One Second After: William Forstchen

An extremely poorly written book on what may the most important topic we should be worried about today.

An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is a matter of when, not if, whether it be from the detonation in the atmosphere of a low-tech nuclear blast or a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the sun (the 1859 Carrington Event was so powerful that it burnt out the latest technology of the day — the telegraph — setting fires as it sparked down the wires. When it next hits earth (we missed an even more powerful CME in 2012 by nine days), our entire modern infrastructure will be destroyed in a matter of seconds, shorting out every single electronic device not protected in hardened Faraday Cages.

In a world dependent on electricity and digitization, that means no electricity, no computers, no cars, no factories, no transportation, no refrigeration, no medications: in short, no modern infrastructure left at all. This is no conspiracy theory. No less an authority than a US Congressional Committee has concluded 90% of the US population would be dead within ten years, the estimated time it would take to restore some semblance of an electrical grid.

Early Riser: Jasper Fforde

Fforde is a talented, interesting writer. I truly enjoy his worlds, each just one or two molecules out of kilter with the “real” world we think we inhabit, keeping his universes seemingly mundane, but just enough different to be horribly terrifying.

Although his creations are truly interesting, ulitimately they are, unfortunately, all unique in the same way.

Try his THURSDAY NEXT or NURSERY RHYME SERIES if you like this.

Leviathan Wakes: James SA Corey

James SA Corey is the nom de plume of two writers, one of whom is George RR Martin’s assistant. It’s set in the near future, as man starts to populate and mine the other planets and asteroids in our solar system, resulting in the fractioning and division of the human race.

SF The writing is sharp and fresh, the characters compelling. I’d like the book even more if it were as good as the amazing TV series based on the books. I don’t often get to say that.