The books After the Quake and Hotel World each consist of disjointed segments based around an underlying setting. After the Quake is a collection of short stories taking place after the Kobe earthquake, while Hotel World has the semblance of a plot that is played out through separate chapters each focusing on the story of a specific character related to the Global Hotel. Both books use a setting that exists separate from the main plot of the story, and yet that affects the characters’ psyches to drive the plot forward.
Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, is a historical account of the life of Chris McCandless and others similar to him. Author Krakauer presents the events of Into the Wild in a nonlinear manner, forgoing chronological recreation of history in favor of a literary style more befitting of a fictional work. This nonlinear style is similar to that featured in the fictional novel Hotel World, by Ali Smith, which is about a cast of women living around the Global Hotel. While the two books differ greatly in their depicted content, they share similar literary organization.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed the way Americans look at airplanes. It was just an average Tuesday, and then all of a sudden everyone was watching the news and seeing two planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers in an obvious attack pattern. Suddenly, ordinary commercial planes entered the public consciousness as terror threats. Every plane that passes overhead seems a potential danger (ironically1, I can hear airplane engines as I type this). I have to wonder if a similar thing happened back in World War II when the Japanese employed the kamikaze planes against the American navy, but I suspect there wasn’t the same effect because of the fact that the fight was out in the Pacific instead of in the country itself. After 9/11, the entertainment industry took a hit in what it could depict as certain things relating to the attack were now taboo or at least limited as to how they can effectively be depicted.
Okay, I’ve been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I’ve had a hard time understanding what the world was supposed to have been like in prehistoric times. Sometimes it seems to be going off of biblical myth, sometimes scientific data, and sometimes its own mythology entirely. Here are the facts they offer, my interpretations, and my fannish compromise in visualizing Buffyverse prehistory.