Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Watership Galactica

I write to a few friends about geeky stuff. These final episodes of Battlestar Galactica have us going back and forth each week. The following letter summed my point of view up best:


I know I harp on it but you really should read Watership Down. It's been a favorite of mine since I was a kid but I reread it again about every other year.

While essentially another version of the same classic mythos as every other apocalyptic story, it stands apart in it's depiction of how social and political structures are formed in times of crisis.

The parallels to BSG are worth the read alone.

Spiritual / Paranormal cognizance and underpinning
Social decay and overpopulation are ignored
Religious teachings have lost relevance
Foreshadowing for select seers
Apocalyptic event
Small haphazard band escape
Political and social order is tested
Visionary leader recognizes value of individuals
Rules of society are adapted to new circumstances
Secondary leader with military experience supports new mobile government
Low resources and morale lead to compromised decisions
Leadership is challenged and undermined
Temporary refuge proves deadly
Escape strengthens cohesion among group
Former enemies are recruited and given safe haven
Paranormal visions of ultimate home give hope
An established paramilitary society threatens the group
Characters grow exponentially to meet new challenges
Final home is found but reproduction is impossible
A forward thinking leader strikes unusual alliances with enemies
Gambit is successful but brings wraith of enemy military commander
Final confrontation brings together various allied factions
Strategy, risk and sacrifice - major characters die
Dues Ex Machina - supernatural intervention
A new home is established
Formal religion is replaced with new direct relationship to God
Political society is reset as a theocracy
Formal relations are established between former enemies
Interbreeding leads to peaceful reconciliation between cultures
New generations enjoy prosperity and plenty under wise leadership
Original group are adopted into mythology
History is forgotten
Easy life leads to general mailase
The cycle repeats infinitely

They're rabbits, not cylons.

Yeah, I'm a fan! This book was my introduction to the myth. It's not a children's book. We all tend to love best the version we heard first.