S1E122 – Carrot Quinn on “Bets” & Writing the Apocalypse

Episode Summary

This week on Live Like the World is Dying, Carrot Quinn comes on to talk to Inmn about her new book "BETS," and about how writing speculative fiction can help inform how we live through the apocalypses we’re currently facing. Carrot also reads a chapter from the book, which is out now on Kickstarter.

Guest Info

Carrot Quinn is the author of "Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart" and "The Sunset Route", as well as eleven thousand miles of daily hiking blogs at carrotquinn.com and a weekly newsletter at substack.com/@carrotquinn

Bets is a speculative fiction novel being self-published by Carrot Quinn. You can back it on Kickstarter at www.kickstarter.com/projects/carrotquinn/bets-a-speculative-fiction-novel-by-carrot-quinn

<h4>"The cities are dying. Bets escapes just in time to save her own life. But where will she go? She’s heard that somewhere in the desert, people have found a way to be free…"</h4>

Host Info

Inmn can be found on Instagram @shadowtail.artificery

Publisher Info

This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.


Live Like the World is Dying: Carrot Quinn on “BETS” and Writing the Apocalypse

**Inmn ** 00:14
Hello, and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. I’m your host today, Inmn Neruin, and today we get to talk to one of my favorite authors, which is a really fun thing for me and a really fun–hopefully–a really fun thing for listeners out there. And today we’re going to be talking to Carrot Quinn about a new book, a book about the apocalypse, a book about bikes, a book about the desert. These are all of the things that I want to talk about all the time. And I think that…I think it’s going to be a great conversation. We haven’t had the conversation yet. So I’m assuming some things, but I have high hopes. But first, we are a member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchists podcasts, and here’s a jingle from another show on that network. [sorta singing] Doo doo doo doo doo.

**Inmn ** 01:59
And we’re back. Thank you so much for coming on the show today, Carrot. Could you introduce yourself with your name, pronouns, and just a little bit about what you…? What do you do in the world?

**Carrot ** 02:13
Thanks for having me, Inmn. I’m really excited to be here. My name is Carrot Quinn and I use she or they pronouns and I am a writer. I live in Alaska. I used to live in Tucson. And I write books and I do outdoors stuff. I do these guided backpacking trips that are fun, and I have to chihuahua mixes.

**Inmn ** 02:41
Cool. Hell yeah. And we’ve had you on the show before to talk about things like long distance hiking, and it it, like one of your previous books, just made me want to go out and walk long distances, which I have not done yet. But hopefully might [forlornly] someday. I was wondering if we could just start off by, could you tell us a little bit about your book and about the kind of world and setting, before we, I believe, you have a chapter prepared to read for us. 

**Carrot ** 03:18
Yeah, totally. So I wrote a speculative fiction novel called "Bets" that will be out in January of 2025. And it is set in a near future, sort of post collapse western United States. And one reason, the reason I started working on this novel four years ago, I think the reason we all…. You know, everyone’s who’s writing speculative fiction right now, like what draws us to it is all of these things we see sort of coming down the pike around the world and in the US with climate with all these different things, and we’re all trying to imagine like, what’s going to happen? How’s it going to happen? How’s it going to feel when it happens? And what are we going to do? And so, starting to write this novel four years ago, which felt like a really therapeutic experience for me, because I imagined what if this young person was living in a city in the Western United States, and the city was collapsing, and she needed to flee and she needed to ride her bike across the desert to try and find people who had found a way to survive, who she could join living in the desert. Like, what would that be like? Like, who would she encounter? What would the, you know…. Who, if she met people on the road, what would they be like? What shape would the roads been? What would she eat? Where would she find water? What skills would she need? And, trying to imagine this as kind of a thought exercise was really comforting to me. It’s sort of, I feel like we…one thing that fiction does for us is we can put ourselves in these scenarios and try and imagine how we would respond emotionally and how they would feel for us, and that and that almost makes us feel prepared for things that might happen, even if they don’t ever happen. It’s like this very comforting thing. And so I created this character who’s living the city. And the rural United States, like Western rural United States, at least–I don’t even really talk about the rest of the country because I didn’t actually build that part of this world–but the western United States has been abandoned. Because, you know, the first thing, one of the first things to go, was international supply chains in the US, which basically destroyed the entire economy and the ability to access most goods. And then the rural United States, also there is like water scarcity and a lot of contamination and different things. Disease, because of the lack of access to different medical care, and so people in the rural  United States, it just emptied out, and they all went to what was left of the cities. And the cities are these precarious places in this world where, you know, it’s impossible to find housing, and most people live in these encampments. And it’s really hard to find goods. And it’s basically just like, really extremely poor people. And then a handful of like, super wealthy. And the biggest industry left in the US are the prisons, and there’s new prisons being built all the time because the prisons have slave labor. So that’s like a source of goods. So that’s like, the US economy is really reliant on this source of goods. So things are super criminalized because they want more people in the prisons to create more goods. So this young person, Bets, she’s 20, that’s the world she grew up in, in the city. She was orphaned when she was really young, cause both her parents were disappeared. She doesn’t know where her mom went, which is one of the sort of through-lines of the plot is this mystery. And in the beginning, she gets this clue. And then she’s sort of trying to like follow up on that clue on her journey. And she also has this love interest, Georgia. They have like…she has very insecure attachment with Georgia. And we don’t know much about Georgia. She’s sort of mysterious. And then later in the book, it switches to her perspective. And there’s kind of this reveal. And you learn all of these like secrets about her, and how she’s part of this plot. So Bets, in the very first chapter–I will try not to give any spoilers, but you can read the first chapter online so you’ll know exactly what happens–but something really bad hppens. And she realizes she has to flee the city or she’s gonna die. And so she steals a bike, essentially, and also ends up with this little dog. [laughing self-reflectively] And that she just, she doesn’t want to abandon. It’s not her dog, but she ends up with it. And she does want to abandoned it. So she takes this little dog with her. He rides in the pannier, and she just sets out west and she doesn’t know what she’s gonna find. She can’t find a map. The only thing she can find is this old guidebook called "An RVer’s Guide to the American West" that has like very broad overview maps. And she’s like, "Okay, what’s the first thing in here? It’s a KOA, okay, I’ll just bike towards this KOA," which is, you know, like this funny camp. It’s like Campgrounds of America. They have these like little cabins, and she’s like, "Is it going to be? Who’s going to live there? Is it going to be militia? Is it going to be abandoned? Will there be water?" And you know, like, she goes through everything that’s in her panniers and all her supplies. You kind of know what she has, and she sets out on this journey. And then I have her sort of meeting different groups of people who have, who are surviving in different ways. Like, some of them, you know, at first you think they’re really great. And then, you know, maybe turns out they’re not and other people, maybe they are great. And she has to get out of various sticky situations. Nothing bad ever happens to the dog. And then–

**Carrot ** 03:50
Thank you for that clarification. Yeah, thank you.

**Carrot ** 05:43
I didn’t want it…the dog is purely there just for joy and pleasure nothing bad ever happens to the dog. And there’s…as we, as the novel continues, there’s sort of like this unfolding of these other plotlines and these other characters who are…who have like other chapters from their perspectives, who are sort of like…all the characters are slowly converging towards the end. And then in the end, there’s this huge plot twist that changes everything you thought you knew about the whole world right from the beginning, which I didn’t know how to write plot twists. And then in the last year and a half, I’ve been reading all of these thrillers to try to learn how to write plot twists, because I really wanted to put one in there. So I finally figured it out. And I put it in there. And I’m so proud of myself, because plot twists really helped me stay engaged with the book if I’m like anticipating something. And so I wanted to put that in there because I really like that. So that’s the novel.

**Inmn ** 09:31
Cool, cool. Cool. Well, I’m…I’m very, very, very excited for it to come out and to read all of the plot twists that you have. Yeah, I like dabble in writing and like the idea of having to write a convincing plot twist sounds really hard. And I don’t know. Yeah, I…. So I feel especially excited because I have been–we know each other IRL from the desert–and I feel like I’ve been hearing you talk about this book for years. And so the fact that it’s coming out, and that people get to read it soon is very exciting. And, you know, as much as I would love to launch into a conversation about preparedness, the apocalypse, bikes, and all of these things, I’m wondering if you want to read your sample chapter first, and then we can…and then we’ll talk about that stuff? How does that sound?

**Carrot ** 10:42
Yeah, Sounds great.

**Inmn ** 10:43
Cool. This also works really perfectly with that we just did a two-part episode on riding your bike a really long distance. 

**Carrot ** 10:53

**Inmn ** 10:55
Everything is perfect. Everything in the world is perfect. Don’t tell me otherwise.

**Carrot ** 11:00
Yeah, yeah, plot twist, everything in the world is perfect. Turns out. So this is chapter four. And where we are is that Bets has left the city. And you can read the first chapter online on my Substack and that…you can kind of read like the kind of setup. And then she leaves the city and she’s on a bike and she has this little dog and she bikes for a little while. And then she bikes through the night and gets to…. Some different things happen that are kind of exciting. And then she bikes through the night. And she’s kind of…she’s outside of the city now. And it’s these kind of larger estates, like old farms and people’s summer homes and she pulls her bike off onto the drive towards one of them and there’s like the big house and she doesn’t go in the house. She goes, she finds a barn behind the house where it’s like still pretty nice inside. Like it’s clean smelling and, you know, there’s like it’s not…. Like houses, once they’re abandoned, you know, become kind of disgusting. But this barn is still pretty nice. So she barricades the door and puts her sleeping bag on the ground and goes to sleep with the dog. And so now she’s waking up the next afternoon and that’s where we’re gonna start. 

**Inmn ** 12:21

**Carrot ** 12:24
Chapter Four. When I stepped outside the barn to pee in the afternoon, there’s a deer browsing in the fallen apples of an abandoned orchard. A pang of regret. I wish I had a rifle. Although guns are popular with some of my friends, I’ve only ever chosen to arm myself with a knife. I want the freedom to move quickly and I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I want to be liquid, able to flow around obstacles as they appear. A rifle would make me clumsy. I wish I had one right now, though. "What would we even do with a whole deer?" I say to the dog as I gather bruised apples in my shirt. The dog pads around me, sniffing the fruit. The apples are crawling with wasps and I shoo them away. My legs feel rested and I’m antsy to get back on my bike. First though, I want to check out this house. The back door to the house is locked, but the window is busted out and I brush away the broken glass and pull myself through, lift the dog up after me. Inside it’s damp and smells of rotten wood. Trapezoids of sunlight gather on the dirty linoleum in the kitchen. And beyond that is a carpeted living room where the furniture hulks like dusty sleeping beasts. It’s amazing how quickly a person’s cozy home, after being abandoned, will turn into this, an eerie sickly place where you don’t want to stay for more than a few minutes. Is it the dust, the mold, or is the house itself a living being, animated from within by its inhabitants and when they leave the house becomes a corpse and begins to rot? There’s a staircase stained with water from the roof and I climb it to a landing with three closed white doors. The brass knob of the middle door is cool in my hand. The room is a bedroom, a bed, the quilt and sheets pulled back exposing the bare mattress,a bookcase cluttered with books, a closet tangled with clothes. The dust motes drift unbothered in the light from the window. There’s a small rustling. It’s the dog. He’s padded up the stairs after me. I sit on the bed and look out the window at the apple orchard and let the sadness spread out from my heart like a fog. It spills out the doorway and onto the landing. It seeps under the doors to the other rooms and then I’m there, back in the dream, the dream I have often at night that I’ve been having since I was a small child. In the dream I’m in a large house and I’m searching for something. I wander through rooms that open into other rooms. The rooms hold antiques from another time, junk ,furniture from the apartment I shared with my parents. The rooms hold people I love who’ve been disappeared. The rooms who hold people I haven’t met yet. The people welcome me or they do not know me. Sometimes I take up residence in one of these rooms, but always their true occupants appear after a while and telling me that I have to leave. In none of the rooms is that for which I am searching and so I push them on deeper and deeper into the house. I sink down in the bowels of the house or up into its castle spires. The house’s corridors are maze, and I can’t find my way out. The light is getting longer in the apple orchard. "Long light o’clock," I say to the dog, who’s curled up on the carpet at my feet. That’s what time it is. We’re making a new system of time out here beyond the city. Long light o’clock is what comes before Time to Ride My Bike. The closet is full of useful things, but I’m not sure what to take. My panniers are pretty stuffed right now. Do I need more warm layers? Clothes to trade if I meet people on my journey? What sorts of people are out here beyond the city besides the militia? I haven’t seen anyone yet. Maybe there’ll be people at the KOA, my first destination, chosen arbitrarily from the RVer’s Guide. The fabrics of the clothes in the closet feel good under my fingers, and there’s a human scent here. Someone’s lingering laundry detergent. Should I take another sweater, a canvas jacket? My fingers pause on a dress, it’s fabric smooth and light, a simple airy dress printed all over with flowers, a few buttons at the throat, and elastic waist. I pull the dress off its hanger and fold it carefully. The smell rises up again. What is it? A smell from another time, a smell that supposed to evoke a shared cultural memory of something but that something doesn’t exist anymore. The lid of a rain barrel connected to the houses gutters comes off with some effort and inside I find good clear water, yellow from the tannis of falling leaves and dancing with mosquito larvae but otherwise untainted. In the kitchen cupboards there are a few plastic bottles and I fill these as well as my own. There’s a can opener and some canned goods too, rusted and missing their labels. Likely too old to be edible, and I don’t want to risk botulism, so I leave them  but take the can opener. "Goodbye," I say to the house as I push my bike down the dirt drive back towards the road. I feel like I’m leaving a mausoleum. When next will humans walk through those halls and bedrooms? In 100 years? Longer? The air is different tonight as I cycle away from the house, the dog curled up in one of my panniers. The city is the brown smell of trash and industry. But out here there’s something else, a cold, clean smell that is somehow familiar. But from what? When have I experienced this before? Maybe it’s a memory that’s stored in my cells from previous generations, asmell from an old world that is also, for me, the smell of a new world, the world to which I’m headed? I shiver. It’s not just the air that’s different tonight. My mind feels clear to. I’m rested. This is my second day surrounded by silence with little to occupy my thoughts. I’m at the fringeedge of the suburbs, the houses far apart and on large tracts of land. The fields are overgrown with brambles and weeds. The cars that pass are fewer and farther between. I spend less time in the culvert, crouched next to my bicycle waiting for their headlights to sweep over me and away. My legs pump rhythmically My mind is an empty vessel and into this vessel comes the mirage of memory, the details so sharp I can almost smell them. Opening up an abandoned apartment building in the city with Georgia, the building is locked, plywood nailed over the windows. No Trespassing signs everywhere. We’ve got a few hours to work before the security guard on this block passes by on his shift and sees our headlamps. If we can get enough of the apartments open, we can move in folks we know from one of the encampments. We make quick work of the plywood over the first broken window and climb inside. There’s debris everywhere, busted furniture, clothing, windblown trash. The toilet in the bathroom has an ancient turd in it but no water. A sweep to make sure no one’s already living here and that it seems safe enough. No collapsing ceilings or floorboards rotted enough to fall through. And we move on to the next apartment, which is nearly identical. The window beneath the plywood on the third apartment is intact and we don’t want to break it if we don’t have to. So Georgia uses the tools in her bag to force the door. Inside our headlamps reveal something surprising. Everything in this apartment is in order, untouched. A sofa with a valour blanket tossed over the back, a low coffee table with a splay of magazines, a rag rug, a bookshelf. A small rack next to the door holds a couple of pairs of shoes. It’s as though the tenants have just stepped out and will return at any moment. At first I think someone might be living here but then I see the thick dust on the bookshelf and run my finger through it. "You’ve got to see this," says Georgia from the kitchen. An avocado green stove and refrigerator, glass fronted cabinets. Georgia is pulling canned goods and boxes out of the cabinets one by one and inspecting them. Macaroni and sardines perfectly preserved as though they’ve been in a museum. There’s a row of silver tins on the countertop lined up by size. The first contains recipes written in tidy cursive on index cards. The second holds sugar, hardened but still usable. The contents of the third makes me jump. "There’s coffee in herem," I say. "Coffee." "Fuck," says Georgia. She grabs the tin from my hands and holds it up to her face, breathes deeply. "We can sell this. Make a security fund for the new tenants. That’ll be a huge help to them." She takes a plastic bag from one of the drawers and dumps the coffee inside. The tin falls onto the ground and I pick it up, put it back in its spot with the others, brush the stray coffee grounds off the countertop with my hand. "Don’t open the fridge," says Georgia. "I know," I say. "You don’t have to keep reminding me."

**Carrot ** 20:28
In the bedroom, the circle of my headlamp illuminates a bed with a striped bedspread pulled taut. There’s a lump in the middle as though a couple of pillows are stashed under there. I step into the silence of the room. It’s a tomb. This room is a tomb, and that lump in the bed is a body. "Georgia," I whisper. I can’t seem to raise my voice. I can hear her rustling around in the kitchen. The sides of the quilt are tucked into the mattress and I tuck a corner free. Under the quilt is the body of a little old man, curled into the fetal position and perfectly still. The skin of his face and hands are shriveled like the mummified cats we sometimes find in these buildings. He’s wearing pajamas and he’s drawn up into himself. So he was cold when he died. I arranged the quilt back over him. "You’re lucky you got out when you did," I say before closing the door of the bedroom. I find Geogia sitting on the floor in front of the bookshelf in the living room, sifting through photographs and stacks of mail. They’re cut glass figurines on the bookshelf: a horse, an elephant, a bear. "I found a pistol in his dresser drawer," I say "No ammunition, though." "His dresser drawer?" says Georgia. "What if we boarded this apartment back up?" I say. "Keep it like it is. We can say that it’s too wrecked to be livable. Paint a warning on the door." Georgia shrugs, "Sure." I sit next to her on the carpet, and she puts down the mail, wraps one of my hands in her own. "Another body?" she says. "Yeah." Her light eyes are clear. The skin around them is lined from all the time she spends in the sun and the garden, digging in the dirt there. I’ve offered to try and find her a big hat but she says no. She likes the way the sun feels on her face. I told her that I’m worried about her getting skin cancer, and she says she doesn’t care and besides, she doesn’t think she’ll live that long. "It’s still possible to live a long time," I said. "But why would I want to?" she answered back. She reaches a cool hand into my hair and leans in, kissing me. Her breath smells like citrus and her lips are soft. For a moment I melt into this kiss, forgetting everything. Then I remember that Georgia will never be mine. Each time I try to know her better, she disappears, only returning when I cease looking for her. She’s like a feral cat that will only slink close and let you pet it when you’re looking the other way. Every kiss she gives me feels like a parting gift. "Let’s open up the other apartments," I say, pulling away. The wind changes and I back in my body back on the bike. The darkness is vast. My bicycle tires a ship that slices cleanly through the cruel sea of the night. I don’t know what time it is. But last night I noticed that the moon rose just before dawn. So tonight I’m waiting for that. The light of the silver half moon will signify that it’s time to find a place to hunker down and sleep. I’m beginning to enjoy being unstuck from time like this, unfettered by the tyranny of minutes. The hours are liquid. They rush by and then slow to a trickle and sometimes stop entirely, forming a deep, clear pool in which I am suspended. I should eat. My legs shake as I climb off the bike and guide it to the shoulder of the road. I don’t bother with a culvert, just uncinch the pannier and lift out the warm sleepy dog and then lay the bike down on its side. I haven’t seen a car for hours. Have I reached the edge of all human existence? Is it just me now in this wild frontier alone forever? No, that can’t be. There are other people somewhere out here and I’m going to find them. My new can opener slices easily into one of the cans of beans. Half a brick of dry ramen completes the meal. The dog disappears into the wide darkness and then returns, shakes himself and pushes his way into my arm onto my lap. He eats his ramen ration from my fingers and then circles once and curls up with a sigh. "Do you love me or just my body heat?" I say. "And my ramen." Speaking of ramen, I’m going to have to find some more food. A brick of ramen each day with some peanut butter or beans is not enough. Hunger has been following me as I pedal west like an alarm bell I can’t shut off. I’m really banking on there being people at the KOA and not just any people but good people. And not just good people but good people who have food they’re willing to share with me. That’s a whole lot of unknowns that could determine my survival. I wonder if the KOA is abandoned or occupied by militia? Another thing not to think about. There was a sign for a small town in the last of the light, and I use that to place myself on the map in the  RVer’s Guide to the American West. I started off the night about an inch and a half from the KOA and I’ve been traveling a few inches on the map each night. I’m worried that I’ll miss the exit in the dark with no headlamp, but there’s not really anything to be done except continue pedaling and trust that things will work out somehow. I can feel We’ll be aloneness lurking a stone’s throw away in the dark. Better get back on my bike before it closes in. As I pedal, the sound of my own voice floats above me. I’m singing to remind myself that I exist. The dog is curled in the pannier asleep. He dreams of past lives, his small belly full of ramen. It feels as though I’m hurtling forward now, the night soft and yielding, like I could ride a thousand miles, like I can make it all the way to Nevada in one go. Fatigue as a stranger, someone I can’t remember knowing. The surface of the road jostles violently, startling me out of my reverie and I tense on the brakes and rolled to a stop. There’s a hissing noise and I press my tires. My front tire is deflating. "Fuck." I stand straddling my bike, eyes unfocused on the road. I don’t have a patch kit or an extra tube. I wait for inspiration to strike but there’s nothing I have just a little food or water left and there hasn’t been a car all night. I have no idea where I am or how far to the next thing. Or even if there is a next thing. A pressure in my head. I’m starting to panic. I must not panic. My legs are shaking again. Presently, a little silver light crests the horizon. The halfmoon. "It’s time to camp. This busted tire will be a problem for tomorrow me." Along the roadside is a forest and I push my bike into these trees. The ground is yielding underfoot and I’ve been in ragged forests and abandoned lots in the city, full of trash and danger. But this feels different. There’s a soft welcoming feeling to this forest, a warmth. This will be a good place to rest. Relief floods my body as I unfurl my sleeping bag onto the fallen leaves. The dog drinks from his jar lid of water and then crawls inside the bag with me, his nose pressed into my armpit. "I miss you so badly, Georgia," I whisper into the forest before I fall asleep. That’s the end of the chapter. Thank goodness. [Inmn clapping]

**Inmn ** 26:56
Yay. I don’t know if the sound is translating. But I am clapping, clapping my little hands together. Thank you so much for reading that to us, Carrot.

**Carrot ** 27:10
Thanks for listening. I found it really hard to speak the whole time. But I made it through.

**Inmn ** 27:19
Yeah, it’s really…speaking is hard. And, you know, that’s why we write things, right? [a little dryly]

**Carrot ** 27:29
Yeah, totally. [both laughing]

**Inmn ** 27:39
Where do I want us to start? I think I want to, I think I want to start with, Carrot, would you identify as a prepper?

**Carrot ** 27:52
I think I’m a…. Like, I think I would like to be a prepper but I don’t…. There’s a lot of skills and things that preppers have going on. And I’m not quite there yet. But I would eventually like to be more of a prepper than I am now. Right now I’m just kind of like I like thinking about being a prepper.

**Inmn ** 28:14
Yeah. I think that makes you a prepper IMO. On the spectrum of thinking about preparedness, I think thinking about preparedness makes someone a prepper in like all of its like multifaceted ways. But I guess what I want to ask you about is, so in thinking about preparedness and thinking about the world that we currently live in and like the directions that we all imagine it going, I’m wondering what about what you’re seeing in our world, how you created this world based on our world–if it’s based on our world at all? Does that make sense?

**Carrot ** 29:14
Yeah, that’s a great question. Yeah, I do think that, first of all, you know, collapse is always happening all the time around the world. And that has been true throughout all of human history. Like, human history is just full of crazy catastrophes and collapses and, you know, it’s always going on. So I think we do…sometimes I get this idea in my head that I’m like, "oh, you know, there’s going to be collapse," but of course, collapse is always happening in different spots, and it just depends on like your positionality in spacetime whether or not collapse is happening to you at the moment where you are or to your community or to your, you know, in what ways to people around you. So, sometimes I think I can get fixated on this future thing. And it’s actually comforting to remind myself that not only is collapse just inherently a part of human civilizations, and always has been, but it’s already happening. So I do. And I do think, you know, people say that a lot of speculative fiction is just white people imagining, like, what if things that were happening in places that are, you know, predominantly people of color, what if those things also happen to white people? And I also think that’s true. Like we ar so sort of hemmed in by our own experience. And since I, like, you know, grew up in the US, and–where the US is part of so many global collapses–but living in the US we are shielded from that. So far. We have been shielded from that. So even though we are, you know, we’re directly involved in Gaza, and all these different things all over the world, and always have been, we in this country there has been an illusion of stability for some generations, for most people–although within that there have also been little collapses, you know? So I do think my own not having personally experienced collapse, influences my perspective. And I am limited in that way. So, within that, I do think a lot about, in North America, I think a lot about things like–or maybe the US in particular. US North America, that part of North America. Although I think Canada has some similar stuff going on. I think a lot about supply chains, which I think we all started thinking about during COVID. I’d never even considered supply chains before. And then in COVID, I was like, "Oh, wait, this is like a big deal? 

**Inmn ** 31:45
They’re really fragile, It turns out.

**Carrot ** 31:48
Yes! And we are–while collapse has always been a part of human civilization–we are approaching the first ever global collapse in human history. So that’s new. Like, that’s interesting. Because everywhere is so dependent on everywhere else. Like I don’t know that much about these things. But I would imagine that most countries are pretty dependent on–or would be devastated without– global supply chains. I don’t know, maybe there’s some places. But yeah, it’s like a real global environment we live in. So I think about supply chains. And I think about in…. I’ve spent a lot of time in the desert southwest, you know, in the Sonoran Desert, and some other deserts. And I think a lot about the desert of the western United States and water. I think about groundwater pollution. And I think about the Colorado River watershed and all these cities that are dependent on the Colorado River and or have poisoned groundwater, and agriculture, and how that, you know, the Colorado River, how there’s not enough water for all of it. Like it’s not…. Anyway. And then I think about heat. And I guess those are like, the biggest things I think about. And so, in my head, when I’m trying to anxiously anticipate that for myself in my life, that’s when I…that’s kind of where these different ideas came up for building this world. And I also think about housing a lot. Which has been something I thought about since I was a child. And so I wanted that to be a theme of this book too, is the future of housing. And prisons. I think about prisons and particularly that them being a source of free labor in the US.

**Inmn ** 33:45
Yeah, it’s…. I read the sample chapter for the the first chapter of the book and it’s, I think it’s…. Bets like describes paying $2,400 to live in a tent in someone’s backyard. And I was like, that’s, you know, the reality of that is not far off. And that’s horrifying to think about. Or it’s like, it’s like even equivalently here already in our world, in our time, is that it’s like…like housing insecurity is becoming a much bigger thing for more people. Like reading articles about how in certain parts of California–and I don’t know how much this is blown up or not blown up–but that there’s like parking lots full of people who like live in their vehicles because like on, what we would probably call middle class incomes, they can’t find housing. And it’s, I don’t know, yeah, it’s just becoming wilder and wilder.

**Carrot ** 34:59
The thing I get stuck on thinking about housing is all these cities where housing is inflated beyond all reason–like I just moved out of Anchorage and moved to Fairbanks because I couldn’t afford the housing in Anchorage anymore. But also I am really excited to have moved to the town in Alaska I just moved to. So it’s okay. But it does suck to be forced out of a place, you know? But, including Anchorage, all these cities where housing is inflated beyond all reason and or doesn’t exist, like there isn’t even anything available…. Like I have a friend who just moved to Anchorage, who was looking for a little house for her and her dog. And her budget was actually pretty high, because she makes really good money. She’s been looking for six months and just hasn’t found anything because everything’s tied up in like short term rentals or it’s weird investment properties. Like these cities where there’s no…the cities aren’t putting any thought into housing the people who live in the city. Like not just home…like not just disabled people, who should obviously be housed, who are the ones who–who traditionally end up, you know, homeless–not even those, but just middle class people. Like what that’s going to do is collapse the economies of every single one of these cities. Because if you don’t have workers, you don’t have a city. Like you just don’t. Like you don’t have grocery stores, you don’t have hospitals, you don’t have schools, you don’t have postal codes, you don’t have any of it. So it’s like such short sighted. It’s like all these real estate people trying to make money, but they don’t realize that if the whole city collapses, like they’re also going to lose money. It’s so weirdly short sighted that I’m almost…it’s almost comforting that I can just like sit back and watch in horror as like these cities just like unalive themselves, essentially.

**Inmn ** 36:42
Yeah, it is funny to think about that sometimes within Capitalism, like seeing a function or tenant of Capitalism and being like, "I feel like y’all aren’t even doing Capitalism right Because it’s an unsustainable thing for itself. Like this will collapse. This will collapse under its own weight. And maybe the sad horror is that it’s not collapsing under its own weight? And I don’t know. I don’t know. No, but also–

**Carrot ** 37:18
We’ll see.

**Inmn ** 37:19
We’ll see. The future, the future us will see. But, Margaret talked about this in a recent episode that we did, and she was just riffing on this William Gibson quote, like, "the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed." And she said, like, "the apocalypse is here, it’s just not evenly distributed." And that has been sticking with me a lot like over the–I guess, it’s only been like, a week or so–but it’s like the…it’s like, kind of what you’re what you were talking about before, it’s like, we…like all of these things, like a lot of the things that make up the world of your book, that make up like, a lot of the things that we get anxious or afraid of about where society is moving, most of those things are already happening to to other people. And eventually, they will happen to more people. Which is kind of how I always…which, I guess is how I always see the role of speculative fiction is–I totally agree with your with your definition of it and like how that works–but also that speculative fiction historically does not imagine a future, it is actually a reflection of the present in a way that will like hopefully get people to like understand it or explore the the extremities of it.

**Carrot ** 39:05
Yeah, that’s a really good point. Yeah, you’re totally right, that specular fiction is this like…whenever it’s written, it is a creation of like the present that’s going on at that time. And that author sort of like…yeah, they’re like, speculating about the present. And one thing I tried to do with this book also is, in writing speculative fiction, you can have a lot of kind of, like, scary, horrible things happened and I have some of those in the book, but then I also kind of wanted…I wanted, I wanted to write something that was comforting, because I think speculative fiction can be comforting because we can imagine all these ways that during collapse or after collapse, the way we live can shift and change in ways that ultimately, maybe generations down the line, end up being really positive. And so even something like Bets leaving the city, she’s only ever lived in the city. And then she leaves for the first time ever. And she’s out in nature for the first time in her life. And her experience of that on this long journey is like, she’s has this like beautiful sort of transcendental experience in the desert. And I wanted to write something that could be really comforting as we like, imagine that there’s going to be unspeakable horrors, you know, for like many generations. But then after that it’s kind of fun to imagine the ways that we can reconnect with nature, live in smaller communities, tech will collapse, you know, like, the scary aspects of tech that are unsustainable. Because that’s actually another plotline in the book I forgot to bring up is there’s this sort of like, scary tech plot line that comes to a head in the end. And it was me thinking about how the scary parts of tech are inherently unsustainable because they depend on such intense resource extraction and grid power and things like that. So as grids and supply chains collapse, so will this tech, including the scarier aspects of tech. So like, that’s fun to think about. So I do…I do try to…I like the way speculative fiction can be like really comforting, too. And I tried to do some of that for sure.

**Inmn ** 41:19
Yeah, no, I remember in like the in the first chapter, it’s like, Bets is like talking about like getting some hacker to remove the tracking software in her phone, and it was a thing that…. I didn’t know, this is like one of the things I think about a lot, and is how…as more of our lives become online, it’s like we see…see people like Elon Musk and some other billionaire piece of shit that I can’t remember the name of–may all of their names eventually be forgotten–are pushing for these things that really terrify me about technology, which is like the like "One apps." Have you ever heard of these? 

**Carrot ** 42:10
No? What is it? 

**Inmn ** 42:12
A one app is like, it’s this idea that there is essentially one app that can govern most of the aspects of your life. Google is trying really hard to do this right now. It’s like why a lot of Android phones just like, they’re essentially just Google phones. They like rely on using Gmail accounts and stuff like that. And there’s definitely ways to kind of like opt out of that, to some extent, but it’s the idea that as more of our lives become online, we become more reliant on needing to use those technologies to like interact with basic services or bureaucracies. And it’s mildly terrifying to me.

**Carrot ** 43:07
Yeah, I’m like…I feel pretty horrified. Like reading about…the most horrifying thing I read about recently were the human brain organelles that can do computing. Did you…have you read about that?

**Inmn ** 43:19
Oh, yes. Yes. They’re like plugging brain cells into microprocessors or something? So fucked

**Carrot ** 43:26
They grew fetus brains with stem cells. They have little eyes. It’s just a brain with two little eyes. They’re from…they’re like basically the brains of human fetuses grown from stem cells. And they are using them to do computing.

**Inmn ** 43:40
Oh my god.

**Carrot ** 43:42
And I’m just like, I’m just like, this needs to go. Like nuclear war or meteor, I don’t care, we…it needs to stop.

**Inmn ** 43:54
Yeah, yeah. Just having some like dark remembrances of things from like Battlestar Galactica that I’m like [makes cringe noise/groan].

**Carrot ** 44:08
The one comforting thing, the thing I remind myself is, even though we have…. We’re capable of making these like horrorfyingly incredible things, like even just a smartphone. There’s still so much that we don’t know. Like, there’s so much that will always be unknowable. So try as we might, maybe it’s not possible for us to make like truly scary tech, because maybe it is beyond our capabilities? Hopefully. I don’t know. We’ll see.

**Inmn ** 44:37
Yeah. You’ve talked…. You, I feel like you’ve essentially answered this question, but I love to just ask it anyways. What is the story kind of behind the story that you’re trying to tell in Bets and what do you hope people get out of out of the book?

**Carrot ** 44:58
I really want to provide escapism for people. That’s what I hope people really get is I want it to be the kind of read where you get to leave your life, like whatever world you’re in, and get totally sucked into this really captivating world where you’re on this bike trip with Bets, kind of in her shoes, experiencing the things she experiences. And it’s kind of scary and kind of dark. But mostly, it’s just like epic and interesting and fun and compelling. Because that’s what I like, is to get really sucked into a book and not be able to put it down because it’s so nice to have, like, just a break from our world, you know? Like a brain break. So that’s what I that’s what I’m trying to do. And also give people a chance to kind of like, you know, we like to think about if these things happened to us, how would it feel? And how would we respond emotionally? And then that makes us feel like we are sort of emotionally prepared for something. And so that’s kind of what the book is trying to do too, even though none of us really know, like, what collapse will look like, at any given time in any given place.

**Inmn ** 46:05
Yeah, yeah. is, you know, I’ve only heard the sample chapter so far, but um, is it kind of set up like–or from what I’ve heard in the sample chapters–it seems like there’s these moments of it being, you know, like a very traditional fiction novel but it has these elements of being like almost travel log-ish. And I really…I really love that because like, I was thinking about this recently, I was like, why do you like punks like travel logs so much? And I was reflecting on it for myself. And it was because I like I grew up reading zines like, like, No Gods No Mattress by Enola. And like, or whatever, it was a thing when I was a teenager, but like Evasion, and it’s like…and then like reading your your other book Through-Hiking Will Break Your Heart, I’m like, travelogues. They’re just incredibly interesting. And what I’ve liked so far about this book is that it’s like, it seems there’s these elements of being travelogues that are also coupled with fantasy and preparedness and  having to think about, what do you have? What might you find? What happens if you run out of something that you need? And this isn’t really a question but [your] thoughts? Question mark. 

**Inmn ** 46:39
I love travelogues too, you know, it’s funny. Evasion formed part of my subconscious. Also, I remember there was that other, it was like the small travelogue put out by Crimethinc about these two young women who I think went to Prague or something. Do you remember that?

**Inmn ** 48:06
Yeah, Off the Map. 

**Carrot ** 48:06
Off the Map! Yes, that was another good one. You know, they say that a lot of novels follow the hero’s journey, which is like this person’s in this environment and just like going about their life, and then something big happens. And then they have to go on this epic journey where they’re, like, changed somehow. So you could say that a travelogue is like the most literal interpretation of that and you know, humans, we love the hero’s journey. Like, we love that. And so, I feel like travelogues really like scratch that itch. Also, what you’re saying about like, what might someone find? What are they going to run out of? One interesting thing I thought about a lot with this novel is if international supply chains were destroyed today, what junk would still be laying around in like 20 years? Like, what would have been destroyed? Like if you’re in the Sonoran Desert, and the stuff is outside, what would have been destroyed by the sun? Versus what…. So it was really fun having Bets go on this journey and go to these different abandoned places and being like, what condition would canned goods be in? What condition would plastic be in? What if the plastic was in the sun? What if it was out of the sun? It was like, it’s really fun like to try and imagine this kind of stuff. Because there is, you know, we can look back at the way humans lived before the Industrial Revolution, or before the different time periods, when people had to make more of their own materials. Or like different communities around the world who were still doing that, or who are still doing that, like if you make your own stuff, what is it like? And we can think about how we might live. But one thing that will be different, post this global collapse, different than hundreds of years ago, is there will be all this junk laying around. So it’s really fun to think about, if that junk is no longer in production anymore, with what’s left how long will any of it last? I thought that was kind of fun. Like there’s a scene where Bets and this young boy who she be friends, who she finds in the mountains, they build this cart out of…like part of it is like an old car hood. And so they have like this like scrap pile. Yeah. That’s a fun thought exercise. 

**Inmn ** 50:18
Hell yeah, yeah. Um, yeah. I know that stuff is so interesting. It’s this thing that comes up in my sphere when I think about–or it’s something people ask me about because I make knives–and people will ask me about like, "Oh, like in the apocalypse, do you worry about having access to materials, or it seems so helpful to be able to make knives and stuff like that?" And I don’t…I think there’s so many knives that have been created already, that it probably won’t be a problem. But is obviously still a fun thing that I think is fun to do. But like when I think about it, I think about like, "Oh, I’ll have to like do things like make my own raw materials, like harvesting ore and stuff like that. And then I’m just like, there are so…there’s so much metal that has already been created. I’m actually not worried about a lack of metal.

**Carrot ** 51:25
Yeah, like with all the knife blades in existence, like, what’s the first thing you would need to replace? The handles? And then it’s like, if the handles are plastic, how long until that? If they’re wood? You know? Yeah, yeah. But the blades would probably last a long time. I went to this…the anchorage museum a few months ago had this show that was really cool that was kind of about collapse. And one of the installations was all of these, like, I felt like they were very freaky new materials people around the world had been creating. And a lot of them are made in this…were these sort of like eco-conscious materials that were made using waste products. Like there was this one like kind of plastic thing that was made out of like sawdust and old diapers or something. It was really interesting, because I was like, wow, like post collapse there’s gonna be all the stuff laying around, plus all these natural materials. Like people are gonna be like constructing…. Like there was, there was like an insulated thing that was insulated with cat tail fluff. And I was like, "Oh, that’s really cool." Like, that’s probably something that’s been around. And then all these other like freaky hype…. A lot of things made out of mycelium that were like, looked like plastic, but it was mycelium. It was really interesting. Yeah, so it’s fun to think about that kind of thing.

**Inmn ** 52:43
Yeah. I’m, curious, I’m curious about this…the kind of like thought experiment… Or, if this sort of if this was a thought experiment for you. In, you know, in this book having travelogue elements or being about someone’s literal journey from one place to another place, in a world that is not super hospitable to traveling long distances, was it like–because you do a lot of hiking, you’ve written books about hiking–what was it like to construct the idea of someone doing a long distance trek without resupply? Because that’s…when I think about like doing the PCT or doing like any of these things, it’s like, yeah, you can do the PCT because you can get resupplied every so often. But what if that doesn’t exist? Was this a thought experiment for you?

**Carrot ** 53:48
Yeah. I mean, she’s definitely taking a lot of risks. Like I had to give her a really good reason to go on this journey, because it is kind of a stupid risk for her to go on this journey at all, because she doesn’t even know if there’s anybody out there. And she has limited food and water. So if she can’t find people, she’s going to die. So I had to have something happen where it’s like, if she doesn’t leave the city, she’ll die. Because that was kind of the only thing good enough for her to do that. And even that, like she kind of just wanted to stay and die. So she had to, like, there had to be this whole thought process she had where she’s like, "Well, this is all I ever know. I’ll just stay in the city and die." So she had to kind of come to this conclusion that it was better to leave. So I had to give her this other reason to go, but it’s like there’s two reasons. She’s like, gonna die if she stays. And then there’s this other one that you’ll find if you read the book, that she got she decides to choose the journey. But it is like very unlikely. Her survival is very unlikely. And, obviously, I keep her alive. But yeah, it was interesting to think about the risks she was taking and then how to kind of, in the nick of time, save her over and over and over. Like, put her in these scenarios where it’s like, I don’t know how she’s gonna make it. And like water becomes a really big issue. But yeah, definitely, it’s definitely…she definitely cuts it pretty close. But it was really fun. It’s fun to think about like…because I don’t…I’m sure the book has potholes but I try not to have potholes. So I really thought about, I’m like, okay, how much food would someone…what’s the bare minimum food someone would need to be able to keep biking without like, you know, keeling over. And making sure that she had that or that she happened upon it. Or that different things happened. And then kind of bringing her back from the edge over and over in these different like harrowing scenario she gets into and trying to be realistic about it, you know? which is like, yeah, a fun thought experiment, for sure. But realistically she probably would have just died or been killed or something. [laughing in a grim way]

**Inmn ** 55:55
Nooo, that’s not what I like to hear but is maybe real. 

**Carrot ** 55:57
But it’s fiction and she doesn’t. But yeah, if you were going to do this in real life, you would be dependent on finding people who would sort of take you in. And I kind of…I kind of played into that where I thought about…I thought a lot about group dynamics and how quickly group dynamics can get very like cultish, and how people stay in groups–and what I mean by that is that people often stay in groups out of fear. And so with the group she encountered, I tried to create these situations where it made sense that people stayed together. And there was always an element of fear. The biggest thing was like fear of dying, if you were alone. And as a group, you, you know, each group she encounters has these different ways they found to survive and these different strategies. And so, yeah, like, I tried to be really realistic about the dangers and then what brought people together and how they survived, and also and how, by her joining these groups at different times, she was taking on this risk of the group dynamics, which were different in every situation.

**Inmn ** 57:10
Yeah, yeah. And that’s like, you know, a big theme that we’ve tried to hammer home on this podcast is the idea of community preparedness or like that it is very difficult to, I think, in the future for whatever–whatever is coming anyone’s way, whatever is currently happening to people–it is very difficult to do those things alone. And it is also difficult to do it with people. [said seriously]

**Carrot ** 57:45
[Laughing] The story of human existence. 

**Inmn ** 57:49
The story of human existence. [Laughing] And yeah, I don’t know, I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on kind of like community…the goodness or badness of community preparedness? I guess you kind of just talked about this. It’s fear.

**Carrot ** 58:10
I think it’s…I think group dynamics in general are really fascinating. Like, I do have some theories about human group dynamics that are just theories. I don’t know if it’s true, or just things that I think about, Like, I wonder if it’s always true that groups stay together out of fear. [lauhing] Yeah, humans are really social–

**Inmn ** 58:31
I hope it’s love too.

**Carrot ** 58:33
Maybe both, but maybe it can’t just be love. Maybe it also has to be fear, you know? Like, even if it’s just fear of not having a group, you know? It’s really fascinating to me because we are social creatures, we do not survive on our own. We’ve never survived on our own. Like, we survived because of the way we’re able to organize with each other. And so it’s just so fascinating, because it’s kind of like, groups, you can’t live with them, can’t live without them. It’s like they’re so terrible. So terrible. And yet so amazing. And it’s just..it’s such a wild–I can’t–dichotomy like human social group dynamics. So wild, so wild to me. Oh, I have one other thought. I think as far as like, preparedness currently, in this year of our Lord, 2024, with groups, I think forming groups in our current environment is extra challenging, because the system we live in is the sort of horrific late-stage Capitalism that is like eating itself. And so I feel like it’s impossible to create a group that exists outside of that because that’s just what we’re immersed in. And I feel like it like taints everything. Like it’s…like I really believe that once there’s some sort of massive collapse that we will very quickly revert to this much more like place-based, healthy kind of traditional group organizing structure that will function, you know, as like–difficult as it is to be in human groups–it will be functional. Whereas right now it feels almost impossible to organize in groups because of the environment we’re in. And that…I don’t know, I just…. Yeah, that’s how it feels to me.

**Inmn ** 1:00:21
Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. And it’s like, I feel like one of the big challenges is–which I don’t know, it’s like, I think that…I think major collapses in the worlds that we all currently live in are fairly inevitable. I feel like those will be slow or fast. And one of the things I think about a lot is like how to deal with those transitions because it’s like, I don’t know, it was…seeing seeing people like talk about this, especially in disabled communities, of how transitions, how collapses  really very disproportionately affect people who are chronically ill, people who are disabled. And the work that needs to get done now to like, support people like that during these collapses, or if they become rapid and if they continue to be slow. And this also isn’t really a question, but I’m just rambling now.

**Carrot ** 1:01:36
Yeah, this is what we’re doing. We’re doing these thought experiments to try and imagine what might happen so we can like emotionally prepare, like, "Okay, how do we?" Yeah. It’s hard to imagine how…what might happen and how to prepare.

**Inmn ** 1:01:51
Yeah, and I think like, from what I’ve seen of the book, so far, it is playing with this idea of like, there are ways in which we are intrinsically reliant on Capitalism. And that is very terrifying to me…for me to think about. And I don’t…yeah, I don’t know. And that’s like, what I hope every day for conversations of preparedness, conversations of community is how to become less reliant on these structures that we are currently relying on, even if you think we’re not. 

**Carrot ** 1:02:34
Yeah. I–maybe this is kind of nihilist–but I believe that we can’t actually build anything outside of Capitalism until the collapses, I don’t know, that’s just what feels true for me, that we are right now just kind of running in place, like spinning our wheels, and that we don’t know what’s gonna happen or how it’s gonna happen. But I do think that once it happens, we’ll suddenly know exactly what needs to be done. That’s how I feel.

**Inmn ** 1:03:12
Yeah, that’s my hope. It’s like, my hope is that…my hope is that the things that, if we can do enough kind of forethought beforehand that it’s like…that the things that we will need, that our communities will need, that we’ll be able to figure out how to do those things. That’s my hope.

**Carrot ** 1:03:34
Yeah. And oh my gosh, it’s gonna give people so much meaning, which is like…everyone is desperate for meaning right now, especially Gen Z. Gen Z is like, "What the fuck, like, everything is so fucked." And everyone will suddenly have this amazing sense of purpose. Like even if the next instant, we all get like wiped out in a nuclear war or whatever, like, our last moments of life will suddenly have this like really strong wonderful sense of purpose. And we’ll be able to like organize with our neighbors and create these like…just everything will be like how do we communicate? Where does our food come from? We’ll be worried about water and we’ll all be like sharing and working together. It’ll be so cool to have all of this purpose and meaning, even if then we get wiped out by like the wet bulb effect or something.

**Inmn ** 1:04:27
I have one last little silly question before we before we wrap up, because we are unfortunately about out of time. Um, this is a very silly question. But am I making this up? Was there an earlier draft of this book where instead of bikes it was horses?

**Carrot ** 1:04:45
So yeah, so when I very first conceived this novel, for some reason there was going to be a horse theme. I honestly don’t remember why. I first thought of this novel, I was visiting In these hot springs in Nevada where there are all these wild burros that appear and drink from the hot springs that were like introduced by miners in the 1800s and they got loose become feral and they’re doing really, really well. And they fill this like ecological niche there. And I started Googling, like, "Can you drink burrow milk? Can you eat burrow meat?" and internet was like, "Yes." And I was like, holy shit, you could live in this desert, this dry ass desert where there are these springs and you could drink burro milk. And so then I had Bets traveling there. And I mean, she still kind of is in the book. She’s going to Nevada. And there’s this…there’s a plotline about the borough’s. But for some reason, there were gonna be horse girls when she got there. And I, you know, it’s funny, like, this is my first attempt at fiction. So I hope I did a good job. I really tried. But one thing I’m learning about fiction–like nonfiction, you know, you have all the stuff that happened. And you’re just like shaping it into this compelling narrative. Nonfiction, at least for me, you write this whole idea and you’re like, "This is what the story is." And then as you rewrite, it becomes something completely different. And it turns out, like, what was the point of those first drafts? I don’t even know. So yeah, there’s no horses in it now. But originally there were going to be horses. I don’t know anything about horses. Someone should write…. Oh, my gosh, one of these groups of people, realistically, like would have horses in this world. So maybe if I knew anything about horses, I could write that but I don’t.

**Inmn ** 1:06:31
I’m glad that I’m not totally making that up. Yeah, I think in my head when you were talking about this book years ago, it was like, in my head, it was, "horse girls v. the apocalypse." And I was like, "I can’t fucking wait," which I love bikes. So like, it’s great either way.

**Carrot ** 1:06:51
Yeah, someone should write that. I mean, horses, that’s like a realistic thing. Like as–especially like, one thing I thought about with this novel is once maintenance…once road maintenance ends, how long until the roads are like undriveable? And so a return to horses, that would be a really reasonable thing to do once the roads are all fucked up and there’s no gas and stuff.

**Inmn ** 1:07:15
Horses and bikes.

**Carrot ** 1:07:16
Horses and bikes.

**Inmn ** 1:07:18
Horses and bikes. I mean, I’m into this world. We are about out of time. Do you have any, any other thoughts on your book before we get to–you know, not the most important part but certainly time sensitive wise–an important part, which is talking about your Kickstarter.

**Carrot ** 1:07:41
No, we had a great time they’re talking about this near-future collapse imagination. I feel good about it.

**Inmn ** 1:07:50
Cool, well, let’s let’s hear about your Kickstarter. As of recording, your Kickstarter launched today and it has already exceeded its goal, right?

**Carrot ** 1:08:07
Yeah, it’s…. So the Kickstarter, I’m basically selling preorders. The book’s gonna come out January of 2025. And it is June of 2024 right now. And I am selling preorders/ They’re a little bit less than what the list price will be for the Ebook and the paperback. And then I’m also offering a signed copy of the paperback. And then a third thing, which is–or a fourth thing–where you can get all three of my books signed as a bundle. So that’s what you can get and then the Kickstarter is going to pay for publishing costs.

**Inmn ** 1:08:44
Hell yeah. Is it..is it self published or you going through some a publisher or?

**Carrot ** 1:08:53
It is…it is self published. So my first book Through-Hiking Will Break Your Heart was self-published. My second book, I got a traditional publishing deal with an imprint of one of the big five publishers. And now I am back to self-publishing, which is a long story. But essentially, the publishing industry is a little bit broken and really difficult to navigate. And also generally a bad deal financially, and I do…. Independent publishing, self-publishing is great if you don’t mind wearing a lot of hats. And I don’t mind, I love researching things like…. You know, I love like finding an editor to hire and finding a cover designer and doing all that stuff. I don’t mind at all. And then you end up making better money, ultimately, than you will with traditional publishing. So that’s what I’m doing for this book. Also with traditional publishing, even if I got a book deal today, the book wouldn’t come out for like two more years because of how slowly it moves. So the cool thing about this is the book is done and so it can come out in six months, which is great.

**Inmn ** 1:10:02
Yeah, yeah. Makes a lot of sense. You know, it is funny to talk about publishing world. I don’t know what bigger, larger publishing world is, like. The only thing I know is like what we do with sSrangers, which is like, very small. And I don’t know, it’s like…. I’m very glad for you that you got to, that you’re back in self publishing for this one. And also secretly, quite sad that it was not a book that we got to put out, but I’m glad it is a book that came out. And that that’s better for you. And whatever, whatever we’re not gonna talking about publishing. Anyways. Kickstarters going still for, I think, as of when this comes out, at least a few more days or like a whole nother week. So go and check out…go and check out Kevin’s Kickstarter, and get a preordered copy, get a signed copy. It’s going to be a really cool book, and you are going to have FOMO when other people are reading it and you’re not. This is what I have to say. 

**Carrot ** 1:11:13
Thanks, Inmn. 

**Inmn ** 1:11:15
Yeah, any any final words, Carrott? Oh, where can people find you on social media or your work, or other other things you do in the world where you would like to be found?

**Carrot ** 1:11:26
I think I’m most active, currently, on my newsletter, which is on Substack. And it’s just, I think carrotquinn.substack.com. So I write a newsletter every week. So that’s like a that’s good place. And then I’m also on Instagram, but, you know, don’t post a whole lot there these days. And then I have a website carrotquinn.com where I post about the guided backpacking trips I do and stuff like that.

**Inmn ** 1:11:53
Cool. Cool. Hell yeah. When’s your next guided backpack trip coming up?

**Carrot ** 1:11:59
In July, I’m taking two groups to the Brooks Range in Alaska, which is really fun. Hopefully we have good weather. It’s always a little unpredictable.

**Inmn ** 1:12:09
Yeah, yeah. Cool. Hell yeah. Well, thanks for so much for coming on the show. And we will hopefully have you back again soon.

**Carrot ** 1:12:18
Thanks so much for having me. This has been great. 

**Inmn ** 1:12:22
Hell, yeah.

**Inmn ** 1:12:27
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, then go read Carrot’s book. You can’t read it now. But you can read…. There are three chapters that you can read. You can–or listen to. You can read the first chapter. You can re-listen to the fourth chapter. And there’s another chapter that you can listen to Margaret read on the It Could Happen Here Book Club, which is searchable on Cool Zone Media. And it’s going to be a cool book. So if you enjoy this podcast, read and write cool books about the apocalypse. And also if you like this podcast, you can talk to people about it. You can tell people about it. You can tell people about it IRL. You can tell people about it on the internet. You can shout its name into the night sky of the desert and hope that a nice burrow hears you and comes and hangs out with you. You can also do things like, if you liked this podcast, you can support our publisher Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness and you can support us on Patreon at patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness or you can go and buy other cool books from us that are not Carrot’s book but are equally as cool as Carrot’s book. And you can find those at tangledwilderness.org and you can submit cool books to us that we will hopefully publish that will definitely be good deals for everyone. I’m not saying this sarcastically. And yeah, those are my plugs. We would love to shout out these wonderful people who have given us their…some some stuff on Patreon. And you can too. If you look at our Patreon you can sign up for our acknowledgement tier. And we will think you, a cool organization, a cool project, or a cool friend, or a cool dog. Anything that you ask us to, we will think. Unless it sucks. We would like to thank Connor, Bartholomew Spawndoom. Jason, not a real name. Aiden, alium, Amber, Ephemeral, Appalachian Liberation Library, Portland Hedron Hackerspace, Boldfield, E, Patoli, Eric, the People’s University of Palestine, Julia, Catgut, Marm, Carson, Lord Harken, Trixter, Princess Miranda, Ben Ben, anonymous, Janice and O’dell, Aly, paparouna, Milica, Boise Mutual Aid, theo, Hunter S J., Paige, David, Dana, Chelsea, Staro, Jenipher, Kirk, Chris, Micaiah, Nicole & Tikvah the dog, and the immortal Hoss the Dog. Carrot, Do you have any people or dogs that you would like to thank?

**Carrot ** 1:15:33
Um, not off the top of my head.

**Inmn ** 1:15:36
Well, I’m gonna think your doggos.

**Carrot ** 1:15:43
Yeah, my dogs are great. All dogs. All dogs, because a friend of mine once said, "Dogs are the only animals on Earth to give a fuck about us." And I think it’s true. Like they…we don’t deserve their love. Like they love us so much. So shout out to all the dogs everywhere for the continued support of the human race.

**Inmn ** 1:16:08
Well, we hope you’re doing as well as you can with everything that’s going on and we’ll see you next time.

Find out more at https://live-like-the-world-is-dying.pinecast.co