Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction

by Paul Brians

Nuclear Holocausts Bibliography: Z

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Zagat Arthur Leo. "Slaves of the Lamp." Astounding, August, September 1946.
After the War of the Cities, city-states are isolated to enforce international peace, but a secret military organization uses missiles involving "total atom-disruption," among other weapons--to begin a new war. Catastrophe is narrowly avoided.

Zelazny, Roger. Damnation Alley (shorter version originally Galaxy, October 1967. Rpt. in The Last Defender of Camelot. New York: Timescape, 1980. Santa Cruz, Calif.: Underwood/Miller, 1981). New York: Berkley, l969.
The world's last Hell's Angel embarks, as an alternative to life imprisonment, on a perilous mission by armored vehicle from Los Angeles to Boston through the wasted heartland of America, carrying plague antiserum. In some areas, survivors of the war have blamed all professors for the war and massacred them. A violent adventure tale, it manages more than a touch of humanity, despite its focus on incredible one-man battles against biker gangs and giant bats and gila monsters. Made into a film in l977 (the film is very unfaithful to the novel in both its general spirit and in particular details) and probably the inspiration for the Judge Dredd comic strip adventure The Cursed Earth (see Pat Mills). For a discussion of Damnation Alley and the other items listed below, see Thomas J. Morrissey, "Zelazny: Mythmaker of Nuclear War." Science-Fiction Studies 13 (1986): 182-192.

___ . "Exeunt Omnes." In After the Fall, ed. Robert Sheckley. New York: Ace, 1980.
A brief sketch in an anthology of "upbeat end-of-the-world stories" in which Prospero's final soliloquy triggers a world-ending nuclear war, leaving behind only the characters from The Tempest.

___ . "For a Breath I Tarry" (New Worlds, March 1966). In The Last Defender of Camelot. New York: Timescape, 1980. Santa Cruz, Calif.: Underwood/Miller, 1981. Also in Robert Silverberg, ed. Alpha 1. New York: Ballantine, 1970. Also in Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, eds. World's Best Science Fiction, 1967. New York: Ace, 1967. Also in Michael Moorcock, ed. The Best SF Stories from New Worlds No. 2. London: Panther, 1968. Also in Leonard Jenkin and Robert Perrault, eds. Survival Printout. New York: Random House, 1973. Also in Norman Spinrad, ed. Modern Science Fiction. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1974. Also in Fred D. Miller and Nicholas D. Smith, eds. Thought Probes: Philosophy Through Science Fiction. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1981. Also in Eric S. Rabkin, ed. Science Fiction: A Historical Anthology. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1983.
Long after a nuclear war has exterminated the human race, a supercomputer struggles to recreate it.

___ . This Immortal (originally as "And Call Me Conrad," Fantasy and Science Fiction, October, November l965). New York: Ace, l966. New York: Garland, l975. London: Panther, l968.
The ruined Earth is filled with radioactivity-induced mutant life forms including satyrs, and has become a tourist attraction for aliens from Vega. In Magill, 2: 2260-3.

Zelazny, Roger and Philip K. Dick. See under Dick.

Zettel, Sarah. Playing God. New York Aspect/Warner, 1998.
Humans struggle to help warlike aliens who have almost destroyed their own planet, partly through nuclear warfare.

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