My novel needs a little flavor.
I’ve been working on some fleshing out of characters and am planning to do part of it by way of a market scene that plays on character interactions. The setting is near future, post-apocalyptic, east Texas in a small town, relatively closed community (two years after a “limited” nuclear war that pretty much destroys the electronic infrastructure that we currently depend on). I’m after ideas on what kind of trade goods one could expect to find in a world where most electronics don’t work.
This means no power tools to manufacture unless they’ve been adapted to work on a power source other than electricity. It means no electrical power plants, but people are learning to make smaller, “personal power plants” from car generators/alternators attached to waterwheels, windmills, or other centrifugal force devices. This means limited electricity and manufacturing capability.
What I’ve envisioned so far –
“Old world” scavenged trade goods – aerosol cheese, canned goods (just make sure they aren’t swollen with bacteria ), metals from stripped appliances and automobiles, car parts for those cars that still run – or for use in other projects, etc.
Craft or artisan goods – woodcarved items, pottery, herbal remedies, paintings, hand-woven cloth or clothing, homemade garden tools, homemade fallout detectors, homemade electrical generator kits, etc.
Raw materials – seeds, homegrown garden goods, marijuana, herbs, hunters can bring meats, etc.
What else would you think would be available in this kind of setting? What kind of interactions (bartering, obviously) can you think of that I may have overlooked? I’m looking for a light, friendly, interlude piece – a few pages of “an afternoon at the market”.
So can anyone add to this with ideas on trade goods? Fun items that the kids can find for Mom’s birthday? What a character in this setting should watch out for, both good and bad?
Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.