87 Between the Lines
W hat if your lights, telephone and car suddenly didn’t work? Not just for a day or a week, but possibly forever? One Second After, by William R. Forstchen, is the story of a small North Carolina town struggling to survive in an all-too-plausible nightmare scenario. Originally published in hardcover and paperback by Forge Books in 2009, it is now available in many formats, including as an audio CD book, an e-book and audio e-book.
It’s a day like any other, and retired Col. John Matherson’s biggest worry is whether he’s chosen the correct gift for his daughter’s 12th birthday. When he receives a call from an old friend at the Pentagon, he senses tension in his friend’s voice. Then the line goes dead. And every electrical device in the house shuts off. As the day passes, Matherson realizes he can no longer hear traffic on the nearby interstate. Then his mother-in-law arrives in her classic Edsel and tells him no other cars are working. It’s not just a local power outage—and there won’t be an easy fix.
Suddenly, their small town is thrust into a much different place and very few people have the skills needed to cope. Civilized behavior quickly takes a back seat to survival as people descend on stores to get food and medicine. The small police force cannot hope to keep up as its town tears itself apart.
Matherson joins with other town leaders by offering to use his military experience to help find a “new normal” for the community. There is no outside assistance, so the townspeople are left alone in a world that is back in the pre-electrical age.
Best-selling author Forstchen has conceived a frighteningly real scenario of small-town life after an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States. Combining research into the effects of such a weapon with his extensive knowledge of military history, he gives readers an in-depth view into how society would be forced to change in the aftermath of such an occurrence. One Second After will make you ask: “Could I survive?”