Winner: Favorite Blackout Survival Story!

Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

Sponsored by Blackout by Marc Elsberg.

When the lights go out one night, no one panics. Not yet. The lights always come back on soon, don’t they? Surely it’s a glitch, a storm, a malfunction. But something seems strange about this night. Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electrical grids collapse. There is no power, anywhere.

A former hacker and activist, Piero Manzano investigates a possible cause of the disaster. The authorities don’t believe him, and he soon becomes a prime suspect himself. With the United States now also at risk, Piero goes on the run, desperate to uncover who is behind the attacks. After all, the power doesn’t just keep the lights on—it keeps us alive.

Last week, we asked you to vote on your favorite reader-submitted story of how you would survive an international, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-style blackout. And our winner isssss:


I would survive a blackout through enterprising means. I would most likely create an underground hierarchical ring selling batteries and flashlights, among other light sources, which would be commodities. Only females could be members, because even though the world went dark, women would refuse to go back to the depressed, repressed days of the Dark Ages. Our group’s elite would be known as Watt Women, and would deal with the more precious lights, and our lower ranked would be known as the Gas Gals, and would manage gas lighting such as lanterns. Through this we would be able to trade for other necessities such as food, water, and hygiene products. Our headquarters would be a haven, and the most lit place for miles. It would be a beacon to break through the dark veil and bring balance to a blacked out world; a world that so savagely reminded us that sans technology, humans are but soft sophisticated animals.

Congrats to the winner, who receives a copy ofBlackout by Marc Elsberg, along with a $100 gift card to Powell’s Books! And thanks to everyone who entered!