It is ten years after a Soviet sneak attack has decimated the United States. The cities are destroyed, and the rest of the country is occupied by the Soviets. Yet a resistance network has slowly formed and ready to launch a general uprising. The mysterious woman only known as Juanita has become a mythical figure in the resistance. She travels around the country organizing and rooting out traitors. A former Air Force Lt. Col becomes her companion and lover as they travel organizing the big uprising code named Azriel. Finally, the big day arrives, and they attack the Soviet garrison at Valdosa, Georgia.
This book has a simple idea. The Soviets have launched a surprise attack. The attack was obviously one sided as they seem to have totally caught the country off guard. The main character is a beautiful but driven woman to drive the Soviets out. This book reads like a travelogue as Juanita and her companion travel from Florida to New Hampshire and back. Along the way we find out about her past life and why she is so cold. The story ends on a high note although a major character dies.
The post nuclear world is believable with what seems to be a Soviet state in decay. The only thing we find out about the rest of the world is at the beginning there is a brief mention of an incursion by the Soviets across the Canadian border. The Canadians apparently have the political and military clout to get the Soviet commander court martialed. There is also one sentence that mentions the border wars with China and the use of human waves. Otherwise, we are left to wonder what the state of the world is. At the end during the big uprising the American rebels reveal themselves to have jets and a B-52 to transport their provisional government representatives. I would have liked to explore this further, and it would have made for an interesting sequel. Unfortunately, this is as far as I know Allyn Thompson’s first and only novel. An enjoyable standalone novel of a Soviet invasion of America.
It is the near future of 1983. The United States has a grain embargo on the Soviet Union for their invasion of Afghanistan and Poland. The embargo is effective as the Soviets had crop failures and have daily food riots. The US though is in a severe recession and the embargo is hard on the farmers. The President was the Vice President who was elevated to the position on the sudden death of a popular President. He faces an uphill reelection battle where he might not even get his party’s nomination.
Thus on Christmas a Soviet brigade parachutes into Alaska under the cover of a massive storm. The objective is to hold the oil pipeline hostage in exchange for the lifting of the embargo. A rogue KGB has initiated this without the knowledge of the Soviet premier. Now there is brinkmanship to see who backs down first. Into this a Lt. Colonel and a company of Alaska National Guard try to hold off the superior Soviet force.
This is an adaptation of a TV miniseries. I didn’t originally see it when it came out but caught it a few years later when it was rebroadcast. I was captivated about a series that actually dealt with a Soviet-American conflict. It had some good actors and fun action sequences. Back when it was filmed in 1981 the US was in a recession and the Soviets had recently invaded Afghanistan and the military declared martial law in Poland. There was also a grain embargo that Carter initiated for the invasion. Only it was a failure as the Soviets bought from other countries and never effected the farmers in America. The writers envisioned that the US was able to persuade other countries to join the embargo. Now looking back you can see that the whole strategy was a bit goofy. How you can invade Alaska and get what you want seems a bit unrealistic. Still it made for a fun story if you don’t think about it too much.
The novelization was written by Harold King under the pseudonym Brian Harris. It adapted the screenplay by Robert L. Joseph. The original director Boris Segal was killed in a helicopter crash early in filming and was replaced by David Greene. Segal was a Ukrainian Jew who emigrated to America. His plans were to end the series open ended to leave room for a possible future miniseries or even a TV show. Wow how cool would that have been to have a TV series about WWIII back in the eighties. Needless to say, it wasn’t a ratings hit and the new director decided to end on both countries launching a nuclear war.
The book itself is good. It manages to include stuff that the series due to budget constraints couldn’t. The battle scenes are much more epic in scope. There is actually 800 Soviets with multiple tracked vehicles. They battle ambushes by a 100-man company using their helicopters. At the end when they reach the pumping station, the American commander opens the pipeline and burns up the Soviets. This contrasts with the series small scale battle with men using pipes for cover. Also, the Soviet premier never died in a car bomb but was shown to be basically powerless as the KGB seized control of the country. There is also more characterization for the characters including the Soviet political officer being portrayed as a much bigger jerk.
It is the week before Easter 1976 and the United States has been under the occupation of the Chinussians for a year. This Russian and Chinese alliance used some type of nerve gas to blanket the country and make people docile. They were able to conquer the country without a shot being fired. Now a year later and the gas is starting to wear off. In the small farming community of San Felipe in California someone has decided to fight back. In retaliation for destroying the churches someone sets off a car bomb at the hotel the occupation troops are at. The Chinussian commander Durov decides to publicly execute him. He also randomly picks a woman to torture and kill because he thinks there are more involved.
The woman happened to be the wife of the high school football coach and he decides to start a guerilla operation. He recruits a bunch of people, and they plan to destroy the dam and flood the town. What will this accomplish? Well, he hopes to kill Durov or at the least ruin Durov’s career. In the week until Easter there is a lot of people sleeping around with each other. The high school English teacher tries to convince him not to blow the dam because they should work with the occupation forces. Eventually they do blow the dam and flood the town, but it changes nothing. The Chinussians cover it up and the country is still under occupation.
This is one of those so bad it’s good books. So apparently in the near future the Chinese and Russians get together and take over the country. Back in 1970 this was probably not something that would happen since they were some open hostilities between the two nations. I suppose this makes more sense nowadays since the two countries have more friendly relations and view the US as the main enemy. They can use Tik Tok to sap our will.
Anyway, the country seems to be going on as normal for the most part. Only someone like Durov a bisexual rapist who likes to kill people to show off his power life continues as normal. This is like a soap opera in everybody sleeping around with one another. The guy who starts his guerilla band just has no problem recruiting and they also have no problem of destroying the town to spite Durov. Although he has a problem of recruiting the attractive women because they could cause problems. Not the unattractive ones. The Chinussians really aren’t running a tight ship to let him openly recruit and get dynamite the blow the dam.
Like any seventies story it ends very pessimistically. I don’t know what it is was about the decade. The abundance of polyester or disco seemed to have stories always end in a dark and pessimistic way. A very strange book that I didn’t expect to be this way.
In this future alternate reality, the United States is waging WWIII against a Soviet and Chinese alliance. Billy Justin works as a dairy farmer in Upstate New York when he hears the news. America is totally defeated. There navy is destroyed and the army fighting the invaders along the Mexican border has been overrun. America is forced to unconditionally surrender. The first act of the conquerors is to execute the President and Vice President. Then a new North American People’s Democratic Republic is formed. At first the Soviets who control everything east of the Mississippi seem lenient. Yet as time goes on, they start to ruthlessly squeeze the population. Justin gets a helper for his farm. This helper is a bit mad because he gassed all the people working on a secret project. He shows him the secret base that has an almost finished satellite. A satellite armed with nuclear weapons that may be the last hope for a defeated America.
I have decided to review the stand-alone books that deal with a Soviet invasion. My first book is this one written in 1955. A time were Stalin just died and a Korean war was stalemated. From that time, it seemed that Russia and China were forming a unified alliance to crush the west. Kornbluth envisioned that in the future the anti-air defenses were so effective that you couldn’t effectively use airplanes or missiles to deliver nuclear weapons. The overwhelming might of the Communist world’s conventional armies would overwhelm America.
Now obviously this did not happen. In fact, China and Russia would have a falling out in the sixties and the technology never developed such an efficient anti-air/missile defense. Still as Fredrick Pohl who was a friend of Kornbluth states in his foreword that while his future never materialized, it was meant as a warning and not a prediction. This is really true of any dystopian story. The writer doesn’t really want it to happen. The story is dated but still has so much to say on human nature. The characters in this book are richly detailed and believable. The secret Communist operatives that Justin’s neighbors turn out to be. Instead of a reward they get a bullet in the head as a reward by the victorious Soviets. They want no experienced troublemakers in their new order. The local storeowner Crowley, who is basically a Capitalist, gets the job of representative. An opportunist that changes sides as the wind blows.
The title comes from an essay by Hemingway. Kornbluth sadly died at a young age and didn’t write much. This is a shame for I think he was a very talented writer. This book was compared to 1984 with it being more superior by contemporary critics. Yet it does have a happy and optimistic ending. I highly recommend this book of Communist conquest from the fifties.