As the era of globalization and comfort ends, preparedness novels embrace humanity's dystopian future and leap at the chance for societal rejuvenation on more localized terms. The three textual case studies explored here put forward a value system derived from the lives of the pioneers and settlers. The frontier, a classic trope of American mythology, is reimagined as the neo-frontier, a time–space continuum located at the porous divide between civilization and wilderness. While this trope provides an antidote against consumer culture's perceived rootlessness and effeminacy, it also legitimizes problematic attitudes, including racism, sexism and a penchant for top-down hierarchies. By regressing to traditional models, the white man avoids succumbing to the excesses of savagery, for example cannibalism, and places himself outside historic time.