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Books & Authors

Nuclear Winter Wonderlands

A nuclear winter is a hypothesized global decline in temperature caused by the smoke released into the Earth's atmosphere by nuclear warfare. Visions of humankind struggling to rebuild civilization following nuclear cataclysm have long inspired authors. What better season than winter to read these stories of humanity surviving nuclear catastrophe?

 A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

In a nightmarish ruined world, the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. Winner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel, Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a chilling and still-provocative look at a post-apocalyptic future.

 The Last Ship by William Brinkley

The unimaginable has happened: the world has been plunged into all-out nuclear war. Sailing near the Arctic Circle, the U.S.S. Nathan James is unscathed, but Captain Thomas is facing mutiny from his crew. He urges those that remain to pull together in search of land. Once they reach safety,  the men and women on board realize that they are the only survivors, and they've all been exposed to radiation. Will this be the end of humankind? 

 Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

"Alas, Babylon." Those fateful words heralded the end. When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness. 

 On the Beach by Nevil Shute

After a nuclear war has destroyed most of the globe, the few survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way, bringing certain death. Among them is an American submarine captain struggling to accept that his family is dead. Then a Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from Seattle, and Captain Towers must lead his submarine crew on a bleak tour of the ruined world in a desperate search for signs of life.

 Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways, yet in one region genocide still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general gives birth to an baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. She is Ewu—a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm she learns something terrifying: Someone powerful is trying to kill her. 

 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

World war has killed millions, driving species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. To replace extinct animals, companies built incredibly realistic simulacra: horses, birds, cats, sheep. They've even built humans. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans can wreak, the government bans them from Earth. Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and "retire" them. But when cornered, androids fight back—with lethal force.

  Bombs Away: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove

U.S. control of the war in Korea has slipped disastrously away. General MacArthur advises President Truman that the only way to stop the Communist surge into the Korean Peninsula is through a nuclear attack. In actual history, Truman rejected his general's advice; in this book, he does not. The miscalculation turns into a disaster when Stalin strikes U.S. allies in Europe and the two superpowers are caught in a horrifying face-off. 

 Swan Song by Robert McCammon

An ancient evil roams the desolate landscape of an America ravaged by nuclear war. He is the Man with the Scarlet Eye, and his only desire is to find a special child named Swan and destroy her. But those who would protect the girl are determined to fight back. In a wasteland born of rage, populated by monsters and marauders, the last survivors on earth have been drawn into a battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of humanity.

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