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Harpoon is unable to relay to the baffled Condor the true level of danger in which the aircraft is until a Secret Service agent's Uzi discharges inside the cabin when they get a jolt from a nearby shock wave. The one shot kills the judge, who had been part of the search team and came on board. In the presidential suite of the Doomsday plane, the new president sits at the conference table with a battle staff of flag officers including the Vice Chiefs of Staff, experts on the Soviet military and nuclear warfare generally , looking at maps that outline the condition of the world.

Harpoon briefs Condor on what has happened, as well as the difficult decisions that have to be made. He outlines that it has been a relatively even exchange with the US taking slightly higher casualties. Massive social disorder and rioting have broken out in America's remaining cities.

It is briefly mentioned that Europe remained neutral during the conflict and that India and Israel have declared war on Pakistan. It is further noted that 'many mistakes are being made', for example a Soviet nuclear missile aimed at China goes off course and detonates in India. The Indians then hit Pakistan with a nuclear strike because they assume that the detonation was, in fact, a Pakistani missile. He worries that the new President is overlysimplifying things and is not appreciating the nuance of nuclear war.

He explains there are no victors in a nuclear war , no victory by body count , and the only sane thing to do now is turn this thing off. Another flag officer then explains to Condor that the world has taken a lot of abuse in its time, and even the damage done today would be absorbed and things would eventually go back to normal.

However, if there is another nuclear exchange it could spell disaster for the planet, including human extinction from nuclear winter or the destruction of vital parts of the atmosphere. Following on from this, Harpoon urges Condor to turn the bombers , orbiting their positive control points just outside the USSR , and see if the Soviets respond in kind.

That is a way of communicating with them and signaling an intent to de-escalate, as communications are now down and direct talks are not yet possible. Colonel Fargo Codename 'Librarian' , a Soviet capabilities expert, believes however that Condor should order the bombers on a decapitation strike , a 'grand tour' of the Soviets targeting the leadership bunkers. He believes the Soviets will then overthrow the government once the 'head of the communist body' is cut off and that the US can use asymmetrical warfare such as using civilian airliners as rammers against Soviet bombers. The admiral thinks that it is insane that a country of 'panicked Baton Rouges' cannot put together such a plan, and the Soviet people are in no shape after nuclear war to start a revolution.

Believing that the US is "losing" the war by having a higher casualty count, Condor orders the decapitation strike. On his way out of the Presidential suite, 'the Librarian' has to remind him to give the President 'the biscuit', the plastic card with the codes required to order a nuclear strike. Condor appoints the Librarian as his new adviser. At first relieved of not having to drop nuclear gravity bombs on civilians, the crew discusses the consequences of a Soviet Union without leadership and concludes it would mean more chaos and loose nukes, and nobody with whom to negotiate.

They envision panicked colonels in Europe without leadership letting tactical nukes go, submarine captains surfacing to fire without knowing the full story, etc. They turn their bomber around rather than risk the future of the planet. Seeing it as a sign for a truce, the Soviets turn 15 of their bombers around. Condor orders Polar Bear One shot down. On the phone from the Looking Glass plane, Condor is urged by the flag officer now in charge of SAC 'Alice' aboard the Looking Glass Plane , who has taken over for 'Icarus', to turn another squadron of Bs in response to the Soviet squadron turning, saying it will lead to a cease fire and end the war.

Condor, seeing the act by the lone bomber as cowardly, states that the United States has "one deserter and the Soviets have 15". Be the first to discover new talent! Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.

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Email address:. I noted several "shout outs" to "Dr. Strangelove" see one of the book quotes posted here , "On The Beach" again, see the quotes , and even Nevil Shute, "On The Beach"'s author in the novel a radio broadcast from New Zealand gets picked up where Shute is being discussed, presumably because of "Beach". I even detected a subtle nod to "Fail-Safe" which I won't give away because it would be a spoiler. The only plot point that puzzled me concerned a nuclear aircraft carrier apparently sailing alone on her shakedown cruise.

I do not think flattops sail without escort, even when on a shakedown cruise. Even so, I am puzzled that not even so much as one destroyer remained with the carrier for anti-sub duty. Trivia bits: the president is watching an episode of "Mission: Impossible" when he is alerted to the Soviet attack.

Mar 28, Andy Phillips rated it it was amazing Shelves: apocalyptic-fiction , nuclear-war. This is the original book that was made into the film "By Dawn's Early Light". The story is similar, but was simplified slightly in the film, and has some slight differences. The book aims to describe a realistic sequence of events that could lead to a escalating nuclear exchange between the USA and the USSR as it was during the s when the story is set.

The focus is on the American commanders who respond to a surprise Russian attack, and the crew of a B bomber that is scrambled when the This is the original book that was made into the film "By Dawn's Early Light". The focus is on the American commanders who respond to a surprise Russian attack, and the crew of a B bomber that is scrambled when the first wave of missiles is detected.

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Trinity's Child, A Novel by William Prochnau | | Booktopia

The story essentially moves between the two sets of characters, demonstrating how things could quickly get out of control, explaining the way in which the two forces existed in a state of stalemate based on the hope that neither would ever actually push the 'big red button'. The story is incredibly tense and will keep you reading to see how events unfold. For me the most memorable parts of the book are the attitudes of the various servicemen and women who know that they are going to die as a result of their actions, but carry out their duties anyway.

Trinity's child

It might be a slightly outdated story now, but it's a very powerful one. Jan 17, Sean Randall rated it liked it. I feel as if I'm giving this a great disservice with only a 3 star rating, but somehow I found the tone But foggy, certainly. Even though it was a powerful work, the lens didn't quite seem tuned to me, I feel as if I missed a lot of nuance.

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Perhaps one to come back to on a rainy day. Eerily prophetic for something written in Jun 08, Andy rated it liked it. Not bad, I suppose. Oct 11, Greg Lang rated it it was amazing. An absolutely chilling story about a paranoid Soviet Union's desperate gambit to end the arms race of the s by launching a limited nuclear strike at the US. Of course it doesn't quite work out the way the Soviets planned and things quickly escalate out of control. There's a three part story going on in this book.

First, the President, who ordered a limited counter strike at the Soviet Union, is trying to quickly negotiate a cease fire with the Soviet President. Then he goes missing and is be An absolutely chilling story about a paranoid Soviet Union's desperate gambit to end the arms race of the s by launching a limited nuclear strike at the US. Then he goes missing and is believed dead when his helicopter crashes while attempting the leave Andrews Air Force base.


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  4. Second; when a low yield nuclear device strikes north-west Washington it kills the Vice President and most of the cabinet. An alternate E-4 a specially equipped used for the President in the event of a nuclear attack has picked up the Secretary of the Interior in Baton Rouge and has quickly sworn him is as President. The new President quickly finds himself under extreme political and military pressure; some advising him to settle things down and turn off the war before all life is destroyed. Others are advising him to go with the "Grand Tour" where the US launches every nuclear weapon in her arsenal at the Soviet Union for a decisive victory.

    Trinity's Child

    The third part of this story involves a B bomber crew and their struggles with carrying out the orders to strike their assigned targets and their own morality. What I find most intriguing about this book is that it was written in ; the same year that the Soviet Union almost struck at the US for real. Once because of a satellite malfunction and once because of Ronald Reagan's involvement in Operation Able Archer.

    A gripping and terrifying tale that is most disturbing because it could actually happen. Jun 10, Nance rated it liked it. This story was set in the early s and the cold war had just become very hot. In this story, the world did not learn from t This story was set in the early s and the cold war had just become very hot. In this story, the world did not learn from the genocide of WWII and instead of creating ovens for a group of people, it had created an oven for the entire world.