The best worst ways the world could end in a book

Konstantin Traumer Author Of Masks: The Unmercenaries
By Konstantin Traumer

Who am I?

Political sciences was always an exciting topic for me in college, and to this day I enjoy reading about failed states and tyrannical governments. And as someone who loves philosophy, I see something very important about reading the dystopian genre, as this breed of fiction constantly reminds me how utopia is unachievable on this earth, and that civility only resides in each human soul working out its own imperfections. Today, I see something important as different political factions strive to manage men, that it should not be a machine or faction that rules over a human’s heart, but a human that tames their own passions.

I wrote...

Masks: The Unmercenaries

By Konstantin Traumer, Lexie Takis,

Book cover of Masks: The Unmercenaries

What is my book about?

What happens when Halloween carries on a little too long? An entire city is threatened with being leveled.

Welcome to Nymphis, a city of Masks on the brink of destruction. Caped vigilantism and masked crime has spiraled out of control, one feeding the other, and resulted in the inception of urban legends known as Masks. Follow the Unmercenaries as they uncover a plot to level the entire city. Through the leadership of their insomniac hacker, Father, the Unmercenaries square off against their greatest foe yet: The Den, a masked cabal of thieves and murderers led by the cold giant, Silverback.

The books I picked & why

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Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury,

Book cover of Fahrenheit 451

Why this book?

I read Fahrenheit 451 in my first year of high school and it left the biggest impression on me. It was such a meta theme: a tale of what might happen if the world decided to burn books. I couldn't fathom such an apocalypse initially, but as I paged through it and grew to see abuses of technology I became quite alarmed at the book’s prophetic message. It’s certainly a cautionary tale of censorship, but beyond that, it rekindled my love for reading and my curiosity for tradition. As a writer, this book reminded me that literature is not meant merely to capture attention and evoke emotion, but to provide truth and foundation to the human experience. The Old Testament Prophets, the New Testament Apostles, the Ancient Philosophers, the Renaissance Poets, they all had an important message to pass on, and this book highlights that truth.

Lord of the Flies

By William Golding,

Book cover of Lord of the Flies

Why this book?

Some of the most deep and memorable conversations I've had with my friends entailed "how do you recreate civilization after civilization collapses?" I found that Lord of the Flies humbled my utopian ideas as it presents some logical steps of social disintegration. What's great about this story is that it's not even set in a remnant of civilization, but drops us straight onto an island. The cast of characters is so perfectly written as we see children trying to not only survive but to create their own civilization on this island. I found these images to be vivid and perfectly chosen as it displays the wild and naive state of man when man’s hubris runs rampant. It’s a retelling of the Tower of Babel, of man’s proclivity for religion and hiearchy, and warns the reader of our own hubris when we attempt to redefine society.


By George Orwell,

Book cover of 1984

Why this book?

This book is really exciting and appealed to my love for espionage, political intrigue, and all things dystopian. Although it’s a political commentary, the book is a suspenseful narrative following an ordinary man who begins to peel back the curtain of his society and the assumptions he has made of it. While the book opened my eyes to the potential of abuse of nations and governments, it also taught me of the dangers of indoctrination that can sometimes even be apolitical. Most of all, Winston Smith to this day is one of my most beloved characters for whom my heart broke continually for in this book.

Brave New World

By Aldous Huxley,

Book cover of Brave New World

Why this book?

Brave New World is a fascinating story that illustrates a dichotomy of a pleasure-seeking progressive society pitted against a rustic and rigid fundamentalist society. It’s the tale of McWorld and Jihad, of tyrannical Chaos and Order. I found myself haunted by the illustrations we see in this book, of how far society might break down social norms for the sake of being “advanced” as well as the image of a cloistered society that slowly loses its own grounding and civility as it clings to “the old way”. This was perhaps the hardest read of this selection, not a feel-good at all, but a provocative and rewarding one to be sure.

The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Why this book?

I think it important to acknowledge newer dystopian among the classics, and I feel The Hunger Games to be a bright and powerful new story in this genre. Why I love this story is that it comments on the grizzly measures a collapsing society will go to suppress and dope up its citizens while also providing us with a suspenseful and action-packed tale of a young woman forced to fight in a modern colosseum. The world-building and imagining of this modern Rome society was vivid and really immersed me, and has challenged me as a writer to think of new methods to immerse my own audience into my stories.

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