Stories, 1937-85, offering a long, hard look at the beginnings and consequences of what Miller terms ""Megawar""; whether...

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BEYOND ARMAGEDDON: Twenty-One Sermons to the Dead

Stories, 1937-85, offering a long, hard look at the beginnings and consequences of what Miller terms ""Megawar""; whether nuclear, biological, chemical, or conventional, the upshot is a devastated planet--and some imaginatively diverse survivors. The fine and famous entries: Ward Moore's piercing ""Lot,"" about a survival-conscious man obliged to jettison those family members who won't accept the new reality and continue to behave as if no war has started; J.G. Ballard's terrifying ""The Terminal Beach,"" one man's surreal pilgrimage to a Pacific atoll ruined by nuclear tests; ""Eastward Ho!"", William Tenn's waggish tale of the last whites forced to quit America by resurgent Indian tribes; and ""A boy and His Dog,"" Harlan Ellison's brutal future where vicious gangs fight among the ruins, while subterranean survivors eke out a sterile, unreal idyll. Elsewhere, there's plenty to chew on in both antebellum and postbellum modes. A nasty little Central American war takes on supernatural overtones (Lucius Shepard). A Pentagon-backed Heavy Metal rock group eases the world into nuclear doomsday (Norman Spinrad). Capitalism and communism alike crumble before new barbarian hordes out of central Asia (Robert Abernethy). Some survivors, traumatized by the war, demand bread and circuses (Michael Swanwick), others mournfully try to recapture the old safe, familiar world (Robert Sheckley, Roger Zelazny, Edgar Pang-born, Carol Emshwiller), while still others lurch toward fascism (Poul Anderson, Rog Phillips). Quality work in the main, greatly enhanced by Miller's sometimes quite mad, refreshingly skeptical, and cheerfully subversive introductions.

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 1985

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Donald Fine

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1985