In Kuwait, American forces are stacked up, locked and loaded for the invasion of Iraq. In Paris, a covert agent, a woman who inhabits a twilight of lies and death, is close to cracking a terrorist cell. And just north of the equator, a forty-foot wood-hulled sailboat, manned by a drug runner, a pirate, and two gun-slinging beauties, is witness to the unspeakable. In one instant, all around the world, for politicians and peasants, from Gaza to Geneva, things will never be the same. A wave of inexplicable energy has slammed into the continental United States. America, as we know it, is gone. . . . WITHOUT WARNING Now U.S. soldiers are fighting a war without command or control. A correspondent records horrors for no one. Washington is gone and the line of succession is in tatters; the functioning remnants of government are in Pearl Harbor, Guantánamo Bay, and one desperate, isolated corner of the Northwest. For the jihadists, it’s Allah’s miracle.
Australian author Birmingham (Axis of Time) explores an unusual and intriguing scenario: immediately before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, an unknown radiation engulfs the North American continent from Canada to Mexico, destroying all animal and human life. Suddenly the U.S. is reduced to Alaska, Hawaii and part of Washington State, along with several million citizens overseas. Birmingham concentrates on several small groups of survivors-a Seattle city engineer struggling against an army takeover, a yacht carrying survivors to Australia, a spy hunting a Muslim fanatic in the midst of a French civil war-and contemplates how various countries would react to the power vacuum. This well-thought-out alternate history will appeal to fans of hard SF and techno-thrillers. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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1 . great book
Posted March 30, 2010 by ANTHONY , orlando floridanot a review per say but a question. can we assume that mr birmingham is suffering from writers block??? its been over a year since he published his first of three of his trilogy. can we expect the next one soon?
February 02, 2009
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Excerpt from Without Warning by John Birmingham
Chapter 1 Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris The killer awoke, surrounded by strangers. An IV line dripped clear fluid through a long, thick needle punched into the back of her right hand. Surgical tape held the silver spike in place and tugged at the fine blond hairs growing there. The strangers—all women—leaned in, their faces knotted with anxiety, apparently for her. But she stared instead at her hands, which lay in her lap on a thin brown blanket. They looked strong, even masculine. She turned them over, examining them. The nails were cut short. Calluses disfigured her knuckles, the heels of both palms, and the sides of her hands, from the base of both little fingers down to her wrists. The more she stared, the more unsettled she became. Like the women gathered around her bed, those hands were completely alien to her. She had no idea who she was. “Cathy? Are you all right?” “Nurse!” somebody called out. The strangers, three of them, seemed to launch themselves at her bed, and she felt herself tense up, but they simply wanted to comfort her. “Doctor. She’s awake,” one of them said in French. She felt soft hands patting her down, stroking her the way you might comfort a child who’s suffered a bad fright. Cathy—that wasn’t her name, was it?—Cathy tried not to panic or to show how much she didn’t want any of these women touching her. They looked like freaks, not the sort of people she’d want as friends. And then she remembered. They weren’t her friends. They were her mission. And her name wasn’t Cathy. It was Caitlin. The women were dressed in cheap clothing, layered for warmth. Falling back into the pillows, recovering from an uncontrolled moment of vertigo into which she had fallen, Caitlin Monroe composed herself. She was in a hospital bed, and in spite of the apparent poverty of her “friends,” the private room was expensively fitted out. The youngest of the women wore a brown suede jacket, frayed at the cuffs and elbows and festooned with colorful protest buttons. A stylized white bird. A rainbow. A collection of slogans: Halliburton Watch. Who Would Jesus Bomb? And Resistance Is Fertile. Caitlin took a sip of water from a squeeze bottle by the bed. “I’m sorry,” she croaked. “What happened to me?” She received a pat on the leg from an older, red-haired woman wearing a white T-shirt over some sort of lumpy handmade sweater. Celia. “Auntie” Celia, although she wasn’t related to anyone in the room. Auntie Celia had very obviously chosen the strange ensemble to show off the writing on her shirt, which read If you are not outraged you are not paying attention. “Doctor!” cried the other older woman, who had just moved to the doorway. Maggie. An American, like Caitlin. And there the similarity ended. Maggie the American was short and barrel-chested and pushing fifty, where Caitlin was tall, athletic, and young. She felt around under her blanket and came up with a plastic control stick for the bed. “Try this,” she offered, passing the controller to the young girl she knew as Monique, a pretty, raven-haired Frenchwoman. “See, the red call button. That’ll bring ’em.” Then, gently touching the bandages that swaddled her head, she asked, “Where am I?” “You’re in a private room, at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris,” explained Monique. “Paris, France,” she added self-consciously. Caitlin smiled weakly. “’Okay. I remember t