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  • Writer's pictureChris Russell

Season 1 Episode 9 - Bill the Dog

Outro S1 E9 – Bill the Dog

Hello from the snowy hill of New England – this is Chris your producer. Did you like Bill? Bill the dog is my favorite character. But, I’m a dog guy. I mean if you’re going to have a friend in the apocalypse it should be a dog.

This week I have a couple stories for you.

The first one is about an apocalypse novel “On the Beach”, written by Nevil Shute, and published in 1957. It was also a big budget movie starring Gregory Peck and Eva Gardner in 1959.

The setting is the aftermath of a nuclear war that has killed everything in the northern hemisphere. The people in Australia are still alive but are living on borrowed time because the fallout cloud is being pushed their way by air currents.

Anyhow, I was given this book to read in prep school for a course called “Nukes and Commies” that covered the cold war. Part of the classwork was a student debate where we took either the American or the Russian side. And the prize for winning was called “The frenzied sex” award.

Stay with me.

The joke here was that on the cover of the paperback version of On the Beach the description says that the survivors, and I paraphrase because I can’t find a picture of it, “Drank a lot and had frenzied sex” as they waited to die. Whereas in reality, it was written in the 50’s and there’s no sex in the book at all.

Another apocalypse trope that this novel had was the mysterious radio signal trope. Where there is a radio signal coming out of the dead zone, everyone hopes it’s survivors, but it always turns out to be a tangled zombie or the wind.

Second story is about a more recent apocalyptic novel by Cormic McCarthy – The Road. I remember sitting in the departure lounge in Logan Airport in Boston, I think it was Terminal A, Reading the Arts section of the Sunday Boston Globe. You know, waiting for a flight, reading whatever was to hand.

In the book section there was a review of The Road. And I thought to myself, “This is my kind of book!” and got a copy. Oh MY GOD what a well written book. So good. That’s the magic, right there. When you get a good apocalypse story that is also written in powerful prose – that’s like the winning lottery ticket. They also made this into a movie and it wasn’t’ bad, but the book is wonderful.

So, my friends, my apocalyptic survivors, thank you for listening. I’m switching to a 2-week cadence now. We’ve got good uptake, close to 1,000 listeners from around the world at the end of our first month.

I still need your help, please, please, please like the show, tell a few friends, write a review. Also I could REALLY use your support on Patreon. I can keep this up for awhile but not indefinitely – I need some help with the cash flow to keep the quality up.

Just go to and do that thing.

Until next time… Keep Surviving!

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