The thread on Revolution and the current cultural interest in a Zombie Apocalypse made me think of this.

It's been many years since I Hyperion, but if I'm remembering correctly, in that book (or the series?):

Mankind is spread out across the galaxy, connected by instantaneous teleporters. The teleporters are so ubiquitous that people walk through them like simple doorways. People leave home on one planet, walk through a teleporter to work on another planet (maybe on the other side of the galaxy), and then come home in the evening. Some buildings are spread out across numerous worlds, connected through simple doorways.

Then one day, the teleporters are shut down, permanently. People are stuck on whatever world they were on at that moment. The world may be a fully civilized place, but suddenly you are cut off from home, family, never to see or communicate with either ever again. Without warning.

Comparing this to our real, modern, world, it would be like if you have any kind of commute outside your immediate town or city, you are suddenly completely disconnected from home and family. Forever.

How's that for an apocalypse? Everything works, no break down of technology or civilization.

Bullgrit