The Long Loud Silence by WIlson Tucker Dell Books, 1952 Price I paid: 50¢
Corporal Russell Gary—operator—angle man—black-marketeer, junior grade—liberator of anything loose—veteran of Salerno and Normandy—a man who knew how to live by his wits and a gun.
Celebrating ten years in khaki, Gary went on a monumental binge…
While he slept it off, the United States east of the Mississippi was laid waste by atomic bombs and plague germs. The few who survived were immune to the plague but carriers of the toxin. No one from the contaminated area crossed the Mississippi and lived more than a few seconds. The army guarded every bridge, every inch of shore line. If you happened to be east of the river when the bombs fell, you stayed there until you died. There was no other choice, no other future.
When Corporal Gary woke up he was on the wrong side of the river, the bombed and contaminated side…
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham Audible, 2009 (audiobook version) RosettaBooks, 2000 (eBook version) Originally published by Michael Joseph, 1951 Price I paid: $2.99 (audiobook), I don’t remember (ebook)
Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere 24 hours before is gone forever. But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, 50 years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.
After the Rain by John Bowen Ballantine Books, 1965 (Second edition) First edition published in 1959 Price I paid: 75¢
The British are a hardy island people. At least two aspects of this country are world-renowned—the astonishing number of high calibre writers they produce, and their climate.
AFTER THE RAIN is an impressive combination of both. In fact, Angus Wilson says:
“If you like cataclysmic novels John Bowen’s AFTER THE RAIN is as exciting as any deluge you can hope to find: but if you think deluges are twoo trivial, John Bowen has a surprise for you: his novel turns out to be a satire of the first order.”
The Overman Culture by Edmund Cooper Berkley Medallion, 1972 Price I paid: 25¢
“A REAL SPINNER!…Michael is a ‘fragile’ boy—one of a seemingly small number of children who grow tired when they run, who bleed when they are hurt, who can’t take off their heads….As the fragile children discover each other, probe in the moldering ruins of London, and try to interpret what they find, they come to the conclusion that they have been created by some super-scientist, as guinea pigs for an experiment.
“And what happens if the guinea pigs turn on their creator—on the Overman of the legend they all know? They may be destroyed. They may be set free. They may escape. And who or what are the others, the ‘drybones’ who do not bleed, who can take off their heads? Edmund Cooper has secrets he can hide as well from you as from the fragiles…”
A Fond Farewell to Dying by Syd Logsdon
Pocket Books, 1981
Price I paid: none
MAN HAS UNLEASHED THE ULTIMATE WEAPON
Millions have died in the holocaust. The Polar ice caps have melted. Salt water covers the crater where the Vatican once stood. And now, dazed survivors gather on mountaintop islands and cry to the heavens of the end.
Out of this nightmare chaos, biologist David Singer flees to India, to the last civilization left on Earth, and to the arms of the exotic almond-eyed beauty, Shashi. And there he pursues his one burning obsession: to transfer his mind into a cloned replica of himself…to leave his own body in order to find immortality.
But Shashi’s ancient Hindu wisdom has warned her. She knows that David’s secret experiments are doomed, that his spirit will be set loose to wander forever in a hopeless search for his body. Unless she can stop him, she will lose the man she loves to an oblivion far more terrifying than death itself…
Doomsday, 1999 by Paul MacTyre
Ace Books, 1962
Price I paid: none
What would happen if man’s mastery of the world was suddenly snatched away by a new and more advanced type of life? This is the startling premise of this unusual novel.
It fell to two people to face the news that mankind was about to follow the dinosaurs off the Earth’s stage. One was Angus, veteran of a defeated Western army in a world devastated by atomic warfare. The other was Liu, woman officer of a conquering army she already knew was destined for destruction.
How these two found the new master species and what they did about it is an exciting and thought-provoking science-fiction adventure.