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Beyond Armageddon

(1985)
Twenty-One Sermons to the Dead
An anthology of stories edited by

 
 
Publisher's Weekly
Miller, whose novel A Canticle for Leibowitz is a landmark of post-holocaust SF, opens this anthology of SF stories on nuclear war with a provocative and challenging introduction: he suggests that the bomb would be safer with Qaddafi than Reagan. This properly unsettles the reader for the following 21 imaginations of disaster. Arranged in a rough future chronology, they include such classics as J. G. Ballard's apocalyptic ''Terminal Beach,'' Stephen Vincent Benet's vision of a ruined New York in ''By the Waters of Babylon,'' Ray Bradbury's nostalgic ''There Will Come Soft Rains'' and Harlan Ellison's fierce ''A Boy and His Dog.'' Where most seek metaphors of devastation, the less well known stories are sometimes grittier, for example, Lucius Shepard's ''Salvador,'' on a possible future Vietnam, Jim Aiken's nasty ''My Life in the Jungle'' and Poul Anderson's 1946 ''Tomorrow's Children,'' the only story here to mention the effect of nuclear winter and the story that deals most pragmatically and tragically with the human consequences of radiation-induced mutations. Altogether, a thought-provoking, varied and well chosen anthology.

Genre: Science Fiction

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