A human darkness with a vast appetite for chaos and violence.
That is what simmers in the background, waiting to be released, which is exactly what unfolds in Steven Konkoly‘s The Perseid Collapse and William R. Forstchen‘s One Second After.
Unfortunately, what they write about in fiction is all too real a threat.
A Dangerous Situation
An aged power grid is becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks or natural or man-made EMPs. This really isn’t a secret to the powers that be. In fact, if they truly cared about people, they would have taken measures to shore up the grid years ago. They’re too busy figuring out how to buy votes and bail out their buddies. If this is all new to you, check out the latest threats to the grid here. A decade or so ago, the United States finally began deploying a missile defense system to protect us from human causes. Again, politics continues to threaten expansion and upgrades.
National Geographic aired the docudrama American Blackout which showed what could happen with the grid down for a few days. What would happen if this lasted weeks or months? Many people think (or hope) disasters like these won’t or cannot happen. Ask people who have lived through hurricanes and tornadoes or earthquakes. Fiction can remind us what is really important in life. It tells us action is better than hoping for the best.
Should protecting the country from nuclear holocaust or complete collapse really be a political issue? I’m thinking most would rather not be vaporized or watch their cities self-destruct. Sooner or later, disasters will come, whether natural or man-made.
Ignoring this is beneath human intelligence. Let’s do something about it.
Categories: Books, What You Can Do
Tags: 33 Minutes, A Nation Forsaken, American Blackout, EMP, grid, missile defense, One Second After, power grid, Steven Konkoly, The Perseid Collapse, William R. Forstchen
Receive a few gift cards to your favorite book store for Christmas? Well, here are a few suggestions on spending that money:
In one sense, I hesitated to pick up Steven Konkoly‘s The Jakarata Pandemic. Haven’t pandemics and apocalyptic collapse been overdone? Probably, but apocalyptic books have always been a favorite. That, along with the current Ebola threat, encouraged me to give this book a chance. It didn’t disappoint and ripped a story from headlines that had yet to be written. If you want a realistic look at what happens after a major crisis (no zombies, aliens or Godzilla) and what a pandemic could do, The Jakarta Pandemic will keep you on the edge of your seat. Definitely will be reading more from Konkoly. [Similar: One Second After]
While fantasy has been dominated by reluctant male heroes, that has been changing. In Mary Weber‘s Storm Siren, Nymeria is a slave haunted by her past and her ability. An elemental, her influence of the weather is uncontrollable and deadly. Or can her curse be a gift? Written in the first person, very quickly the reader is drawn in wanting to know what happens to Nym as she is drawn into a war of men and within herself. Listed as a “young adult” fantasy — and it is accessible to that group — but so sophisticated and immersive is the world Weber has created that all fantasy fans will be taken in. [Similar: Daughter of Light]
Want some non-fiction that reads like a Tom Clancy novel? Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control will give you and inside look at the Cold War and the tenuous relationship of man with nuclear weapons. If you grew up in the Cold War, and thought the Cuban Missile Crisis was as close as we got, think again. The rush into nuclear armament was peppered with many close calls. Those who did know are still surprised that no nukes have been used, or gone off, outside of test ranges since 1945. Scholosser recounts the history while threading in the account of an armed Titan II that exploded in its silo in 1980. It is also a tale of the many who served quietly in a supposedly “cold” war. A great book on history that we would be amiss to forget and a telling that honors those who died defending our nation. [Similar: 15 Minutes]
Categories: Books, Fiction, History, Modern History
Tags: apocalyptic fiction, Cold War, Command and Control, Eric Scholosser, fantasy, Mary Weber, nuclear weapons, Steven Konkoly, Storm Siren, The Jakarta Pandemic, Titan II