"I woke up one morning to find that the entire city had been covered in a three foot layer of man-eating jam... I didn't notice straight away."
A post-apocalyptic novel by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, with a twist, and even a couple of satirical jabs at some of the apocalypse genre's recurring tropes.Travis, an unemployed everyman from Brisbane, wakes up one morning to discover that the city has been covered in a thick layer of a red, sticky substance that smells distinctly of strawberry, not too much unlike jam. The problem, however, is that the substance has one major characteristic that it doesn't share with jam: It likes to eat any organic thing it touches, and that unfortunately includes humans.Travis and his friend Tim are forced to band together with a group of other survivors, and together they attempt to stay alive until rescue hopefully arrives, which is really tricky when you can't get down to street level without getting eaten.
Apocalypse How: Almost a Regional class 3, with only the part of the population above ground level surviving the initial event.
Apocalyptic Log: Angela attempts to keep one. The battery for her camcorder ran out, but she felt it was too important to stop.
Armies Are Evil: Played with. Y is a frighteningly-good soldier who willingly murders a lot of people whenever ordered to, and X goes to murderous lengths to conceal her and Y's part in the jampocalypse. Plus, the American Navy quarantines the entire country and fires upon those who try to escape. However, Y was a very moral person and obeying those orders caused him a lot of psychological grief; also, the quarantine thing was a big misunderstanding and once they know the truth, the entire American Navy basically does a mass Heel-Face Turn.
Break the Cutie: Poor woobieish Travis just can't catch a break what with everybody around him either dying, trying to murder him or shouting a lot. Also Dierdre when Lord Awesomo dies and Angela when she learns that the jampocalypse was a pointless accident.
Brick Joke: Tim wildly theorises early on that the jam might be allergic to peanut butter. Dr Thorn refers to the anti-jam compound HEPL created by the nickname "Peanut Butter".
Cassandra Truth: At one point, X says the Jam wasn't released as a deliberate attack. Angela believes her for all of five minutes. Turns out, Y left a sample on the roof of his and X's car and the container broke when they drove off.
Chekhov's Gun: Mary. Also HEPL. And Y's trousers. In a darker and more literal sense, Dr. Thorn's sniper rifle.
Depopulation Bomb: The jam obviously. It destroys everything organic but leaves most of the infrastructure intact.
Determinator: Don will get his hard drive back if it's the last thing he ever does.
Dude, Not Ironic: The central gag of the Bagmen living in a mall is that their group was founded by a bunch of young people on some survivalist internet forum, who constantly misuse the term irony due to Memetic Mutation. Tim eventually calls them out on this while campaigning to become their new leader.
Foreshadowing: At one point Angela contemplates whether, if they were in a movie, the protagonist would be Tim or Don. She decides that if this truly is the apocalypse then Tim is the visionary hero, whereas if the Jam is localized Don is the Only Sane Man. It's localized, and Don survives while Tim perishes.
Godwin's Law: Whenever Tim compares a group of survivors to Nazi Germany, Don is quick to call him out on it.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Surprisingly, everybody retains their sanity pretty well in the face of the jampocalypse, acclimatising well. Too well in Tim's case. He goes mad at the revelation that it isn't the real apocalypse.
Government Conspiracy: Zig-zagged. It's clear from the start that X and Y know more than they admit to, and Angela is convinced that they're part of an American governmental conspiracy. They aren't, but the American government is covering up their colossal cock-up.
Stripped to the Bone: Frank, the first "on-camera" death, and a survivor who got washed off the deck of the Everlong. Then the jam happily eats the bones too, though those take a little longer to "digest".
Zombie Apocalypse: Discussed. "Move into the mall and loot the shops" was the Hipster Cult's Zombie Contingency Plan, the back cover states "we... could have dealt with zombies", and Y is compared to a zombie when Lord Awesomeo shoots him.