Two powerful novels explore the plight of isolated survivors of global disaster.
. Del Rey
, $26 (528p) ISBN 978-0-345-50289-6
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.)