Beyond Armageddon

Beyond Armageddon

Beyond Armageddon

Beyond Armageddon

Synopsis

In Beyond Armageddon, the distinguished science fiction writer Walter M. Miller Jr. (1923–96) and the famed anthologist Martin H. Greenberg have together collected stories that address one of the most challenging themes of imaginative fiction: the nature of life after nuclear war. The twenty-one stories in this collection, by masters such as Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson, Ray Bradbury, J. G. Ballard, Robert Sheckley, Roger Zelazny, and Harlan Ellison, explore a variety of possibilities of "life after." These richly imagined stories offer glimpses into a future no reader will soon forget. Miller's incisive introduction and a thought-provoking and irreverent commentary are included. New to this Bison Books edition is a postscript to the introduction provided by Martin H. Greenberg.

Excerpt

The President is on record as agreeing with Jerry Falwell that a mysterious Megawar called “Armageddon” of uncertain future date may be about to terminate history. That, coupled with his joking remark that the bombing of the Evil Empire would begin in five minutes, suggests to me an anthology of stories about what happens to us after that mysterious Megawar scheduled by some biblical interpreters to begin, probably soon, at the small town of Megiddo (once called “Armageddon” by Greeks), which is at present in Israel on the West Bank. It’s not a wholly implausible site just now for the beginning of a thermonuclear termination of the history of the planet.

So I picked through thousands of pages—it seems to me—of science fiction stories, sent to me by Martin Greenberg, about the aftermath of a Megawar at the end of the world, and lo, not a single one of them dealt with seven-horned beasts or the harlot that sits on the seven hills or the fate of Reagan and Falwell (or Gorbachev) when all the saints are lifted up into the skies at the time of the Great Rapture. So, seen as an effort to capitalize on the recent fervor for apocalyptic nuclear politics, this story-search would have to be judged a failure. Evidently, Fundamentalists don’t write fantasy or science fiction, and might shrink from the suggestion that Saint John was writing it in Revelations (“Close Encounters of the Last Kind”?).

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