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One Second After Hardcover – 17 Mar 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Forge; 1 edition (17 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765317583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765317582
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Civilization slides into the abyss of a new dark age in this horrifying apocalyptic novel. Forstchen has put Bin Laden's wet dream on paper and, in the process, taken civilization straight to the rack."--Stephen Coonts, author of "The Assassin""The only thing more terrifying than this masterfully crafted story is the possibility of it actually happening--and not a damn thing being done to protect us."
--W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

"Forstchen's work has flair and power."--Joel Rosenberg, author of "The Sleeping Dragon
"
"One of the most intriguing writers today in the field of historical and military science fiction."--Harry Turtledove, author of "Guns of the South"

"Good storytelling consists very simply of creating characters so believable that the reader forms a deep bond. Forstchen did such a damned fine job with "One Second After" that shortly after the first page, I had been reeled in hook, line, and sinker."--David Hagberg, author of "Dance with the Dragon"

"Civilization slides into the abyss of a new dark age in this horrifying apocalyptic novel. Forstchen has put Bin Laden's wet dream on paper and, in the process, taken civilization straight to the rack."--Stephen Coonts, author of "The Assassin""The only thing more terrifying than this masterfully crafted story is the possibility of it actually happening--and not a damn thing being done to protect us."
--W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

"Forstchen's work has flair and power."--Joel Rosenberg, author of "The Sleeping Dragon
"
"One of the most intriguing writers today in the field of historical and military science fiction."--Harry Turtledove, author of "Guns of the South"

"Good storytelling consists very simply of creating characters so believable that the reader forms a deep bond. Forstchen did such a damned fine job with "One Second After" that shortly after the first page, I had been reeled in hook, line, and sinker."--David Hagberg, author of "Dance with the Dragon"

The only thing more terrifying than this masterfully crafted story is the possibility of it actually happening--and not a damn thing being done to protect us.--W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

Civilization slides into the abyss of a new dark age in this horrifying apocalyptic novel. Forstchen has put Bin Laden's wet dream on paper and, in the process, taken civilization straight to the rack. "Stephen Coonts, author of The Assassin"

The only thing more terrifying than this masterfully crafted story is the possibility of it actually happening and not a damn thing being done to protect us. W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

Forstchen's work has flair and power. "Joel Rosenberg, author of The Sleeping Dragon"

One of the most intriguing writers today in the field of historical and military science fiction. "Harry Turtledove, author of Guns of the South"

Good storytelling consists very simply of creating characters so believable that the reader forms a deep bond. Forstchen did such a damned fine job with "One Second After" that shortly after the first page, I had been reeled in hook, line, and sinker. "David Hagberg, author of Dance with the Dragon""

About the Author

William R. Forstchen is the author of "We Look Like Men of War," among numerous other books in diverse subjects ranging from history to science fiction. He has co-authored several books with Newt Gingrich, including "Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War," "Pearl Harbor," "Days of Infamy," "To Try Men's Souls" and "Valley Forge." Forstchen holds a Ph.D. in History from Purdue University, with specializations in military history and the history of technology. He is currently a Faculty Fellow and Professor of History at Montreat College, near Asheville North Carolina. He is a pilot and flies an original WWII recon "warbird." He resides near Asheville with his daughter Meghan.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fans of the author will not be disappointed by his latest work.
Forstchen examines the effect of an attack on the U.S.A. using an EMP(or rather three EMPs). The electro magnetic pulse ruins most electrical gadgets; computers and anything controlled by them, data storage, modern vehicles and planes, electricity generators,water supply, medical equipment, phones and radios.
The small town in which the story is set reverts to a barter economy and its shops soon run out of food and medicines. Local law enforcement has to cope with increasingly desperate local citizens,stranded motorists, and refugees from the big cities hoping to find food and shelter.
Forstchen examines the big issues mainly by looking at the impact on one family. This approach works well, and the reader is drawn in, wondering "what would I do in that situation?"
The reason I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5 may sound trivial. Every single "could have, should have, would have, might have" in the book is written as "could of, should of" etc.After reading several dozen of these I almost ended up shouting at the book. I guess I'm getting old.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a recent addition to the wealth of post-apocalyptic fiction available. In this one, the end of the world as we know it is brought about by an electromanegtic pulse (EMP), and an very convincing disaster scenario it set in motion. The author has doen a very good job of researching EMP and consequently all technical, economic and healthwise aspects are very convincing and well-written, and contribute to a strong plot.
However. The author is on several missions here. one - the most benevolent - is to create awareness of the dangers of EMP's and the relative unpreparedness of at least the USA for such a disaster. More troubling is the misanthropic and frankly unpleasantly stereotypic depiction of a number of social groups. We are more or less directly told, that liberals die, since they are lazy. And that uneducated/non-military individuals are likely to turn to crime at a moments notice.

As the novel progresses this unidimensional perception of man as an unethical being, needing a strong and determined leader to control it comes to dominate, and it is never put in doubt. Martial law is introduced and the author indulges in several rather violent and dramatic scenes depicting the need for summary executions, for instance. While such scenes may be completely justified (as in Cormac MacCarthy's the Road) here they seem to serve as a political lesson for the reader. they are constantly counterpointed by rather maudlin events of heroic death, and soldiering on after bereavement. In short a well researched novel ends up gloryfying something not unlike fascism, without any refelctions. Having an introduction by Newt Gingrich serves as a warning of the politics of this book, but not of the shallowness of that political reflection.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In short - this book is terrible for 3 reasons:
1 - The main character, John, is incredibly difficult to like. He comes across as arrogant, misogynistic and pretty dull. The way that everyone seems to defer to his judgement or opinion is laughable.
2 - It's very politically biased, where every positive main character is hyper-republican, and ex-military. Every problem that occurs is due to Democrats, and every negative character who pops up is a liberal hippy, or lazy Democrat. (The news that the President is dead is barely given a second thought by our gung-ho ex military hero).
4 - The dialogue is a joke, and is the main reason I stopped reading half way through. As previously mentioned, every conversation starts with a characters name.
It's a shame because the premise is good, and there are some interesting ideas in there, but the above reasons put me off.
So if you are an ultra right wing American you will probably enjoy it. Everyone else won't.
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Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of (mostly fictional) books about apocalpytic events and major disasters, but this is one of the most interesting I have found for a long time. The author has clearly gone to some effort to research and think about what would happen if the US were attacked by electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons. These devices are nuclear weapons that are detonated high above the ground so that the usual associated effects (fire, radiation, fallout etc) are not a major issue. However, an electromagnetic wave destroys all electronic devices.

The story is set in the author's real-life neighbourhood and follows a small town in the aftermath of the attack. Nobody is killed immediately but power fails, nothing dependent of computers (including most vehicles) works, communications are lost and nothing can be delivered. The tale is centred around one family in particular, led by a history professor with military experience, who becomes a member of the town council.

The way in which the town handles the lack of food, medical care and all the modern things we take for granted is fascinating. The book is written at just the right pace to show the various problems as they evolve. The book is clearly written as a warning about what could happen, and it is very effective at pointing out all the things that could occur in a realistic manner.

A great, tense story with a serious message.
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