One day everything is normal. People go to work, take trips, go on outings with family. The next day – Armageddon. Iran and North Korea have a pact and attack the United States with nuclear weapons. The destruction is horrific. Millions are killed outright, other millions will die soon after the attack due to radiation poisoning. Not knowing who exactly initiated the attack US elements are ordered to follow prior plans to launch missiles against planned targets. Civilization has come to an end as we know it and survivors must make their way in a scenario not conceived before the attacks.
Tim Washburn presents a frightening, very realistic story about certain survivors that must contend with impossible conditions and somehow come to grips with the horror that exists for them. There are two programmers working for the US government and brought into a meeting initiated by the president. They flee the meeting and begin a journey across half a devastated country to the Texas home of one of them.
A father and his son launch their boat in order to escape the radiation from attacks all over the country, and the crew of an American nuclear submarine after launching their missiles as ordered find themselves at a lose to know what to do. Survivors find themselves contending with conditions never imagined. Money is no good nor are the normal endless supplies of food, medicine and other staples of life available. A barter system somehow arises. Among the items traded for are women and girls who will be used as sex slaves. Vandalism becomes the order of the day and guns and other weapons the norm for anyone that wants to continue surviving.
No punches are pulled by the author. The story describes a nightmare world suddenly placed before those that did not perish during the devastating attacks. The strength of Washburn’s novel is the depiction of real people in an unreal world and the lengths they go to simply survive in horror. The ending is just like the rest of the novel. What is there for the survivors and is there any hope for a return to a civilization as we know it. A very well done story describing an impossible scenario.
1/18 Paul Lane
THE DAY AFTER OBLIVION by Tim Washburn. Pinnacle (January 30, 2018). ISBN 978-0786042500. 560p.