfect BOB", I'm going to be sick. And yet, I just keep buying the damn things, hoping that there will be some small kernal of information that just might someday come in handy. The ones I won't buy are usually weapons oriented, with titles that generally read, "Home Defense". Usually there are a few initial pages of why you should be prepared to defend your home, accompanied with picture of guys in ski masks and flashlights peering into windows. The remainder of the magazine is usually hundreds of pictures of every type of firearm you should buy.
     For the totally unfamiliar individual, new to the survival lifestyle, there may be some value in being presented with this "candy store" of things to save your bacon. I think, though, that there's a great deal of wasted money spent because of these publications.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bcksknr on September 12, 2013, 04:52:46 AM
     Almost forgot. I agree that "Patriots" was pretty hard to get through. My impression is that if your not an ex Navy Seal, Green Beret or Airborne Ranger, your screwed. I also agree that those characters who continually go on and on with details about their canteen cup or footwear, are the equivalent of a mental root canal. I'm currently reading "Going Home" and its beginning to get to that point. I don't really care anymore about what MRE spread the protagonist is putting on his MRE crackers.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: TeenPrepper on September 12, 2013, 09:51:23 PM
I personally will give almost anything a chance and don't let reviews of books decide my decision. The worst Prepper story I have read is the story Arms Race by Mike Kenth ( I think it was called this, it has been awhile sense I read it). Up into the middle of the book it was OK. It was even realistic to a point, with a secret alliance of countries attacking the U.S at once so that the U.S military is weak. The hard part to read is after this point, when this alliance invades the U.S.A from all the coasts at the same time and start attacking selective locations. That part is not bad, but it gets pretty bad when the Red Dawn like militia group starts attacking the alliance. The leader magically had a large supply of rocket launchers, real assault weapons and even a military Humvee that includes a 50cal with a unlimited supply of ammo. When the alliance finally finds their base ( a old garage in a small town) and kill everyone except the leader, who magically has a entrance to the sewers from the base.   
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: alan123 on September 12, 2013, 11:58:24 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed Lucifers Hammer and am actually rereading it right now.  I think Niven and Pournelle are fantastic together.  They go off on a few tangents and get a little fantastical, but as a work of fiction it is the epitome of prepper porn.  I could use a little less of the political intrigue, but I guess that is a facet of human behavior that will never die.
I read Lucifer's Hammer in the late 1970s and it got me thinking about prepping back then before it was fashionable. I don't know why anyone would take it seriously though. Its called Apocalypse Fiction. Niven and Pournelle were a good  writing duo
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bcksknr on September 13, 2013, 04:53:09 AM
     I read "Lucifer's Hammer" back in the day and enjoyed it; but then I read most of Jerry Ahern's "Survivalist" series, up until about #24 when the cloned Nazi zombies in their fortress in Peru were ready to take over...you get the idea. Actually, I've been a life long amateur astronomer and a survivalist since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The premise in "L.H.", that a meteor or comet could seriously impact life on the planet is all too real; look what happened when a small one exploded over that Russian city recently. There's one out there with our name on it somewhere. How "L.H." presents societies reaction to a global disaster may be a stretch; reality is anyone's guess. Look at Katrina.
     One that was particularly bad, I think it was "Warlord", involved a guy with a crossbow wandering over what was left of California after the "Big One" split it off from the mainland. Terrible! Also there was a series, and I can't remember the name, about a survivor who wandered the wasteland in a homemade armored van. I think he had to keep injecting himself with something to keep from turning into a radiation zombie or something. So by now it's pretty obvious that I probably read every piece of survival porn printed during that time period. I finally packed up four or five hundred paperbacks and dumped them at the local book exchange.
     Anybody remember Ryan Cawder and Kristy Wroth?
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: alan123 on September 14, 2013, 03:56:26 PM
Cloned Nazi zombies- gotta love it. Could there be anything worse? ha ha
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on September 14, 2013, 10:05:14 PM
      Anybody remember Ryan Cawder and Kristy Wroth?

Remember them?  They're still being published.

And I have each and every one of their books. . .I started reading the series when the first book came out (too many years ago).

Hell, how about "The Guardians" series?

But, this is getting into a topic covered by another thread.

The Professor
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bcksknr on September 16, 2013, 09:19:43 PM
     The "Guardians" gave me such a crush on Cadillac-Gage armored cars!
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: lowland farmer on October 05, 2013, 11:26:56 PM
The most boring survival novels are those that try to be realistic. Real-life survival is boring, and novels that are boring are bad novels. That’s not to say a survival novel should read like fantasy, but it shouldn’t read like a day at your office either. For most, deer hunting consists of sitting in a treestand for hours and hours. Imagine making a video of this without cutting the 99.9% that didn’t include the actual moment the deer shows up - after three weeks of sitting in that stand 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon every day. A novel that tries to be too realistic is almost as bad. I could name titles but won’t.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: d3nni5 on October 06, 2013, 08:14:26 AM
The most boring survival novels are those that try to be realistic. Real-life survival is boring, and novels that are boring are bad novels. That’s not to say a survival novel should read like fantasy, but it shouldn’t read like a day at your office either. For most, deer hunting consists of sitting in a treestand for hours and hours. Imagine making a video of this without cutting the 99.9% that didn’t include the actual moment the deer shows up - after three weeks of sitting in that stand 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon every day. A novel that tries to be too realistic is almost as bad. I could name titles but won’t.


This is going to be my second reference to Stephen King today :).   Imagine the odds of that.   I want to point out the book "Gerald's Game".   The scene in most (if not all, been awhile since I read it) of this book takes place in the bedroom of a cabin on the bed.   The lead character is handcuffed to the headboard and can not escape.  Everything we read is happening in the mind of the lead character.

So, while I tend to agree with your point, a novel of a man setting in a tree stand, belly growling, waiting for his luck to change....all the while reflecting on the SHTF situation that he has found himself in, could be an interesting twist on the genre.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: soupbone on October 06, 2013, 07:39:53 PM
UPDATE: The worst survivalist book I ever read is the one I'm trying to get through now - Grid Down / Reality Bites by Bruce 'Buckshot' Hemming and Sara Freeman. I may not even finish it. 440+ pages of 9 point single spaced type, no illustrations or blank pages..... Oh my tired old eyes.  :stop:

So far, I have been able to figure out the main characters are Jane and Joe. She's a nurse and he is described as "a retired Army sergeant" trying to make a homestead work. He has an old Army buddy who bought the place next door [how convenient]. Buddy is divorced and is living with a ditz. The militia movement, the NWO and 2012 also make early appearences Sounds like a bunch of stereotypes to me. :(

It may be a good yarn, but I had to put it down after half a chapter - it was just too unpleasant physically to read. Looks like it was self-published; I can't see any competent editor letting this layout get through. Of course, if they used a bigger typeface or even double spaced it, the book would have ended up 900 pages long. Think a book the size of a Norton's Anthology with only one story.  :banghead: I should have foreseen problems with a book written by a guy named "Buckshot".

I'm going to try it one more time - if that doesn't work out, I'll send it back to the library and get another Glen Tate novel - at least he knows how to tell a good story. ;)

Break time is over - back on my head.....

soupbone
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Denver Terry on October 06, 2013, 08:29:06 PM
I hated "Patriots", did not even finish it and that is unusual for me.

Ditto! I couldn't believe how bad it was.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: PolicePrepper on December 06, 2013, 10:08:09 AM
"Patriots" was my first prepper novel (minus "Alas Babylon" which I read in high school) and it started out alright, but was really cheesy by the end of the book.

I just finished reading "Holding Their Own" by Joe Nobody and I wasn't impressed. The story was okay, but the writing made it almost unbearable to read.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: ag2 on December 06, 2013, 07:22:24 PM

Break time is over - back on my head.....

soupbone

I thought I was the only one left on this planet who remembers that old joke.   :D
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: cabowabo on December 07, 2013, 03:46:14 AM
Patriot Dawn by Max Velocity read like an After Action report.  It was like reading a bad war book.
I didn't like really any of the Rawles books.  I think he is way to preachy on church stuff, and his characters couldn't be related too.  Sorry but in Survivors when the Captain goes to the Arms room we don't call it an arms room in the Air Force.  We call it an Armory, we don't use M16s we use M4s.  But nice try. 

I liked the 299 day series, and I liked the first book to the Oh Shit! the Awakening.  Both are informative without being stupid in how the story develops.  My only Qualms with the 299 day series is that a Senior Master Sergeant or an E-8 wouldn't be a MWD handler for the last 8 years of his career.  He would lose what we call his shred as a Tech Sergeant or an E-6.  You also don't call a Senior, Sergeant unless you want to get your ass chewed.  Their was one or two things I didn't care for but I enjoyed the books.  Overall 299 days series killed and destroyed Rawles books.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: DanielBoone on January 17, 2014, 07:43:13 PM
Are we limited to only prepper fiction?

37 things to hoard is the worst prepper "book" ever made in my opinion.

But thats technically non fiction so maybe that does not count.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on January 18, 2014, 06:21:31 PM
I just finished reading "Grid Down Reality Bites."

My recommendation: Save your money.  The authors apparently have a major problem with women (they're super emotional, irrational to the point of suicidal tendencies and prone to "cut off their noses to spite their face") and anyone from the city.  God  help you if you're a woman from the city because you'll be entirely too esconced in the two-manis-and-pedis-a-week lifestyle to be of any use in a disaster scenario.

Editing was atrocious with hundreds of mispelled words and thousands of mistakes in grammar (yes, I'm being nitpicky, but for the price, you'd expect at least a 1970's Fourth Grade Grammar level).  Continuity was almost non-existent with their flipping back and forth between the three plotlines, at will, while in a given chapter.

And don't get me started on the army of Militant Hippie Pet-loving Vegans.  From the way these authors put it, if you like a pet, you're ultimately going to end up as a Predatory SuperVegan. 

I can only surmise that the authors must have collectively been spurned by a girl from the city and bitten in the a** at one point by a wolf.  They have never gotten over their hatred of either.

Save your money, read something else.

The Professor
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: ChrisFox on January 18, 2014, 11:06:21 PM
I think I'm getting close to ditching this sub genre all together. The quality didn't start out high and it's been going downhill for awhile.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: gundog on January 19, 2014, 08:25:34 AM
I agree with the thumbs down for Patriots. Bad in so many ways.

Surprisingly Survivors was darn good.....I had it on the shelf for 6 months and couldn't get myself to start it......way better than patriots.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on January 19, 2014, 07:27:02 PM
I think I'm getting close to ditching this sub genre all together. The quality didn't start out high and it's been going downhill for awhile.

Well, I think I'll stick with it.  It does allow me to do the "what if" game with our preps.  As much as I hate to admit it, GDRB did make me consider two different things.

First, is the inclusion of broad-spectrum antibiotics in our BOB's. [DISCLAIMER: I am not a physician and I don't play one on TV.]  I had stuck with some pretty high-level topicals, but in one part of the book, one of the characters basically gets hit in the back of the thigh with wood splinters.  They took most of them out, but a few were overlooked and lead to what appeared to be described as the early stages of septicaemia. If they had included even some basic broad-spectrum antibiotics, they may have been able to avoid onset [NOTE: Yes, I realize that septicaemia is best addressed early on with intravenous antibiotics and fluids due to the greater efficiency of the application method, but it can also be argued that oral antibiotics, early on, could prevent or postpone a more acute case until such a time that the patient could reach proper, or at least better, treatment facilities.]

So, we're investigating the possibility of including a full regimen of several oral antibiotics in our BOBs.

The second issue concerns the use of large, locking snares for larger animals.  Not being a trapper, I didn't really consider snares for large animals, but these particular authors went overboard in saying how great these are.  So, we're looking into it and may seriously consider adding a couple to our kits.

Even with the worst prepper fictions I've ever read, I have to say they've provided me, at the very least, a better option than sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

The Professor
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Oil Lady on January 19, 2014, 09:36:41 PM
The genre WILL get better because more and more writers are entering the genre each month.

Enough monkey with enough typewriters....

Seriously ... the genre has already gotten noticed by Hollywood (Doomsday Preppers, Revolution, American Blackout, etc). There IS a market for it, it WILL sell tickets. And whenever a new and little-explored genre get the Green Light from the damned bean counters out in LA, that automatically prompts established, seasoned, veteran writers to turn their radar scopes into the direction of whatever this new thang is. Those writers sample the genre, study its components, and then they start diving in. Some of those veteran writers will produce a better work than others. But regardless of WHEN an awesome prepper work comes along, it assuredly will happen simply because the momentum has already begun.



Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Prodigy on February 03, 2014, 12:43:54 PM
I wish I had discovered this thread before today.  I'm currently struggling to get through Patriots, but after reading many like-minded thoughts here, I won't feel bad giving up on finishing it.  So bad.

I've seen a lot of hate/love for SM Stirlings 'Dies the Fire', but it seems like most of the people on the 'hate' side aren't huge fans of the fantasy genre.  I freakin LOVE this series (at least the first 3 books)!  I also love fantasy.  This isn't a realistic scenario by any means - it's just a great story.  I wouldn't really call it a prepper type book, but at the very least it's refreshing to read a book where the main characters are completely blindsided, instead of spending their entire life savings and every waking hour preparing for SHTF.

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Meboatbuilder on June 06, 2015, 06:24:14 PM
Well, I'm the new guy here but I feel the need to jump in on this one. With all respect to Mr. Tate I think the first book of the 299 Days series was just awful. There was too much Grant said, Joe said, Lisa said, Grant said etc.... Seeing as Mr. Tate was a lawyer and not a writer I can't really hold that against him. As I expected all the books after #1 just kept getting better and better. I do like The Preparation though for the gobs of information in it. I read Patriots a couple times, I wasn't really impressed with the writing but it was an interesting story. I started Survivors but it was just bad and I had to put it up.

I thought One Second After was pretty good, and I loaned to a couple people I thought needed waking up. It was a mainstream novel and I thought read as such.

The Survivalist, by Jerry Ahern, I never took as a "prepper" series, I started reading them in the 80s as a teenager and just thought it was a cool story. Obviously I don't expect TEOTHWAWKI to involve KGB agents, space shuttles, and 500 years in the future Nazis. It's just a fun series; I have them all. Who could read those books and not want a pair of original Detonics Combat Masters? :)
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bcksknr on June 07, 2015, 06:01:46 AM
     Ah yes, and a Milt Sparks "Six Pack".

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bcksknr on June 07, 2015, 06:06:50 AM
     I wish I still had those books; at least the early ones. It got too goofy for me as the series went along. I still have my back issues of American Survival Guide Magazine. The best part is the advertising. Much of that gear was either just plain dumb or no longer available. I still wish I had bought a "Skatchet" and an "Atchison Folding Throwing Star".
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: em ty on June 07, 2015, 06:46:22 AM
I don't know what a Skatchet is, but now I want one.  Also, a folding throwing star must be awesome.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: RyanT on June 07, 2015, 08:12:58 AM
Biggest problem I have with the ones I have read is all the protagonists are a bunch of Mary Sue's.

I remember reading one story (admittedly posted to a survivalist forum) where the protagonist just happens to be a multimillionaire...at 35...''he'd made his money during the dot-com bubble''  ::)

Even in 'Once Second After'' you'd got this square jawed ex military officer who steps in and musters his community, climaxing of course in huge battle against the ubiquitous 'evil biker road warriors'...

What really gets my goat though is what some call the ''Cosy Catastrophe'' (usually written by a non-survivalist), wherein the TEOTW conveniently wipes out 95% of the population.....practically overnight, while the few survivors wander around and form into small bands looting abandoned (but fully stocked) supermarkets, hot-wiring vehicles someone conveniently left with a full tank and heading for the hills where they find nice farmstead to occupy....

AND SOME 'PREPPERS' REALLY TAKE THIS SHIT SERIOUSLY!       

Even discussing online how they've been scouting their local area for stuff they might want to 'scavenge' after TSHTF

I honestly think that because it's painted in such rosy terms (with no victims around) otherwise quite decent people have this weird mental disconnect, from what that would actually entail in any sort of half way realistic scenario.   

It also falls into that juvenile fantasy Jack's talked about a fair bit of 'TEOTWAWKI is gunna be a big awesome adventure ! and I'm gunna be bad-ass'  ::)

   
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bcksknr on June 07, 2015, 09:42:10 AM
     I would think a factual description(documentary) of conditions during the siege of Stalingrad (took place during WWII, for you youngsters out there) is a more accurate scenario for a societal breakdown. Think of the Germans as the hordes of armed looters, rapists, thugs, escaped convicts. etc., but there is no Red Army to try to stop them. Not much of an "awesome adventure "going on there.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Meboatbuilder on June 07, 2015, 10:21:37 AM
I totally remember American Survival Guide magazine! I was into all that stuff in my teens and early twenties, (studied firearms religiously but could never afford to buy one) but it kinda went by the wayside for a couple decades after life got busy. The siege of Stalingrad is nothing I would want to endure, but I have nothing but respect for the outstanding defenders of that city, even though I have no use for their political system. I think Milt Sparks still makes the "Six Pack", I'll have to search it. I bet it's wickedly expensive though! Anybody remember the Out of the Ashes series? Again, not in my eyes a "prepper" series, but, the first one anyway, was pretty good I thought. That one got wacky too as it went on.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: bcksknr on June 07, 2015, 11:08:39 AM
     The Ashes series was written by someone named Johnston, I think. He also wrote Westerns. There was another series called "The Guardians". It was a about the crew of a Cadillac Gage armored fighting vehicle and their mission was to get the president out of Dodge. I think they were based in the basement of the White House. There was another about a guy with a crossbow who was trapped in California after the "Big One" split it off from the rest of the continent. Actually, there were so many of these types of novels. I remember taking milk crates full of them to the paperback exchange for credit. It would be cool to have all of these meet up someplace, kind of like the Avengers or the Justice League. I'd like to see a trailer of Mad Max tearing across the wasteland with Ryan Cawdor standing on the hood, beheading the mutant hordes with his parang, Christy Wroth reloading in the back seat, the Survivalist on his Harley, doing "double taps" with his Detonics, the Guardians rolling over bad guys, etc. etc. Those were the good old days.   
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on June 07, 2015, 06:31:39 PM
     The Ashes series was written by someone named Johnston, I think. He also wrote Westerns. There was another series called "The Guardians". It was a about the crew of a Cadillac Gage armored fighting vehicle and their mission was to get the president out of Dodge. I think they were based in the basement of the White House. There was another about a guy with a crossbow who was trapped in California after the "Big One" split it off from the rest of the continent. Actually, there were so many of these types of novels. I remember taking milk crates full of them to the paperback exchange for credit. It would be cool to have all of these meet up someplace, kind of like the Avengers or the Justice League. I'd like to see a trailer of Mad Max tearing across the wasteland with Ryan Cawdor standing on the hood, beheading the mutant hordes with his parang, Christy Wroth reloading in the back seat, the Survivalist on his Harley, doing "double taps" with his Detonics, the Guardians rolling over bad guys, etc. etc. Those were the good old days.

The ". . .Ashes" series was written by William W. Johnstone. Pretty much a certified lunatic who actually bought into his own PR.   In his books, the protagonist (interestingly, a survivalist-genre writer) was begged by people who read his books before the disaster to become the "benevolent dictator" of a country he called the "Tri-States."

Back when Y2K was all the rage, readers of Johnstone's ". . .Ashes" series formed into loose groups, mostly on Usenet,  that they claimed followed the "Tri-States Philosophy."  Johnstone then wrote a book where he (Johnstone the real person) interviewed the main character of his book (who was based on Johnstone).   Soon thereafter, people from various Tri-State's groups started petitioning Johnstone to come lead them after Y2K.   Insert image of your favorite nut here.

Jerry Ahern's Survivalist Series was one of the earlier ones I read, not long after  (this is off the top of my head, so they may be wrong, I'm too damned tired today to do research)  Jerry Pournelle & Larry Niven's "Lucifer's Hammer."

I got to become friends with Ahern for a few years before his death when he attempted to resurrect Detonics (and yes, I have two of them, but I couldn't talk the current owners of Milt Sparks into making me a Six Pack).

Now, here's a bit of trivia for you. . .you mentioned Ryan Cawdor and Christy(sp) Wroth from the Deathlands Series.  First of all. . .sadly, Harlequin is closing down the Gold Eagle imprint later this year, so no more Deathlands or Outlands.  BUT, a few years ago, the author of "The Guardians,"  Victor Milan, was asked to ghost-write a book in the Deathlands Series.   What did he do?  Basically, he tried to resurrect "The Guardians" in that Universe.  One of the worst books in the Deathlands series.

One series I found when stationed at Bad Tolz in the late 80's was "The Zone."   It was a bunch of soldiers caught in Europe after WWIII began.   For 80's speculative fiction, it was honestly one of the best series I've ever read.

Sadly, however, I kept almost every paperback I've ever read up until about 2 months ago when I moved back to Indiana.  I donated, literally (get it?), thousands of paperbacks to the VA before we moved.  I had complete collections of the "Ashes" and "Deathlands" and "Guardians" and several other series.

Ah, well. . .progress.

The Professor
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: outoforder2day on June 08, 2015, 12:03:45 PM
Patriots. I tried to like it, but just couldn't stomach it. It's so poorly written.
Another series on the bad list is Dies the Fire. Not really prepper fiction, but kinda/semi post apocalyptic. Too much wicca and weirdness for my taste, though the quality of the writing was at least good.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on June 08, 2015, 12:24:19 PM
Patriots. I tried to like it, but just couldn't stomach it. It's so poorly written.
Another series on the bad list is Dies the Fire. Not really prepper fiction, but kinda/semi post apocalyptic. Too much wicca and weirdness for my taste, though the quality of the writing was at least good.

Stirling, the author of Dies the Fire called this the "Emberverse."  I didn't mind the Wiccan stuff, I actually found it not only interesting but almost rather believable that a group like that would form up and how easily others would convert to a group's religion if that group actually survived and thrived.  I had to stop reading about 7 or 8 books into the series because it DID become a bit too much when the spirits of that religion started to become real.

I also liked Stirling's hints that whatever caused the rules of physics to change had happened before.  It's always been a curiosity of mine how quickly we've launched from starting fires with flint and steel to launching rockets and devices to the stars.  Or, more correctly, how we went so many tens of thousands of years without putting two and two together  to do it much earlier.

Would it not be interesting to find out that the laws of physics are not carved in stone and, indeed, have a time limit set upon them?

The Professor
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: RuggedCyclist on June 09, 2015, 08:36:27 PM
I actually really liked Patriots.... But I'm also the guy who watches a movie rated 1.5 stars and freaking loves it.

Worst prepper book I've ever read was called "Life After War: Book One, The Survivors" by Angela White. First and foremost the author was obviously a heavy marijuana user, probably dabbled in hallucinogenics, and writing from those people just sketches me out. I don't like convoluted things. Too much magic and mysticism without explanation. Too much of every man except for Adrian (who is basically Jesus) taking women as sex slaves. And then the free women having weird feelings about being controlled. Way too much weird sexual tension. It's like a romance novel written by somebody about a thousand times more troubled than the author of Fifty Shades of Grey, no exaggeration. And the editing didn't exist.

Any of these things would be ok but the dark convoluted presentation just hit me the wrong way. Entertaining read for free on Kindle though.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: gundog on June 10, 2015, 07:05:26 AM
I liked Dies the fire.....the whole thing. It does totally change as the books go on. From an end of the world type scenario it changes to a fantasy world with magic. I like both types of fiction so it was OK.....if you don't like the fantasy transition I could understand losing interest.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: outoforder2day on June 10, 2015, 10:41:40 AM
I liked Dies the fire.....the whole thing. It does totally change as the books go on. From an end of the world type scenario it changes to a fantasy world with magic. I like both types of fiction so it was OK.....if you don't like the fantasy transition I could understand losing interest.

See, I love fantasy, scifi, alt history. You name it. Just couldn't get into the transition in this series, though. I found it impossible to suspend my disbelief during book.... 4 I think? I just dropped the series at that point. Might go back and give it a shot again, but I think there's more interesting stuff on my list at this point. Jim Butcher has a new steampunk series coming out and I'm trying to get through a few classics, like Anathem, this summer as well.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: strangetanks on June 11, 2015, 02:31:04 PM
I'm pretty much over all the prepper books altogether.

I get so frustrated by the fact that it's practically impossible to relate to the characters.  I mean, I know there are people out there that do this, but I don't actually know anyone that has a stash of 200 phone books just in case toilet paper runs out...ect...

I think the person with 10 years of rations, a 200 lb backpack they take on vacation and a trunk full of emergency gasoline stashed away is just so unavailable as to think that they are missing out on every other aspect of life. 

I would however, love to read some books about someone who is a normal human, being completely creative, thoughtful and resourceful surviving something more realistic like a localized disaster.  Hell, why aren't there any books about people who survived the stupid stadium camp after Katrina?

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on June 11, 2015, 07:16:43 PM
Hell, why aren't there any books about people who survived the stupid stadium camp after Katrina?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The Professor
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: gopack84 on June 12, 2015, 10:03:01 AM
I'm pretty much over all the prepper books altogether.

I get so frustrated by the fact that it's practically impossible to relate to the characters.  I mean, I know there are people out there that do this, but I don't actually know anyone that has a stash of 200 phone books just in case toilet paper runs out...ect...

I think the person with 10 years of rations, a 200 lb backpack they take on vacation and a trunk full of emergency gasoline stashed away is just so unavailable as to think that they are missing out on every other aspect of life. 

I would however, love to read some books about someone who is a normal human, being completely creative, thoughtful and resourceful surviving something more realistic like a localized disaster.  Hell, why aren't there any books about people who survived the stupid stadium camp after Katrina?

Not exactly Katrina but certainly realistic, creative, thoughtful, and resourceful I think and definitely not bad. The Martian by Andy Weir.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: soupbone on June 12, 2015, 12:12:47 PM
I have to admit that I've been spoiled - my first "survivalist" book was "Alas Babylon", and I use that as the benchmark to judge any other genre  book that I read. (If you haven't read it yet, do so. It's one of the first post-apocalypse books written - late 50's/early 60's - and is a good reflection of the times; our fears of what could have happened. It's still available, in the library if nowhere else. It's really a good book.

If you want to turn me off to a book, here's how to do it: =Forget the tools of the trade - writing - like how to write dialogue, how to write a coherent sentence, how to spell.......=Don't bother to learn the characteristics of the tools or weapons you include - constantly using full auto, and shooting anyone or anything at every opportunity, or making thousand yard head shots with an M-1A, or never running low/out of ammo. Or making an 800 mile non-stop flight in a Huey.....=If you're going to write about the military, know how it really works, how military people really interact, officers/NCOs/enlisted: Watching R Lee Ermey reruns does not qualify you to get into the heads of a RED HORSE unit, for example. And speaking of which, there's more to the military than SpecOps, grunts, fighter pilots and wimpy REMFs. You may want to include a few of the "others" - like some combat engineers - to spice up a story....=Totally ignore (or get too hung up on) the spiritual side of survival. Beans, bullets, mouths and 'members' alone won't get you through a real SHTF situation, why tolerate it in what you are reading.

As I see it, survivalist/prepper books today are in the same stage as SF was in the 50's. There's a lot of poor stuff out there now, but maybe, just maybe the Prepper's Heinlein is just around the corner.

soup
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: strangetanks on June 12, 2015, 12:53:45 PM
The Martian was an awesome book.  2 thumbs up!
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: The Professor on June 15, 2015, 09:49:19 AM

I would however, love to read some books about someone who is a normal human, being completely creative, thoughtful and resourceful surviving something more realistic like a localized disaster.  Hell, why aren't there any books about people who survived the stupid stadium camp after Katrina?

Because such a book would be horribly boring.

Average, non-prepping people have survived such localized disasters.  Even in the worst-case scenarios, let's say a hurricane or tornado, all they have to do is get to either a Red Cross location or out of the area to a hotel paid for by their insurance, or even go find some relatives to stay with until it's over.

The average person can survive a short-term "disaster."  It's happened many times before.  Scenarios such as the aforementioned tornadoes and hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. happen frequently.  To me, a book or novel becomes entertaining when what's happening is beyond the normal.  Extraordinary conditions overcome by someone special.

Let's take any EMP scenario, for example.    Write a book about a non-prepper who doesn't understand even the most basic rules of water purification.  Hell, that'd be over in 3-5 days as he slowly dies from dysentery.  Lock him inside his home?  I don't know many authors who could make cooking over a fire in the back yard exciting enough to charge a few dollars for the book.

There is one book, however, that does an interesting twist on the average-guy/duck-out-of-water disaster scenario.    It's called Survivor: A Modern Adventure by Robert "Steele" Grey.

(A quick aside: when I write a book, I'm going to have to use a over-the-top nom-de-plume. . .something like Lance Magnus or Rod Steel or give myself a heavily-testosterone-laden nickname like William "Jackhammer" Armstrong or Alexander "The Scimitar" Rockman.  I love some of these survivalist-authors' pen-names.)

In Survivor: A Modern Adventure, the MC is someone I'd characterize as a modern-day, 40-something tech dude, probably who spends half his day playin World of Warcraft.  He goes outside one night and KERWHACK!  . . . . a lightning bolt hits him and sends him back something like 10,000 years into the past.  With no tools or technology at his disposal, he has to figure out how to survive.  It's been a few years since I've read it, but I seem to remember that it was a surprisingly good book.

IIRC, One Second After was also along the same lines with the main character not being a prepper, just someone with good sense dealing with the aftermath of an EMP.

But, in both situations, the disaster was much more than localized.  If you make the disaster too small, then the solutions are almost too simple and unexciting.

The Professor
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: FreeLancer on June 15, 2015, 01:50:19 PM
(A quick aside: when I write a book, I'm going to have to use a over-the-top nom-de-plume. . .something like Lance Magnus or Rod Steel or give myself a heavily-testosterone-laden nickname like William "Jackhammer" Armstrong or Alexander "The Scimitar" Rockman.  I love some of these survivalist-authors' pen-names.)

Prepper porn?
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: endurance on June 15, 2015, 03:41:55 PM
Have you read World Made By Hand, Strangetanks?  Might be worth picking up. Best character development and writing you'll find in the genre.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: DrewfromOZ on October 28, 2015, 06:21:13 AM
  I'd like to see a trailer of Mad Max tearing across the wasteland with Ryan Cawdor standing on the hood, beheading the mutant hordes with his parang, Christy Wroth reloading in the back seat, the Survivalist on his Harley, doing "double taps" with his Detonics, the Guardians rolling over bad guys, etc. etc. Those were the good old days.
OHHHHHHHH YEAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

I started reading a sample of a prepper fiction book recently, on Amazon.....I was about 3 sentences into it when I read "President Barry Soetero......"
and thought, yeah, I know where this is going.

1 click buy? nope, 1 click, exit, stage left......

So much of modern prepper fiction seems to have been inspired by Panic in the Year Zero, from around 62?
I also often wonder if Kurt Saxon has persisted as an evil daemon who possesses writers and makes them generate insane fiction.... :D

I love the early British stuff, written in the 50s and 60s. Day of the Triffids, Death of Grass, Wrinkle in the Skin.....

Omega, by Stewart Farrar from 1980, leans a little more into Wicca, but still one of the best descriptions of .Gov picking a minority(witches) and blaming them for all societies ills.  A great bug out description, as realistic I suppose as that in The Death of Grass, where everything goes to hell in Britain after a virus kills all grasses and grains...
If you like crossovers, check this trailer out- Fury Road crossed with Star Wars.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj1P1eEZRtY
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Chemsoldier on October 28, 2015, 06:29:46 AM
The Mad Max / Star Wars vid was awesome.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: SuburbanGardener on October 28, 2015, 07:10:30 PM
I'm actually reading "Island in the Sea of Time" right now and loving it! But "Dies the Fire" didn't impress me in the sample I read, and from the reviews I saw, I thought the Wiccaness would get old for me.

I'll make sure it keep it close at hand ;)

I wouldn't class "Dies the Fire" as Prepper/Survivalist.  It is SF/Fantasy that uses TEOTWAWKI as a plot hook.  If you follow the series beyond the first book, you can see that it is a typical "what if" look of how society might develop after the end of the world.  Of course, the reasons that civilization falls is pure fiction.    ;)
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Biscuits and Gravy on October 29, 2015, 07:06:05 AM
I digest a lot of prepper fiction.  I think with any prepper fiction its almost like buffets and you usually take the good and bad when sifting through them.  I do like the explosion of fiction on this area and Amazon's self-publishing though.  Kindle is great as you can find so much of the genre, typically in the 3 to 5 dollar range.  You want to know how to get a big collection going?  Get your retired mother-in-law hooked on the genre.  There will be several new books sitting in there every week.

I think the "how-to" prepper fiction was really a product of the 90's and was readable, but overall boring to me.  But when that's all you have, you read it.  Much like the early superhero movies, they were horrible, but what else was there?  Its funny how Patriots is the book that everyone has read that supposedly everyone hates.  I would say some prepper fiction comes from a point of proselyting and therefore you get more gear than necessary and less character development.  I think with any prepper fiction you have a lot of archetypes - the reluctant hero, the billy badass, the grizzled old retired sergeant, the wife that is a nurse crops up a lot too. 

I am not sure why everyone fawns over "One Second After."  It was OK, but I don't think it stood out much more than some of the other EMP books.

But having said all that, I do have a stinker list:

Survival by Ken Benton.  I give it four bleh's and a meh

The last 299 Day's book the 43 Colonels.  This is why I like to stay down in the cheaper range for prepper fiction. 10 bucks for this?

There are others that go from the crazy deus ex machina of winning the lottery before a meteor strike: Darrell Maloney's Final Dawn or the uber prepared billy badass families in Thomas Watson's Blue Plague series.  These are so far out there that it is hard to suspend belief.  It always nags me when I read through them.

Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Chemsoldier on October 29, 2015, 07:34:10 AM
I am not sure why everyone fawns over "One Second After."  It was OK, but I don't think it stood out much more than some of the other EMP books.

I personally don't fawn over it but the strengths of the book from the standpoint of handing a book to a person who may be interested in prepping include that the protagonist is not a prepper (easier for non-preppers to identify with), it is published by a mainline publisher and is relatively easy to find (it is easier to convince people it is not a fringe book when you can walk someone into a regular bookstore and point to it), and for a book with an odd number of grammer errors and clunky writing for a big publisher it is still edited better than many (though not all) prepper fiction works.  It feels more like a "real" book, whatever that means, than many specialist prepper novels.

I recommend it to non-preppers that may be interested in prepping and need a hard shove but I think will not be turned off to the topic of prepping by the harshness of certain plot elements.  I also have used it with a couple of friends that detest e-pubs and independently published books. 

Its big weakness to me is that it is a big time "scare" book.  While a certain amount of scare is inherent in any prepper work, I think a book that focuses on the positive sides of prepping, especially in minor emergencies.  Andrew Baze's ham radio-centric works The Road Home and The Day After are useful in that they show a large but local disaster (earthquake in Washington state).  It is a book where an individual can get prepared for that scenario in a reasonable way.  A lot of uber preppers will not survive the world of One Second After. Another aspect of the Baze earthquake series that I like is that while there is some violence in it, it is not confronting potential new preppers with insurrection/revolution/gurrilla warfare scenarios or the prospects of completely new political orders.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Biscuits and Gravy on October 29, 2015, 12:49:15 PM
Quote
personally don't fawn over it but the strengths of the book from the standpoint of handing a book to a person who may be interested in prepping include that the protagonist is not a prepper (easier for non-preppers to identify with), it is published by a mainline publisher and is relatively easy to find (it is easier to convince people it is not a fringe book when you can walk someone into a regular bookstore and point to it), and for a book with an odd number of grammer errors and clunky writing for a big publisher it is still edited better than many (though not all) prepper fiction works.  It feels more like a "real" book, whatever that means, than many specialist prepper novels.

I can see that Chemsoldier.  Where he does succeed is some of the emotional scenes and character interactions.  It is one of the few print prepper/apoc books that I bought before moving to the kindle.  I think your idea here of using fiction is good for non-preppers.  I typically approach that more with the gardening/financial stability side and hadn't thought about it that way.  In thinking about it, I am fairly insulated around me with people that think about some form of prepping or another.  Maybe I need to increase my interactions!  I will have to check out your recommendations on those other books.

One thing that does bug me about prepper fiction is the large amount of typo errors.  Let someone or several people review it!
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: ag2 on December 03, 2015, 09:48:04 PM

In Survivor: A Modern Adventure, the MC is someone I'd characterize as a modern-day, 40-something tech dude, probably who spends half his day playin World of Warcraft.  He goes outside one night and KERWHACK!  . . . . a lightning bolt hits him and sends him back something like 10,000 years into the past.  With no tools or technology at his disposal, he has to figure out how to survive.  It's been a few years since I've read it, but I seem to remember that it was a surprisingly good book.

The Professor

I picked it up. I read it.  I loved it!  I will probably read it again in a few years.  Really, really liked it.  The lightning bolt time travel premise was, of course, far fetched, but it was something that hadn't been done before, and the author did great. He definitely knew his subject matter very well.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: CoralRives on November 02, 2017, 06:09:10 AM

There is one book, however, that does an interesting twist on the average-guy/duck-out-of-water disaster scenario.    It's called Survivor: A Modern Adventure by Robert "Steele" Grey.

I got this book, used off Amazon.  It came today and it was a copy from the Houston Library.  It had an inscription by the author and his signature in the front.  Just thought that was kinda cool...
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Special K on November 02, 2017, 10:50:41 AM
I really liked "One Second After". One scene in the book takes place during a local town government meeting where the town doctor explains the "die off". It was an absolute eye opener to me as I had simply never thought about it before, the order in which people die after a nation-wide disaster. Another example was the town hippie with his EMP-free antique VW Bus becoming the town's defacto delivery and ambulance service.

Note: The die off sequence has been edited out of the current OSA Wikipedia page. I found it using the Internet Archive's "Way Back Machine" page capture site. Here is the relevant wiki entry in it's entirety:

Quote
The book's premise sets the stage for a series of "die-offs". The first takes place within a week (those in hospitals and assisted living). After about 15 days, salmonella induced Typhoid fever and cholera set in from eating tainted food, drinking tainted water, and generally poor sanitation. Americans have lived in an environment of easy hygiene, sterilization, and antibiotics, making them prime targets for third-world diseases. The lack of bathing and poor diet will lead to rampant feminine hygiene infections; deep cuts, rusty nail punctures, and dog bites go untreated with antibiotics, tetanus shots, or rabies treatment as more die from common infections.

Critical medical supply and food thieves and others are executed in public as enforcement of martial law. In 30 days cardiac and other drug-dependent patients die off. In 60 or so days, the pacemaker and Type I diabetics patients begin to die off (although John's young daughter manages to survive until Day 163). The 5% of population having severe psychotic disorders that no longer have medication will re-create bedlam. Jury-rigged wood-burning stoves lead to carbon monoxide deaths and fires that cannot be controlled for the lack of a fire department.

Then refugees from the cities show up looking for food and shelter and the fight over scarce resources leads to confrontation, home invasion, and more violence-related die-offs. The community becomes an inviting target for free prisoners and organized gangs and more violence-related die-off. Ration cards are issued to conserve the little remaining food; regardless, the community slowly starves with the elderly the first to die off. Next parents starve themselves to save their children. Throughout this period suicides are common. After a year, approximately 20% of the initial population has "survived".

This was the "average" die-off for the country. Food-rich Iowa had the highest survival rate with a 50% die-off. New York City and Florida had a 95% die-off from its infighting among their large populations, low levels of cultivated land, high elderly population, the lack of air conditioning, rampant transmission of disease, and natural disasters such as hurricanes.

Taken from the following link:
https://web.archive.org/web/20111012003731/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Second_After#Die-off_sequence

The "299 Days" series was very good right up until the end of the series. It seemed like the last book or two were written solely to squeeze the remaining droplets out of the money sponge.

"The Survivalist Series" by A. (Angry) American had it's ups and down's, it's "neat! that'd work for sure" moments and it's "really?!?!? who in the hell could be THAT prepared?!?!?" moments as well. I had to struggle to stay with series when the FEMA camps inevitably arrived. Having personally worked with FEMA twice in major disasters they couldn't setup and run an escape proof resistant interment camp anymore than I could build a spaceship to take me to the moon. FEMA Camps? Hell, in real life they can't even get water distribution right!

In each book I've referenced above, "OSA", "299 Days" and "The Survivalist", I've noticed something curious. In my mind I've routinely found myself drifting into, and mentally wandering the streets and locations of each story, all of my senses in full record mode, looking around, thinking 'what if this' and 'would I do?' even going so far as to constructing detailed mental visuals of key locations, in the following example, Grant's "299 Days" lakeside retreat and the Grange Hall in the nearby town.

In MY mind the lakeside retreat is of typical 1950's construction, well maintained, tall windows and painted a hideous yellow in color. The floors don't creak because of the local humidity preventing the wood from drying out. The lower level "arms room" is chilly, damp, musty smelling and covered in cobwebs with only a single bare light bulb to illuminate it with.

Mentally I never felt at ease at Grant's retreat as I always found some tension in the air at the house. Exactly the opposite I found much warmth and welcoming at The Grange Hall where the community kitchen/meeting hall is run out of is a flat roofed cinder block almost bunker-like building, tall for a one-story building, with small operable screened vent windows set within larger glass-block windows, painted a sun worn light blue, windowless double gray steel doors on the front and a spring-closed wooden-framed screen door covering a single gray steel door with a small window located in the back by the kitchen , the hall itself is situated in the middle of a dusty undefined edge-less pot-holed gray dirt parking lot almost surrounded by tall trees and it sits at the Southwest corner of a t-intersection with the main road running North-South and the side road running to the West. Curiously there is an absolute lack of signage on the building or property. Why should there be? Everyone who lives in the area already knows what it is.

I think good writing should allow for the easy transport of the reader's mind into the story.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: archer on November 02, 2017, 12:19:31 PM
In each book I've referenced above, "OSA", "299 Days" and "The Survivalist", I've noticed something curious. In my mind I've routinely found myself drifting into, and mentally wandering the streets and locations of each story, all of my senses in full record mode, looking around, thinking 'what if this' and 'would I do?' even going so far as to constructing detailed mental visuals of key locations, in the following example, Grant's "299 Days" lakeside retreat and the Grange Hall in the nearby town.

In MY mind the lakeside retreat is of typical 1950's construction, well maintained, tall windows and painted a hideous yellow in color. The floors don't creak because of the local humidity preventing the wood from drying out. The lower level "arms room" is chilly, damp, musty smelling and covered in cobwebs with only a single bare light bulb to illuminate it with.

I've stayed in the retreat in '299 Days'. The arms room below was a little more cleaned up than that when i was there a few years ago.... But the house is nice.
Title: Re: Worst survivalist/prepper books?
Post by: Special K on November 02, 2017, 01:46:49 PM
I've stayed in the retreat in '299 Days'. The arms room below was a little more cleaned up than that when i was there a few years ago.... But the house is nice.

While I was wandering around down there (in my mind) I found a broom and cleaned it up. YOU'RE WELCOME!!!  >:(  ::)