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Post-Apocalyptic Fiction Reviews by Tormentor

Below are my short reviews of some great post-apocalyptic fiction.

DayBreak - 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton

Part of a review from the Denver Post:
"It is 200 years after the destruction when Fors sets off to explore the empty lands to the north. He is a member of a clan which concerns itself with recapturing the knowledge and skills of their ancestors. By adding to that knowledge, Fors hopes to win a place of acceptance in his clan.

The imaginative descriptions of deserted cities, ruined highways, subhuman Beast Things all serve as a backdrop to Fors' dangerous adventure"

Tormentor's (hopefully non-spoiler) Commentary:
The main character is a mutant named Fors. He has night vision, enhanced hearing, and stark white hair.

He is the son of a "Star Man" who took a wife from some of the plainsfolk the "Star Men" trade with for horses. The "Star Men" were a group of scientists with a pretty good, remote facility which enabled them to survive. Their offspring roam the wastes, searching for knowledge to preserve and archive.

The ruins which are not hot or "blue" as Norton calls it, are inhabited by mutant "beast things" which were once human.

Since Fors plainsfolk blood passed mutations on to him, his community will not let him follow in his father's footsteps and become a real "Star Man" seeker. His father is killed looking for a "City by the Lake" that is not radioactive.

After Fors passes the age where young men are no longer accepted to be seekers, he takes his father's roughly sketched maps and some supplies and strikes out on his own..hoping to find the treasures that must surely be in good condition in this city that was not bombed, buy maybe just gassed or hit with plague. He hopes to find these treasures and return to the village and the "Star Men" who shunned him, and show them they were wrong about him, and that he was worthy of respect after all.

In his youth, he developed a slight telepathic bond with a mutated cat..about the size of a small cougar. His travelling companion proves its worth on his adventures.

Quote from the Book
"Mutant, Mutant! For more than 200 years - ever since the black days of chaos following the Great Blow-Up, the atomic war - that cry had been enough to condemn without trial. Fear caused it, the strong, instinctive fear of the whole race for anyone cursed with a different physique or unusual powers. Ugly tales were told of what had happened to the mutants, those unfortunates born in the first year after the Blow-Up. Some tribes had taken drastic steps in those days to see that the strain of human - or almost human - lineage be kept pure."

Hiero's Journey by Sterling E. Lanier

Back of the Book
Per Hiero Desteen was a priest, a telepath -- and a highly trained killer. Together with his great riding moose and the young bear who was his friend, he was on an extraordinary mission. For this was five thousand years after the holocaust known as The Death. Now the evil Brotherhood of the Unclean was waging all-out war against the few remnants of normal humanity, determined to wipe out all traces of its emerging civilization. Hiero's task was to bring back a lost secret of the ancients that might save the humans. But his path lay through the very heart of the territory ruled by the Unclean and their hordes of mutated, intelligent, savage beast followers. And the Unclean were waiting for him!

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny

Back of the Book
Survival Run...across a nuclear wasteland, where rampaging winds sweep the ruins of civilization over the charred plains and shattered mountains of America. Where huge bats battle gigantic butterflies in the contaminated rubble of barren cities and where armies of madmen crucify scientists along the deserted highways.

Damnation Alley. Where a handful of survivors pilot their awesome, fire-breathing machine on a coast-to-coast trek through a world gone to hell.

Empire of the East by Fred Saberhagen

Back of the Book
The magnum opus of one of our finest science fiction and fantasy authors. A masterful blend of high technology and high sorcery. A unique adventure in a world on the brink of ultimate change. A world where magic rules - and science struggles to live again!
- Science Fiction Review

Tormentor's (hopefully non-spoiler) Commentary:
The evil Empire of the East, in league with demons, controls most of the known world (in fact, looking at the map in the front of the book, it appears to be a very large region, probably isolated from the rest of the world).

The Free People, as they call themselves, in the Broken Lands on the Western seabord, fight to repel the Eastern invaders who have recently crossed the mountains and begun conquering the West.

The people of the West fight with the aid of a powerful "supernatural" being called Ardneh. To say more about Ardneh would spoil the book, but suffice it to say that Ardneh aids the wizards of the west as they battle the demon-commanding wizards of the East.

Some old technology is discovered in parts of the book, but magic seems to rule the day for the duration of most of the story.

A very good book, but leans too heavily towards science fantasy (sound like Gamma World?...more like Rifts to me.)

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