A Distopian Science Fiction Novel Which Now Can Be Regarded As Alternate History.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Cire, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. Cire Mr. Wrinkled Shirt

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    Back in 1984, Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka coauthored a book together called "War Day". The book takes place in 1993 following a limited nuclear exchange between the US and USSR five years earlier in October of 1988.

    Without spoiling too much, the two main characters make their way across post nuclear America interviewing random survivors they encounter along the way, while also meeting with top military and government officials trying to hold onto power in their particular part of the country. It is a very vivid story full of detailed information including mock government reports on the economy, the health of the surviving population, and national security concerns. Also, there are no zombie mutants or anything like that, it is pretty much straight science based upon what a limited exchange might have looked like during the 1980s.

    The reason I bring this up is because shortly after this novel came out, I remember reading an article in Omni Magazine (does anyone remember that?) stating that Strieber and Kunetka were planning a follow novel to War Day to be set five years after the original story, presumably around 1998 or so.

    I was wondering if anyone else has read this book, and if they've given any thought to what the two main characters would have encountered five years on, or what North America would be like by that time. (Note - If you didn't live through that period of time, then it might be a very stale read for you.)
     
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  2. THeaven Well-Known Member

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    Sep 12, 2018
    I don't know about novels but a number movies come to mind so I guess the Akria Manga is my vote
     
  3. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

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    Yeah, some 1970s political thrillers now read like alternate history - eg Rotunda
     
  4. arctic warrior Scandinavian die-hard

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    I remember reading it back in the 1980's when in my twenties but didn't think of the developments beyond the narrative. Living in Denmark wouldn't exactly be a foundation for such and never heard or read of any plans of authours to do so. Or did I? Would though be interesting.
    With the good grace of hindsight such would have played out much different from what happened since the fall of the Soviet Union. Don't think many of us back in the day had an inkling of what would really happen. I at least at the time didn't.
     
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  5. eltf177 Well-Known Member

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    I also read it back when I was reading every nuclear holocaust book I could find. Finally gave that up, too damn depressing...

    I don't recall any mention of a sequel but that was a long time ago...
     
  6. Dave Howery laughs at your pain

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    I remember reading it back in the day. The main thing I remember about it was that there was a separatist movement in the SW, and CA was on the verge of being it's own country...
    they never did do a sequel, but IIRC, they did do another book titled "Nature's End" or something like that, about the Earth basically dying from too many people...
     
  7. Cire Mr. Wrinkled Shirt

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    I imagine that they were probably working on their manuscript for a sequel, when Mikhail Gorbachev announced his Glastnoust reforms, and after that, a story about a nuclear war between the US and USSR seemed a whole lost less plausible, so I imagine that Strieber and Kunetka probably just dropped the idea at that point. Just my guess.

    I've read "Nature's End" which is also a very good book, but for me War Day seemed slightly more believable and plausible, because it was set in a period of time just around the corner, and at that time I happened to be living in one of the cities described in the book, so for me it really hit home. Anyway, I wonder what would have happen to those separatist movements described in War Day?
     
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