Retro Reading: Sunstrike by George Carpozi, Jr.
I absolutely love disaster movies and books. It all started with The Poseidon Adventure and whenever I found a disaster book I had to scoop it up.
As the summer season begins, I was looking for something to read and I found this on my bookshelf. I'm not sure where I picked it up at (and I hope I didn't spend a lot of money) but the cover advertising The Terrifying New Disaster Novel was correct. It was a terrifying novel.
I'm not a rocket scientist and have never been a science fiction fan, but I kept asking myself if this was science fiction or a supposed thriller. I guess it was supposed to be a mixture of both.
Anyway, Dr. Gordon Lyle Simms is this brilliant scientist and he's going to conduct an experiment using twenty four students (twelve men, twelve women) by putting them in a mine in Kentucky. They're going to be three miles deep and shut off from the rest of the world. The experiment is to determine how people can live in total isolation while living on Mars for long periods of time.
It sounds like a good plot (although once the subjects are planted and sealed in, we never hear anything else about them) but the good doc has other things on his plate. He wants to be the ruler of the world.
So, how does he go about doing it?
Well, a childhood friend of his has developed a shield that will protect astronauts from radiation while in space and he tells his friend that everything needs to be ready at that moment. Of course, it can be done and off he goes to Florida where he meets up with the team who will be flying to Mars.
When it's discovered that the crew will be heading into some radiation on the flight, Dr. Simms urgently has the team go into space so that he can test the shield. It works and the next morning, he steals the ship and plunges the Earth into darkness for an early Ice Age.
Now, the book is supposed to take place in 1987 and the only thing I found kind of interesting was air travel was reduced (a flight from New York to Florida was only half an hour) but any "action" doesn't start taking place until after page 200.
Once the Ice Age begins, its just drawn out and I couldn't help but scratch my head as dates were messed up (everything started off in January of 1987 and then all of a sudden it's June). Unfortunately, I was already caught up in the book so I had to finish.
Yes, this is one to avoid if you happen to be browsing your local used bookstore, but, on the other hand, people like bad movies and if you like bad books, then I'm sure you'll love this.
I just kept thinking to myself, "this gets published and I can't?"