THE SURVIVALIST #4 THE DOOMSAYER BY JERRY AHERN

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Copyright 1981.

Rourke’s quest for his family gets sidetracked when he rescues a woman from Brigands. The woman turns out to be a seismologist who was in the mountains before the Night of the War. Her instruments have detected that the nuclear bombing has created a new fault line. This new fault will within days cause a massive earthquake that will break off the Florida peninsula from the mainland. Rourke decides to suspend his quest to notify the U.S. II government.

Florida is currently occupied by the Cubans. The Cubans are not as lenient in their occupation as the Soviets. Most of the population is interred in concentration camps and this is the situation that Rubenstein finds as he looks for his parents around St. Petersburg. Rourke’s wife Sarah meanwhile gets involved with the resistance in Savannah and Natalia is sent to Miami because of rising tensions between the Cuban and Soviet occupation troops. Now Rourke must expose a traitor in U.S. II and negotiate a truce with the Soviets to evacuate Florida before it slides into the sea.

The fourth book continues to show how messed up the world is after the Night of the War. Rourke almost finds his wife crossing paths but just missing her. Sarah is shown to be developing into a strong woman. She is learning how to survive and protect her children. She is also becoming a leader by organizing a prison rescue of resistance fighters. The story reunites the three friends Rourke, Natalia and Rubenstein. Ahern also once agains shows the Soviets in a positive light. Varakov agrees to a truce and the combined U.S-Soviet rescue manages to save thousands of lives. This was a fun story that ended on an optimistic outlook.

THE SURVIVALIST #3 THE QUEST BY JERRY AHERN

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tarzan

Copyright 1981.

Rourke has reached his home in Georgia. He knows his wife and children are alive. Together with his friend Rubenstein they head out to his secret retreat in the mountains. There in his well stocked shelter the two can recuperate and resupply. Leaving Rubenstein to rest Rourke takes off to continue the search. While on the trail he meets Captain Reed from U.S.II in the area. He is looking for a NASA official who survived the war and would know about a mysterious launch prior to the war known only as the Eden Project. Both the U.S. II and the Soviets are anxious to find out what was launched into space.

Rourke just wants to find his family but is convinced by Reed that if he helps them Reed will use the growing resistance network to help locate his family. So its off to Soviet occupied Athens. There the group and the resistance members are captured with help from a traitor in the upper ranks of U.S. II.

Meanwhile Natalia is revealed to be married to Major Karamatsov. Karamatsov nearly beats his wife to death because of her betrayal down in Texas. Its also revealed that General Varakov is Natalia’s uncle. Varakov wants Karamatsov dead but his position in the KGB protects him. He instead arranges a deal with Rourke. He will free him and the captured resistance fighters in exchange for him killing Karamatsov. The two end up in a gun fight right out of the old west with Rourke triumphant. He then has to rescue the resistance fighters when the local commander reneges on Varakov’s deal and are too late to find the NASA official. He dies of a heart attack right after being found. Thus the Eden Project remains a mystery.

The third book starts to introduce the main themes to the series. Mainly its a quest to find his family. Also the Eden Project will play a key part in the future. The Soviets are shown in this series not as the cartoon villains that other series from this time usually portrayed them. Varakov is shown as an honorable man. His occupation policy is not very repressive and attempts to help the survivors. Soviets in Ahern’s books are usually characters that have personality. Some good and some bad but the Americans also have the same. Of course you need villains and the KGB usually does the heavy lifting in the bad guy department.

And finally we get to see Rourke’s man cave survivalist retreat. It has all the conveniences one would want after the apocalypse. Food, electricity, running water, books. movies and guns. Lots and lots of guns. All lovingly described in detail. There caliber, recoil, if their chrome or stainless steel. Ahern did know his guns. I’ve read a review that calls this gun porn and that an accurate description. God do I love this series.

THE SURVIVALIST #2 THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS BY JERRY AHERN

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Copyright 1981.

The Soviets have landed in America after the Night of the War. Cities in the mid-west and south were neutron bombed and still intact. The Soviets need the intact industry since most of theirs was destroyed in the war. The KGB already has a plan to pacify the country. A list has prominent citizens that have to be found and eliminated before they can rally resistance to the occupation. The name on the top is Samuel Chambers the former Secretary of Communications and the only surviving member of the cabinet which makes him the new President. Chambers is somewhere in Texas and Captain Natalia Tiemerovna the top KGB agent is sent to find him.

Meanwhile Rourke and his friend Paul Rubenstein are traveling through Texas on their way to Georgia. They rescue Natalia who is posing as an American from Brigands. The three have various adventures fighting the brigands and a militia force that is roaming the country. The three are eventually captured by the invading Soviets but Rourke with the help of Natalia who has fallen in love with Rourke helps him rescue the captured Chambers and escape. Rourke and Rubenstein eventually reach Rourke’s home in Georgia and find it burned down but a message from his wife Sarah that she and the kids are alive and heading to Tennessee.

The second book in the series starts to set up the world that Rourke will inhabit. The mid-west and south will be occupied by the Soviets with the HQ in Chicago. A new government known as U.S.II will be formed in Texas and Louisiana to counter the occupation. We get introduced to General Varakov the Soviet Supreme commander of the occupation army and the main villain Major Vladimir Karamatsov. And most important is the friendship that is formed between Rourke, Natalia and Rubenstein. A friendship that will be prominent throughout the series.

THE SURVIVALIST #1: TOTAL WAR BY JERRY AHERN

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Copyright 1981.

John Thomas Rourke ex-CIA agent, weapons specialist and survival expert is a man who plans ahead. He knows that there are many scenarios for the collapse of civilization. He has studied how to survive and has build a shelter in the mountains for his family. Yet he can’t plan for every contingency. A Soviet invasion of Pakistan escalates out of control into a full scale nuclear war. Rourke is on a 747 flying home from Canada when it happens. Forced to crash land in Albuquerque he must now make his way across a devastated country overrun with brigands and invading Soviet troops to be reunited with his wife and two children in Georgia.

“If civilization were destroyed today__ would John Thomas Rourke be able to survive…?” That is what is on the cover of every book in this series. The answer is of course yes. Rourke is the most bad ass man to ever live. He seems to be perfect an expert in all forms of combat, a medical doctor and knows how to fly any plane. Sort of like an American James Bond but with a wife and family. Thus the first book sets up the characters and the basic premises for the series the quest to find his wife and children. His wife Sarah didn’t approve of her husbands obsession with survival and never bothered to learn the location of his shelter. Something she regrets as she is forced to flee with her children from armed brigands. Rourke picks up a sidekick in Paul Rubenstein a publisher from New York who becomes his best friend. A friendship that carries on throughout the series.

After all the new books I was reading lately its great to get back to the old classics from the ’80s. The Survivalist is probably the most iconic post-apocalypse series from that decade. In fact it was the first and responsible for the slew of series that would follow. The series sold millions of copies and lasted well into the ’90s with 29 books. Recently his wife and a good friend have revived the series and I hope to read them. This will definitely keep me occupied this summer. It was one of my favorites.

THE ESSENTIAL DOCTOR WHO THE MASTER EDITED BY MARCUS HEARN

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Copyright 2015.

The Master the renegade Time Lord that is the Doctor’s greatest enemy. Back in 1971 Terrence Dicks and Barry Letts the script editor and producer came up with introducing a new opponent for the Doctor. They decided on a Professor Moriarty type character who was also a Time Lord and an equal to the Doctor. Thus Roger Delgado stepped in an gave his iconic performance during the Pertwee era. Later other actors would step into the part Anthony Ainley, Eric Roberts, John Simm and the current incarnation by Michelle Gomez. The book has a summary of each episode that the Master appeared in. These include the radio, comics and books. There are biographies on each of the actors that played the Master. Also interviews with Terrance Dicks(creator),Katy Manning?(Jo Grant), Richard Franklin(Captain Mike Yates),Mathew Waterhouse(Adric),Gary Russell, and Michelle Gomez the current Master(or Mistress as she now calls herself).

I finally got around to reading this Christmas give from a friend at work. I am a big fan of Doctor Who and I found this to be a very interesting and informative book. Definitely a good source for anything about the Master.