Allen Garvin's Reviews > Warday

Warday by Whitley Strieber
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Apr 28, 09

bookshelves: alternative-history, sci-fi
Read in July, 1984

Interesting story of a post-apocalyptic America, set after the USSR launched a pre-emptive attack just as the US was deploying a missile defense shield, a la Star Wars/SDI. California was spared, but the rest of the US suffered a devastating blow that destroyed much of every major city. It's worth noting this was written just before the Nuclear Winter hypothesis was published, so there was no world-wide climate change from the attack. The US responded with attacks against the USSR, but Europe, apart from the soviet bloc, and Asia were spared.

The novel is told from the point of view of the authors themselves, Strieber and Kunetka, as if they were themselves and were living in San Antonio when the bombs fell. The novel is the story of them travelling around the US, documenting the changes to lives of survivors and to America itself in the years since. Interspersed are government documents, newspaper reports, and other documentary evidence from before and after War Day.

I picked this up in London on a trip in 1984... it's a marvelous story, and a bit terrifying as well.

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