Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nuclear Disaster Novels

Nuclear Disaster Novels

With the arrival of the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, I thought I'd highlight one of the more offbeat sub-genres of sf: the nuclear disaster novel. Here are the ones in my collection, and - for those I've read - a brief summary, and a link to my full review.

Dome in its Pocket Books (1979, bottom) and New English Library (1980, top) versions. I haven't read this one. The plot has to do with a reactor disaster in the Southern USA.

Hapless Canadians confront the meltdown of a nuke plant near Toronto. I reviewed this one and gave it four stars.

This 1985 book was one of the Ace Science Fiction Specials. One hundred years after Three Mile Island underwent a meltdown in March of 1979, a vast chunk of Pennsylvania is inhabited only by outlaws and mutants. I gave this novel four stars.

Del Rey's 1956 novel is the earliest treatment of the theme in sf, but that's about the only noteworthy thing about it. Nerves is poorly written and at times incomprehensible. I gave it one star.

This one is not easy to find. The original hardcover was published in 1974 as Paradigm Red. When the TV adaptation, titled Red Alert, was aired in 1977, Pocket Books released it as the above paperback.

This is a 1979 English translation of the 1976 German novel Die Explosion. I haven't read it.

In the USA of the future, unregulated nuke plant construction has left most of the country exposed to radioactivity from accidents and waste. I gave this novel four stars.

A nuke disaster strikes southern California. Although the disaster itself doesn't take place until half-way through this lengthy novel, it's a well-written account of a meltdown, and I gave it four stars.

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