December 17, 2017

Why Prepper Novels are an Important Source of Survival Information

Today we have a guest post by Glen Tate author of 299 days.


Why Prepper Novels are an Important Source of Survival Information


Preppers, especially Christian preppers like me, are hungry for information on survival topics.  We scour web sites, listen to podcasts, and buy non-fiction books.  We have first aid manuals and watch Youtube videos on food storage.  We might even have a prepper group and learn from them.

All of this good.  But incomplete.

Prepper novels contain vast quantities of survival information – and they’re entertaining.  Many of us have read the book Patriots, which has been described as a survival manual thinly veiled as a novel.   One Second After, another great prepper novel, contains magnificent information on everything from water treatment to bartering.  So does Lights Out.

But prepper novels have three advantages over non-fiction manuals that merely contain information.  And they are three very important advantages.

First, novels are about people so they portray information from the perspective of people.  Real people, like you and me.  People we can relate to.   Narratives from real people are a much more efficient information delivery system than something cold and impersonal like a chart of numbers.  If you had to choose between a chart of food shelf live or hearing a story about what happened to a friend, which would you choose?  And the story about your friend will leave you with a real-life lesson that a chart can’t.  Charts have their place and should be included in the information we use.  But we are people, so we naturally relate to other people.  We aren’t numbers on a chart.

The second advantage of prepper novels is their ability to persuade non-preppers.  We all know that we can’t make it by ourselves; the more people we have helping us, the better we will do.  Many of us have loved ones, sometimes spouses, who are not fully onboard with prepping.  Can that chart about how much bleach to use to purify water convince someone that they need to prep?  A story about someone who resisted prepping but then realized it was necessary can get that much-need person onboard.  Most of us would pay any price to have our loved ones convinced of the need to prep.

The third advantage, at least for us Christian preppers, is that prepper novels (at least Christian ones like mine, 299 Days) deliver information with God as a reference point.  How can you describe something without acknowledging the existence and active participation of the Creator of the universe?  For example, in 299 Days, the main character experiences an amazing series of “coincidences” pointing him toward prepping.   (These events actually happened to me.)  The main character knows that they can’t be “coincidences” and acts accordingly.  Divine direction happens in real life, especially when it comes to prepping, so any information about prepping should acknowledge the existence of this undeniable reality.  You can’t get that from a chart.

 For all these reasons, consider prepper novels as a legitimate – and, in some ways, superior – source of information.  And enjoy the story.