Thunder and Roses by Theodore SturgeonOne of Sturgeons best-known stories, but not a cheerful one. Its a Cold War nightmare story, after the nuclear hammer fell, and our country is dying, slowly and very unpleasantly. Depressing, though very well-written. David Drake wrote that, reading this story when he was thirteen, and again 25 years later, It scared the hell out of me.
First published in 1947, with many reprints: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cg...
Partial reread in a new copy of Sturgeons Selected Stories.
Sample: Random street crazy, loose on a decaying military base, armed with a Tommy gun.
An armored jeep slewed into the street. The full-throated roar of a brace of .50-caliber machine guns put a swift and shocking end to the incident.
Too grim to finish, this time. Read previously a couple of times, years ago.
Theodore Sturgeon - More Than Human
Thunder and Roses
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Back Next Contents. Because I lived through the s, I find the concept of Fifties Nostalgia hard to fathom. It was a terrifying time for me, and I don't think I was that unusual. People—perfectly ordinary people in Middle America—actively expected nuclear war to break out. I knew families in Clinton, Iowa, with bomb shelters in the back yard.
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Venus Plus X by Theodore Sturgeon
Title of a short story by Theodore Sturgeon. In the story, published while the United States still controlled all the nuclear weapons in the world , Sturgeon predicts the nuclear arms race , and the eventual use of nuclear weapons. Set after the United States is hit by atomic bombs , wiping out most of the population, the story centers around Sargeant Pete Mawser who has found the last switch to launch the US response. As the story progresses, he meets a singer who is looking for the last switch to destroy it, so that the US won't drop to the level of its enemies, and one of his friends who wants to launch the weapons in retaliation. In the end, despite the singer 's death due to injuries suffered during the bombing, the protagonist stops the bombs from being launched and disables the switch. In addition to predicting the arms race before any other country possessed nuclear weapons , it also was one of the earlier stories to focus on the character development that would later be "discovered" by science fiction writers in the s and 70s.