16 April 2012

N is for Nuclear War (A-Z Challenge)

N is for Nuclear War



Nuclear war – no explanation necessary.  The variables are going to be the location, severity and the focus of your story – long-term or short-term survival, a journey, a conspiracy, government bunkers, clueless dude hitting the wrong button.

Scenario:  There are many focuses you can choose from – start from the political grumblings and escalate, start on the day of the war, a few months/years after – each scenario is different and will appeal to different readers.  For the sake of clarity, I’m going to go with option two – D-day.

Characters: Head honchos, scientists, families, military, community – the choices are endless but you’ll need to pick your main focus early on.   You can mix it up a bit with alternating POVs, start with the big wigs and move onto military and eventually average Joe’s, or stick with one.  Make them smart and likeable – your readers won’t want to be thinking ‘so I’d probably die, but this douche survived?  Really?’.

Location:  Your nuclear war with either be global (most likely) or localized (possible but you’ll need to examine the how and why more closely to make it believable).  Government bunkers are also a fun option!

Stand-alone or series:  Either works because you’re not going to be able to make this story end with flowers and butterflies (they got nuked, remember?!).  Whichever you choose, you need to end it well, which is a challenge in a dead world.

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

Published: 1957

Pages: 296 (paperback)

After a nuclear World War III has destroyed most of the globe, the few remaining survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way and bringing certain death to everyone in its path. Among them is an American submarine captain struggling to resist the knowledge that his wife and children in the United States must be dead. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from somewhere near Seattle, and Captain Towers must lead his submarine crew on a bleak tour of the ruined world in a desperate search for signs of life.


Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

Published: 1959

Pages: 279 (paperback)

The classic apocalyptic novel that stunned the nation with its vivid portrayal of a small town's survival after nuclear holocaust devastates the country.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these books.
    Kate
    Follow & Visit http://solidhappiness.blogspot.com/

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  2. It is unreal the amount of avenues that one can take for this topic. You can also focus on the long term effects on the people that do survive the wars aftermath.

    I think that I am going to have to get your book list after this challenge is over. I am liking all your choices for each topic.

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  3. I have one for you on this subject! It's not necessarily "nuclear" war, but it's very similar. You should totally read Pure by Julianna Baggott if you haven't yet. I think you would like it a lot.

    (I liked it better than a certain post-apocalyptic novel that everyone has been raving about for years. Shhhh!)

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