The Survivalist is the generic title of
Jerry Ahern's long-lived series of pulp novels, which are often considered the earliest example of pure survivalist fiction [ [http://www.emptyworld.info/article_01.html Apocalyptic and End of the World Fiction, Film and TV at EmptyWorld ] ] .
Ahern produced twenty-seven novels in numbered sequence, plus two un-numbered novels which fit between 15/16 and 21/22, selling millions of copies in total [ [http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/nukepop/85.html The Survivalist ] ] : despite this, and probably important for the pulp marketplace, there's usually enough recapping at the start of each novel to read them out of sequence.
The story centers around John Rourke, ex-CIA officer turned weapons and survival expert, in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The first few books cover Rourke's attempts to find his family, on the way fighting invading Soviet troops as well as typical
post-apocalypticvillains such as biker gangs, mutants and cannibals in extended scenes of graphic violence. Later books head more into science fiction with cryonics, doomsday weapons and underwater cities.
Aside from leading the 1980s fad for survivalist fiction, the series is probably most notable for Ahern's attention to detail on weapons and survival techniques, and the inclusion of sympathetic Soviet characters in what could have been typical 'America good, Russia bad!'
Cold Warpropaganda; though most are still just cannon fodder and some are shown as sexually sadistic against women. Ahern also includes strong, positive Jewish and African Americansupporting characters, going against the anti-semitism and racism found in some forms of survivalism and survivalist fiction.
Doctor, survival and weapons expert, and ex-CIA operative. With a pair of
DetonicsCombatmaster .45 pistols in shoulder holsters, Colt Pythonand Colt Lawmanrevolvers and Sting IA knife on his belt and a CAR-15assault rifle slung, Rourke is prepared for anything.
John and Sarah Rourke's son.
John and Sarah Rourke's daughter. Paul Rubenstein's wife
John Rourke's side-kick, fellow survivor of the Albuquerque airliner crash on the night of the war. Fond of his
Major Natalia Tiemerovna
Adopted surreptitiously as a niece by General Varakov, after her real parents were killed by the KGB. After her surrogate parents died in a road accident, Natalia trained as a KGB agent, reaching the rank of Major by the beginning of the war. Married to Karamatzov, head of the KGB in America. Favorite weapons include a silenced
Waltherpistol, M-16 and Balisong knife.
Husband of Natalia Tiemerovna, head of North American KGB, later killed by John Rourke
General Ishmael Varakov
Natalia's uncle, and leader of the Soviet Occupation Forces in America. A patriotic Soviet soldier who assists Rourke in stopping some of the more extreme plans of the KGB.
Colonel Nehemiah Rozhdestvenskiy
Head of the KGB after Karamatzov's death. So power-crazed he even shoots down an airliner carrying the surviving members of the Soviet Politburo to America.
Red Armytroops cross the Khyber Passfrom Afghanistaninto Pakistan, John Rourke is conducting classes in Canadawhen an American and a Soviet nuclear submarinefight in the Arctic, causing a nuclear explosion.
The Soviet leaders launch a nuclear strike against America, and the American President retaliates: nearly two hundred million Americans and over a hundred million Soviet citizens are killed, and tsunamis hit
Californiaand New York. Rourke is on a 747 bound for Georgia when the missiles hit, and the pilots are blinded by the explosions. Rourke manages to crash-land the plane near Albuquerque, and teams up with Paul Rubenstein, another survivor of the crash.
airborne forceslanding on American soil, and almost every other major American politician dead, the President commits suicide to prevent a forced surrender. Rourke's family leave for a safer home after a gang of looters attack their farm.
Searching for a NASA astronaut who knows about a mysterious 'Eden Project', Rourke enters Soviet-occupied
Athens, Georgia, and is captured. Varakov has a job for him: Rourke is to kill Karamatzov, who has beaten Natalia up on suspicion of adultery with Rourke.
A National Guard officer joins forces with a cult of wild-men to infiltrate a remaining nuclear launch site and use the missiles to destroy Chicago. While Rourke's family fight with the resistance and the Soviets experiment with cryonic suspension, Rourke and Natalia fight the wild-men to save the city.
Rourke finally finds his family in
Tennessee, and takes them to his survival retreat. To save themselves from war-induced climate change, the KGB loot 'Eden Project' cryonics research from the Johnson Space Center, while Rourke and Natalia fight through Soviet troops, feral dogs and cannibals to discuss the coming 'end of the world' with Varakov in Chicago.
Rourke and Natalia break into 'The Womb', a Soviet survival habitat in what used to be
NORAD, to prevent the KGB from destroying the 'Eden Project' shuttles on their return to Earth and steal cryonics equipment allowing the Rourkes, Paul and Natalia to survive the impending climatic catastrophe. Most life on the surface is wiped out, Varakov dying in Chicago and Rozhdestvenskiy dying while searching for Rourke.
Having planned a five hundred year cryogenic sleep to await the returning 'Eden Project' shuttles, Rourke wakes Annie and Michael early, raising them to teenagers and then returning himself to cryogenic suspension so they'll be adults by the time the others wake. Michael explores the post-apocalypse world, finding tribes of cannibals surrounding a pre-war bomb shelter where the occupants rigorously maintain a limited population, sending excess workers outside to die.
* No.1 "Total War" (
1981) ISBN 0-450-05573-6
* No.2 "The Nightmare Begins" (
* No.3 "The Quest" (
1981) ISBN 0-450-05638-4
* No.4 "The Doomsayer" (
* No.5 "The Web" (
* No.6 "The Savage Horde" (
* No.7 "The Prophet" (
1984) ISBN 0-450-05811-5
* No.8 "The End is Coming" (
1984) ISBN 0-450-05830-1
* No.9 "Earth Fire" (
1984) ISBN 0-450-05867-0
* No.10 "The Awakening" (
1984) ISBN 0-450-05887-5
* No.11 "The Reprisal" (
1985) ISBN 0-450-38997-9
* No.12 "The Rebellion" (
1985) ISBN 0-450-39988-5
* No.13 "Pursuit" (
1986) ISBN 0-450-40577-X
* No.14 "The Terror" (
1987) ISBN 0-450-41123-0
* No.15 "Overlord" (
1987) ISBN 0-450-41348-9
* "Mid-Wake" (
1988) ISBN 0-450-49736-4
* No.16 "The Arsenal" (
1988) ISBN 0-450-42141-4
* No.17 "The Ordeal" (
* No.18 "The Struggle" (
1989) ISBN 0-450-53088-4
* No.19 "Final Rain" (
* No.20 "Firestorm" (
* No.21 "...To End all War (
* "The Legend" (
* No.22 "Brutal Conquest" (
* No.23 "Call to Battle" (
* No.24 "Blood Assassins" (
* No.25 "War Mountain" (
* No.26 "Countdown" (
* No.27 "Death Watch" (
Other than the books themselves:
* [http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/nuclear/a.htm#A "Nuclear Holocausts Bibliography"]
* [http://www.emptyworld.info/book_the_survivalist_series.html "The Survivalist Series"]
* [http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/nukepop/index.html "NUKE POP"] - Popular culture of the nuclear age.
** [http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/nukepop/142.html "Radioactive Rambos"] - Examples of survivalist fiction in general.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
The Poor Man's James Bond — is a four book series originally intended for the survivalist minded, compiled by Kurt Saxon. They were marketed toward the survivalist movement of the 1970s and 1980s, and as a counterpoint to The Anarchist Cookbook which Saxon believed… … Wikipedia
The Carrion Fields — is a multi user dungeon created by Yuval Oren (Derit), Matt Hamby (Rahvin/ShaidarHaran/BoltThrower) and Barbara Hargrove (Galadriel/Nordewin) in January 1994. Based on ROM 2.3, it first opened to the public on March 17th, 1994. The past thirteen… … Wikipedia
The Backwoodsman Magazine — or more correctly known as The Backwoodsman Richie s Magazine , began its 28th year of publishing in January 2007. The magazine is currently published six times a year and has a relatively small but growing and diverse following of readers. Many … Wikipedia
The Name of this Book is Secret — (2007) is a fantasy novel by Brown Little under the pen name Pseudonymous Bosch. It chronicles the adventures of two children, Cass and Max Ernest, as they investigate the mysterious death of local magician Pietro Bergamo. The author claims that… … Wikipedia
survivalist — noun Date: 1970 a person who advocates or practices survivalism; especially one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society • survivalist adjective … New Collegiate Dictionary
The Face (novel) — infobox Book | name = The Face title orig = translator = image caption = Cover of The Face author = Dean Koontz illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = genre = Suspense, Mystery novel publisher = Bantam… … Wikipedia
survivalist enterprise — (S. Africa) Gen Mgt a business that has no paid employees, generates income below the poverty line, and is considered the lowest level of microenterprise … The ultimate business dictionary
survivalist — n. one who prepares to withstand a major catastrophe by storing food and weapons (esp. as in the event of a total collapse of society) … English contemporary dictionary
survivalist — noun someone who tries to insure their personal survival or the survival of their group or nation • Hypernyms: ↑person, ↑individual, ↑someone, ↑somebody, ↑mortal, ↑soul … Useful english dictionary
Characters of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre — The following are fictional characters in the American horror The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.The Sawyer familyThe Sawyers (renamed the Hewitts in the remake and its prequel) are a family of cannibals in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre… … Wikipedia