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  • Writer's pictureChris Russell

S4 E14 - Banana Fish

S4 E14 Outro

Hello my survivor friends – hope you are doing well.  If you’re listening to this, (and you know by now that you don’t have to listen o this), you have just listened to Season 4, Episode 14 of the After the Apocalypse podcast.

It’s been a busy week, but I’ve gotten a lot done.  I kicked myself in the butt and restarted editing of the season one manuscript.  My goal is to get that out as a standalone book and at some point an audio book as well. 

It’s a daunting task, because I basically need to walk through the manuscript, line by line, and incorporate edits from the structural editors.  This means rewriting sections and writing new sections. 

It’s like digging ditches.  Although I always kinda liked digging ditches. 

Anyhow, I committed to spend at least 25 minutes a day on the effort and it’s been moving along.  I’ll keep you updated and when I feel like I can see the finish line I’ll set it up for preorder.

To give you a peek behind the curtain, this show takes 6-8 hours to write, edit and produce for each episode.  I usually work on it in the mornings before my day job starts.  This week I’ve also been throwing in some evening time editing the book.  

Anyhow…slowly but surely…

This week I also read a book of short stories by JD Salinger called ‘Nine Stories’.  I think I found it at the dump.  JD Salinger was a writer of fiction in the 40’s and 50’s and quite an interesting character. 

His writing is well crafted and tight and sometimes surprising.  It has a bit of a Hemingway feel to it – and the two of them did interact when Salinger was in Europe during and after WWII. 

This compilation of short stories was published in 1953 but contains previously published works including two of his more famous stories, ‘"A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and “For Esmé  with Love and Squalor”.

Salinger is perhaps most famous for his novel “The Catcher in the Rye” from 1951, which has been consistently taught and/or banned in public schools for the last 50 years.  I think I was forced to read it at some point in school.  It’s basically a novel about an angsty teenager who mopes around New York City and says Goddam and Chrisakes a lot.

But, it turns out, you can’t go wrong with having angsty teenagers as your target audience.  The book resonated with this target audience who felt ‘finally someone who gets us!’  He sold millions of copies and basically became a recluse after that. 

I find a common theme in all these post-WWII American authors, or for that matter any post-war authors.  The horrors of war force them to consider deeply the meaning of life and, in many cases, the ridiculous darkness of life – and this creates great art for us to consume. 

I think the old saying goes something like, Hard times create strong people. Strong people create good times. Good times create weak people. And, weak people create hard times.  I would add a postulate that Hard times also create broken, haunted souls who create fantastic art

Salinger was part of the D-Day campaigns in Europe.  He was at the Battle of the bulge and the liberation of the concentration camps.  I’m sure he had enough darkness to last a lifetime, and I’m sure that colored his art.

I’m on the fence as to the adventures of Holden Caulfield but I can recommend this selection of Nine Stories.  Good writing and good art. 

Enough of that angsty stuff, for pure entertainment value, I was pointed to a series on YouTube called ”Star Trek Continues”.  I haven’t watched a lot of it yet, but it is a fan-made web series that takes the crew from the original Star Trek and continues that show’s premise into another season. 

The characters are all doppelgangers of the original crew with Captain Kirk, McCoy, Sulu, Checkov, Uhuru, Spock and Scotty.  They are played by other actors – notably James Doohan’s son Chris plays Scotty, and Grant Imahara plays (from the old Mythbusters show) plays Sulu. 

I haven’t gotten through much of it yet.  It’s a bit amateurish and a bit in the uncanny valley as they try really hard to ape the mannerisms of their assigned original characters.  But, if you’re a big fan of the original series this is like a lost season of the show you can watch. 

With that I will let you go off with your phasers set to angsty to hunt about the apocalypse for a bag of Gorn-Chips and a bottle of Tholian pop to enjoy.

You can find all of this commentary and links to support the show on my website at  I did have a nice person buy me an anonymous cup of coffee last week and that was a nice surprise, greatly appreciated.

Live long and prosper…Owwww…A finger cramp…

And keep surviving.


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