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  1. #1
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Default City ruin: wildlife?

    I'm writing a post-apocalyptic science fiction story. The heroine explores a city which has been hastily deserted in the late 21th century. The city is fairly big, not in the leage of the American cities but a big European one. (For the ones who know it, it's Antwerp.) So what does the heroine find?

    Plants: I guess a lot of weeds which grow nowadays in unattended places. Plus some trees and shrubs which have grown wild. I'd like my heroine to find some edible plants, too. Stinging nettles and dandelions would be abundant, but I guess some old vegetable patches would provide, too. Which vegetables will thrive when unattended? Carrots? Potatoes? Pumpkins (probably yes, they thrive like weeds around here)?

    Animals: insects, birds, mice, rats, moles, cats. Eels and other fish in the Schelde river. Would dogs survive? Would they band together, scavenge and hunt? Would they attack a human heroine when she crosses their territory? I'd like to give her some challenges and dangers along the way! Other ideas? Wasps, maybe?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Wow, that's a nice story idea! One thing I've noted is that plants make a come back much more quickly than you expect them to -- and not just weeds.

    An idea: make a list of common plants/trees found in Antwerp (It is going to be Antwerp right?) then look up their growth rate. Some trees can grow quite tall in as little time as 5 years, so I'd imagine it would be quite a forest. Not sure about this, but I think seeds can grow between concrete cracks and are usually strong enough to greatly widen that crack, so you might have trees in the middle of roads. Creepers are going to take over tall structures and become 'giant trees'. I have vivid memories of an anime movie (back when I still watched anime ) where it's way in the future and modern civilization is gone. Much of the world has flooded over and when the main character, who comes from a very 'tribal' kind of civilization, goes exploring the world, there are traces of glass and escalators overgrown with creepers and all sorts of structures. The characters of course have no idea what these things are but just accept them as part of 'nature'. The story wasn't so great, but the imagery that world was strikingly beautiful. To bad I can't remember the name of the anime.

    There will be loads of dust (as we know dust is everywhere!) that is going to cover all surfaces, so depending on how long it's been you might need to dig down a little before you hit pavement, etc.

    I suspect that animals will revert to their natural states, like dogs will band together and become feral (like the Dingo). I'm not sure how close Antwerp is to a national park or reserve, but if the city is abandoned I can imagine those animals coming to live in this habitat that has just opened up as well.

    Oh, also, some very interesting things can happen in abandoned underground train tunnels! (Might be a nasty place to go into -- but maybe the main road to somewhere is blocked and your heroine has to decipher an underground map and use the tunnels!)

    I remember a Discovery Channel program called the Earth after Us (or People) or something like that that deals specifically with this idea, so you might find that interesting.

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  3. #3
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I'm writing a post-apocalyptic science fiction story. The heroine explores a city which has been hastily deserted in the late 21th century. The city is fairly big, not in the leage of the American cities but a big European one. (For the ones who know it, it's Antwerp.) So what does the heroine find?

    Plants: I guess a lot of weeds which grow nowadays in unattended places. Plus some trees and shrubs which have grown wild. I'd like my heroine to find some edible plants, too. Stinging nettles and dandelions would be abundant, but I guess some old vegetable patches would provide, too. Which vegetables will thrive when unattended? Carrots? Potatoes? Pumpkins (probably yes, they thrive like weeds around here)?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_pawpaw

    My ENTP friend is on a quest to find these.

    Also, I have personally tried these:

    Serviceberries

    More on serviceberries

    Edit: Wait, you're European? I don't know, then.
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