The Word for the Blog is Scientifiction

martes, 10 de septiembre de 2019

Fail-Safe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler

I assume that you know this story more by the two films (released in 1964 and 2000 respectively) than by this novel, which in my opinion is excellent.

Book cover
Fail-Safe is a classic political fiction novel set in the Cold War but it can also can be considered as a thought experiment about the limits of the military menace between two superpowers (today, you can think for example in India & Pakistan, or of course about Mr. Trump and China).

To emphasize in this book, written in an effective "bestseller style", I think that the tension of the atomic threat in the political and military levels in the US is very well described. In this regard I must indicate the fascination that causes me that the development of the plot happens in about an hour, from the first and insignificant failure to the end. About the characters, correct in their respective roles.

Written in 1962, the plot is set in 1967, so I assume the novel has a bit of technology fiction, for example in the defense systems of the impressive bomber Convair B-58 Hustler; but this does not detract the merit of being a great warning about the political and military irresponsibilities of contemporary national states. 

1964 Movie poster
Convair B-58 Hustler

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