December 23, 2014

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.

 

Comments

  1. Great article and timely for me. Like you mentioned, there have been a series of what I now see as God ordained “coincidences” that have not only inspired me to prepare, but also to keep me interested and encouraged. We are getting ready to take a vacation and I was going to get a book to read along the way. This post is another one of those “coincidences,” always pointing me in the right direction. I look forward to reading your book that I just put on my Kindle. Thanks!

    • Chris Ray says:

      seeing God move in the present is always difficult for me, but I like to look back and see how God has moved in my life. Seeing all of the “coincidences” and how He fit them all together is awesome.

  2. Rick Pollard says:

    Keeping a mind set of preparedness is tantamount to our future survival, weither it is fiction or non fiction. Keep focused and dont forget that the fiction may inspire some one else to become prepared.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Prepper fiction has helped shape some of how I prepare. I have also used it as a tool for those who might be interested.

  3. I’ve read a number of prepper novels. But I’m sorry – I’m bothered by an author who writes a post to pump up his own book sales. In the financial or investing world, this would be considered unethical & cause for a legal investigation.

    It sure would be more helpful to read some unbiased posts.

    • I think Chris meant a book he owns …the author is Glen Tate.

    • Chris Ray says:

      that he wrote a book and talks about how he shows God moving to inspire the character to prepare doesn’t bother me a bit. He wasn’t pitching his book, he used it as an example. Nothing he said about his book takes away from his point that prepper fiction can be an important tool.

    • Jim Moore says:

      Hey Red, I don’t see it much different than a Preacher visiting someone and telling someone he has an Awesome sermon prepared for Sunday, don’t miss it. I’m glad Glen shared about his work here where we can support and promote good, clean writing in this genre. I just bought his first Book for Kindle. I’ve followed Glen’s reviews since he first published in August of last year and there are some great reviews on his books at Amazon. Check them out. No Worries Man!

      • Jim, the difference is that the Preacher is HONEST about it being HIS sermon. Glen Tate FAILED to mention that 299 Days was his baby & that he will make a financial profit if u click one of his links & buy the book that he offers as an example.
        If a stock broker did this, he’d face an eithics investigation & possible legal charges.

        • Jim Moore says:

          Well, I’m glad he’s not a stock broker. I’m about half way through his first book. It’s great, you should check it out.
          RedC, I hope your day is filled with Grace.
          Blessings!

        • @ Red C, It’s too bad that you feel this way about “Glen”‘s post as he was quite clear that “299 Days” is “his” book(s), ie ” is that prepper novels (at least Christian ones like MINE, 299 Days”
          There was no failure ti disclose, imo.

          He also did not not say that you “should only read MY book”. He referenced “Patriots”(which has a very strong Christian influence throughout the narrative) as well as “One Second After” and “Lights Out”.

          If you choose to focus on that one “issue”, and ignore the message for the messenger, fine. But jmtc, you should read ALL the books “Glen” pointed out, separate the wheat from the chaff as it applies to your life and situation, and grow your preps accordingly. If you learn just one or two things from each, you’ll be that much further ahead.
          Take care & stay safe.

  4. Looks like there is an entire series of these “299 Days” books …all look very interesting and are now on my wish list ;)

    I just got done watching the older TV series “Jericho” on my Amazon Prime account. What a GREAT series! My wife watched it with me and now “gets” my preparedness tendencies ;).

    • Chris Ray says:

      They’re on my list as well, I wager I’ll never see an empty “to read” list again.

      • Rick Pollard says:

        Another parallel series that I would suggest watching is “Falling Skies”. Even though the story line is based on sci-fi alien invasion, this shows people forming community to provide and protect for each other. The problems and daily situations that transpire because of the “conditions” they find themselves in are part of the way that they are forced to deal with the present situation in their ability to resist and fight back that which would enslave them and destroy them.
        Watch it with a prepper mind set.

        • Chris Ray says:

          I like the show and agree with you. There are a lot of shows, movies etc. that we can pull wisdom from, that might not be the typical survival/preparedness type media.

  5. Jim Moore says:

    Very Good Info! Having read over 150 Prepper Fiction works, small and large, I agree that they are a great source of information. Many of the Preps I have today such as my Stovetec stove I first heard of in prepper fiction. A few writers are publishing works of fiction to promote good products. While few are slanted and geared for Christians I have read some that are. I appreciate many works for introducing me to the drastic change that society could possibly take in a WROL situation. Thanks Glen! I haven’t read your works yet but have them on my Wish list. I’m chomping at the bits to get into them. Now that you have 6 of the series out it’s time I dive in. I’ve read so many series I get anxious waiting for the next so I’ve learned to wait for a few to get published first. Case in point, Joe Nobody, also with Prepper Press. I’ve followed the Holding Their Own series and live in anticipation for the next episode.
    Thanks Again!

    • Chris Ray says:

      I like to wait until the series has multiple books out as well. Patience is a fruit of the spirit that I lacking in lol.

  6. Margaret says:

    Thank you for this information Chris. Perhaps someone could make a list of the books avaiable as well as the movies and TV series.
    Maybe Little House on the Prairie could be added :) (That would be a good topic for your blog – and readers could make the additions.)

    Have you read any of the novels by Joel Rosenberg? It is amazing how when he writes, the events seem to happen. The Damscus coutdown is like watching CNN news or reading the headlines.
    I still enjoy the now older Left Behind series. That series, though technically outdated, could easily be applied to the future and surviving through the Tribulation.

    I find it quite something that even the new movies are picking up on the End Time scenarios. It is like believers and non-believers know “something is happening.”
    Praise God – we have His peace and confidence.

    As always I look forward to seeing what your next topic will include. Keep up the great work! All the best with your new endeavors too. Blessings

  7. I, too, would like to see a list of good fiction and non-fiction prepper material. As one reader pointed out, there is a lot of good information available now in very readable form. So having personal recommendations would help me devise a list and gain an idea about priorities for my dollars.

    I really appreciate people taking the time to right reviews and share what they are doing. Thanks

    • Chris Ray says:

      I made a thread on the forum asking for help with this project, once a solid list is ready I’ll make a blog post. So if you have a few minutes please follow the link and state the title and what media it is, book, tv or movie.

      http://preparedchristian.net/community/showthread.php?290-List-of-survival-related-books-movies-and-TV-shows&p=1445#post1445

    • Jim Moore says:

      Hey Linda, the tough thing for me about putting out a list is language. Many of the authors I have read have little regard for my personal language boundaries. I had a huge problem with that to start with but have relaxed my standards somewhat to delve into the genre and information I can glean from it. Many of the scenarios in prepper fiction books are plain out right reprehensible. But, unfortunately if we do experience a without rule of law situation we may see another side to the state of humanity. So, to recommend books I personally would have to do like those Christian movie reviewers and warn against the violence, abhorrent behaviors, filthy language and grotesque scenarios. I find a lot out by reading Amazon reviews.

      • Jim Moore says:

        I could however provide a list of authors I’ve read so you can search for yourself on Amazon. But you have to use a Prepared Christian Amazon link when you purchase! Ha ha, only trying to help Chris out.

        Let me know if you want to see a list.

    • SurvivalBlog.com has an extensive list of books (of course Mr. Rawles wrote the Patriot series) and he gives language warnings and even lists which books are good for kids/teens.

  8. Rev. Dr. Michael E Harris says:

    ‘One Second After’ is a very good book. The fact that Bill Forstchen (a long-time friend) used EMP was only to be able to look at the details of survival in a major TEOTWAWKI situation. The town and college are based on Bill’s home and employer. I guess that I am in a church that is too complacent, a place where no one reads for information.

    I have looked at the six books in the ‘299 Days’ series. While I have a gazillion books waiting to be read, I think these will make it to the top of the list. I find it hard to find materials with a Christian perspective.

    • Jim Moore says:

      I agree Michael, One Second After was phenomenal and too few are strictly from a Christian perspective. I have a long list too, but I’ve made a short list for shall we say, “such a time as this.” One book I just became aware of and put on the short list is “The Beginning of The End” by Michael Snyder. The only specifically Christian perspective book along these lines that I have read is SCARS by Patience Prence.

  9. Carl Rooker says:

    Novels are good for more than learning about prepping. Serious science fiction has a lot of real science behind it. To say nothing about novels about Christian subjects (the “Left Behind Series” is a good example.)

    What makes novels so useful is that they require the use of our imaginations. We vicariously live the events through the novels, and this can cause us to use our brains as well.

    • Rev. Dr. Michael E Harris says:

      Carl,

      I am a fan of science fiction. When I started reading it in 1960 (when I was a little boy), the language was okay for a 10-year old kid. Ten years later, the language and content had degenerated. As to the themes, I learned so much about life from the novels. Most people did not realize it, but each of the original ‘Star Trek’ episodes had a moral or social message–they did not smack us in the face with it, but we learned the lessons anyway.

      I have read some Christian fiction that was terrible. That is why I have read so little of it. I need people to recommend the good novels. Reading a novel and becoming involved with the characters internalizes the message, while reading a manual or taking a FEMA course is not as effective.

      • Carl Rooker says:

        The language problem goes with TV, work, and life. As I ignore from people, I have learned to ignore the language if the storyline is good. I do draw the line of too much gratuitous sex.

        There are a lot of scifi novels that are not as bad, just have to look for them. I read a lot of Hienlien, Clarck, Asimov, and more.

        I also mentioned the “Left Behind Series”. Whether one believes the Prophetic Scheme they use or not, it is about a band of people trying to survive in terrible times.

  10. Wow, love all the comments, and I too enjoy and learn from the novels. I agree they are a wonderful tool for both non preppers AND non believers! Really do make people start to think! Going to check out this 299 Days right now! I especially liked Collapse: You’re On Your Own! by Kay Mahoney. I think someone on this site recommended a while back.
    At any rate, great article, and comments!

  11. Chris Ray says:

    I am reading a book called Discovery to Catastrophe by Jerry Wood. It is a Christian prepper novel. I’ll be writing a review of it once I finish.

  12. 1st time visitor here but would just like to put in my $.02
    I feel that God is working in many strange, yet wonderful, ways in my life recently, and fwiw, Glen’s main character “Grant” has been a part of that inspiration. I’m finding places & reaching out to people that I had NO clue existed just a short time ago. The saying “If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans” has developed a new meaning in my life.

    Reading “299 Days” has caused me to question many things in my preps in light of the changing times we’re experiencing before our eyes, in a good way.The “small outside voice” that Glen/Grant often refers to, can speak pretty loudly if we just let it. I’m learning to listen and to be led. And for that at least in part, I thank “Glen” for sharing his calling. Thanks for your time.

    • Jim Moore says:

      Welcome Brian! I’m looking forward to the 299 Days series, I hope to get into them over the 4th Holiday. Thanks for sharing.

      Grace for Your Journey!!!

    • Chris Ray says:

      Glad you stopped by Brian, thanks for commenting.

  13. Jim Moore says:

    So, I’m on Book 3 of the 299 Days series, and loving it. It’s hard to put down. I love the way Glen expounds on details and even reiterates important facts. He does some name dropping of weapons and specific products, which I believe is good, that’s how I have found many of the helpful Preps I own today. I particularly appreciate the portrayal of a wife “not on board” with the ideas and concepts of prepping or even why we prepare. I’m in that boat. Overall, so far, I love the series. So, reinforcing this post’s title, Why Prepper Novels are an Important Source of Survival Information, the 299 Days series by Glen Tate fits.

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