LAS VEGAS – A new series of novels depicts the world after a pre-tribulation rapture, in which righteous evangelical believers are swept from the planet and “secular awesomeness” prevails.
“It’s religious fan fiction from the other perspective,” said author Tyler Janky. “Most times, the story is told from the point of view of the pious. What about us five-odd billion heathens?”
The story centers around ordinary citizen Scott Bonner and his family who are waiting for lunch in a restaurant when a car crashes outside. They go outside to investigate and find that one car has a bumper sticker indicating that “In the event of Rapture, this car will be unoccupied.”
Thus begins an unraveling of the sudden disappearance of thousands of people in Centerville, some of whom Bonner knew casually at work.
The Bonners notice immediately that traffic has improved. Sunday alcohol sales are soon allowed in all states. NPR and sports events are the only things left on AM radio.
The series goes on to explore other impacts of the event, such as the married gay couple moving in next door to the Bonners and raising property values. Movies and television change visibly with alleviation of puritanical attitudes. In one chapter, a bare breast is accidentally broadcast on live television. The FCC and networks prepare for a backlash that never comes.
Janky admits to not having read the “End Times” novels that inspired his work, but he calls that fact irrelevant. “I just went about it asking what would actually happen if all the ‘Rapture crowd’ simply vanished.”