Thanks to the indomitable Seth, who had me as a guest to talk about one of my favorite novels, “Alas, Babylon,” by Pat Frank. Hugos There.
This 1959 novel tells the story of a civilization-destroying nuclear war through its effects on a single, fictional small town, Fort Repose, Florida, population 3,500. The hero, Randy Bragg, starts the novel as a day-drinking playboy lawyer and learns to grow up and take care of his little community.
This was my second appearance in Hugos There. Previously, we talked about “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” by Walter M. Miller Jr.—also one of my favorite novels, also dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear war, and published at roughly the same times as “Alas, Babylon.” But they are very different books.
I don’t, as a rule, gravitate to post-apocalyptic fiction, but the theme crops up in some of my favorite stories.