William R Forstchen – One Second After (8.5/10)

Imagine for a moment that now high above the atmosphere a nuclear weapon detonates. On the ground below, unaware of the detonation, every piece of electronic equipment you own simply stops working. No smoke, no notice, nothing left working with a piece of modern electronics in it. The modern world you know and enjoy ends and the 19th century begins.

This is the premise of the 2009 book by William R Forstchen; And if this is the future then the future is bleak. Over the course of 345 pages, and 365 days we follow along with the trials of a small mountain town losing 80 percent of its population to war, disease and starvation.

I read this in a day. Saying that I enjoyed it would not have reflected how I felt when I was done. I could not put the book down, and like some grim voyeur I felt that I watched idle while characters lived and died. The book is confronting, it is obviously US centric, but there’s a message in their for us all in the first world and that message is this: If the world goes pear-shaped most of us in the 1st world alive today will be dead in less than a year. The world we inhabit will not fit our needs and we will be unable to adapt quickly enough to survive.

Time to harden all the electronics at home I think. Well worth the read. 8.5/10 due the grim nature of the content.


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