Dr. Bill Lahneman
Nov 14, 2016
OneSecond After is a science fiction book that gets one thinking thatmany things can disrupt modern civilization. The story takes place inpost-America during an electromagnetic pulse attack. Anelectromagnetic (EMP) attack involves exploding nuclear bombs up inthe atmosphere killing everything and pulling behind a country to thedark ages. The novel is written in third person voice. The town inwhich the story takes place is cut from the outside world. There isno radioactive fallout or bombed out city with an electromagneticpulse that can be the same again (Hall., 2013). An electromagneticpulse attack knocks the entire electric grid and turns all the lightsout. It looks at the logistics of America without power. The novellooks at all systems that use electricity apart from transportationand communication to food and medicine. The story focuses on one manwho tries to save his family after America loses a war in a second.This war sends America back to the dark ages. Forstchen in his booktries to warn people of impending danger that has been ignored andoverlooked (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
of the Basic Arguments
Thestory looks at how civilization can be lost in few weeks.Civilization is lost because of the high atmosphere caused by EMPsleading to frying out of most electrons in the US. Civilization islost to a new dark age. Once the EMPs are realized, they will destroythe state making it lose everything. Civilization here means a suddenloss of all factors that give America an opportunity to be civilized.The factors are lost as result of automatic bombing (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Thereis poor governance in the story where US officials seem to take noconcern about what is happening. The US government has taken no stepsto reinforce acute electoral and electronic infrastructure. This isbecause most government officials claim that much money will be usedin protecting what is seen a remote, Hypothetical threat (Hall.,2013). John Matherson was promoted to be the general in the army, andhis career desk seems to be a jockey. He is ignorant to realize thedanger until things become progressively worse. Refugees are pouringin the small town every other day, and the officials are muchunprepared. There is corruption in the community. This is seen whenJohn gives Washington Parker keys to Jens garage to take the Mustangfor temporal use and him acquiring medication and supplies from a CVSchemistry after silencing the loud customer (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Thesmall town is infected with diseases, which are killing most of thetown its habitats. For examples, John’s daughter has diabetes typeone and is going to die anytime when the insulin runs out. The hightech diabetes kit is not working on Jennifer. This shows that she maydie sooner that she expected (Puspitasari.,2014).Most people have died from starvation and the disease. The societyhas to implement ways in which they are going to determine whichpeople will starve to death and those who will not. Here surgeriesare to be performed without anesthetics and antibiotics to conservethem for those who are critically ill and those who should not die(Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Thehospital conditions are poor, and most people are dying in there. Thenumber of dying and already dead people distresses the hospital.People prefer being at home even in even at their worst moments(Puspitasari.,2014).For example, John’s father in law is the hospital, and they takehim home though he is in poor conditions. Tyler eventually dies, andthis starts worrying Jennifer. When Makala is talking to John, sheproposes that he should start talking to Jennifer on death since mostpeople have been dying (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Thereis fear of unknown in the story. People are in fear, and yet they donot know why. For example when a group of stranded motorist approachJohn and his family for help, he declines saying he does not want toput his family at risk. Later on, John goes to his office and getssome guns as if he is expecting things to worsen. Additionally, Johngives his daughter Elizabeth a shotgun before he left the house. This signifies that the people of the black mountain are terrifiedand insecure. John’s acts depict insecurity in the area. In thecollege too, the college president is training a militia consistingof students to protect the community (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Thebook clearly outlines political manifesto and humanism. John, anex-military official, comes back to the black mountain to rule. Hisregime leaves behind bleeding hearts. Only the ex-military heroes areallowed to survive. The commoners suffer a lot, and most of them die.For instance in the hospital antibiotics and anesthesia for surgeriesis given to few people whose life must be saved. This is a clearindicator of in inequality where some people are superior to theothers. Their life is more important that why there is disparity(Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Thebook further talks about family love and unity in the family. Thefamily is an important aspect of everyday life of any human being. Itgives one a sense of belonging. John is willing to do everything foris dying daughter. He shows love to his daughters and wants them tofeel warm. When stranded travelers come to his home, to seektransport he claims not want to hurt his family (Woodbury.,2015).This clearly shows that he gives priority to his family. There issibling love too in the book. Elizabeth cares very much for hersister. She is the one who notices her sister’s diabetic kit is notworking and alerts her father. On her sisters birthday, she is herefor her, and she prepares everything for her. When the father isleaving the house, he leaves her with a shotgun. This shows the careand the concern John has for his family. The responsibility implieshe does not want anything bad happening to his girls (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Thecommunity is facing many challenges. Food and water are beingrationed. There is no transport and means of communication hasfailed. All the vehicles are not working apart from Jen car, whichshe cannot give. The people are stranded because the bus has notturned up and they seek help from John who declines because of fear.The young military is the only thing standing between the brutesgang’the posse.’ They rationing goes further to the hospital wheresurgeries have to be performed without anesthetics and antibiotics(Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
InterestingThings about the Book
TheElectromagnetic Pulse is one of the most interesting things found inthis book this is because of its magic and how it can easily make adifference. The Electromagnetic pulse has an awesome power that canbe used to destroy the whole of US, literary in one second. Thisweapon is a threat to Americans for its power to shatter the country.The Black Mountain is wasted in a span of a second once the automatedbombs are realized. Everything that uses electricity fails and theylook for new sources of power to use (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Theauthenticity of the author is fascinating. He creates a mentalpicture where the reader is presented with a realistic view of themindset. As a student, it gives us an opportunity for looking at abalanced approach to politics and the economic status of the country.The book enables us to learn how life without a centralized structure(Schmitt.,2016).The story gives a clear glimpse of how America may appear like afterthe drastic fall. It brings with it the reality of lost civilization.It brings into realization how real life and how dependent is thehuman nature of electricity. All factors like transport, food, andhealth care are highly integral to human life, and without them, lifecan be very hard (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
OneSecond After is a scary book that any lover of books is worth readingbecause it goes further than any post –apocalyptic novel orsupernatural horrors. The book is very plausible because of itsextraordinary nature where the events of the black mountain arelikely to happen in the real America. The book examines the effectsof the Electromagnetic pulse to the economy. This pulse drives themost powerful country in the world down (Schmitt.,2016).The irony in the novel where a country of America’s status quo canbe pulled back to dark ages remains the most captivating part. Onewonders where the security and the government are when all this ishappening (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Theinteresting thing is how the life changes in a second. John and hisfamily are living a happy, peaceful life and all these shifts in aspan of a second. The lights go out, and they do not come back on.All the modern vehicles stop functioning the moment the power goesoff. The food supplies, medicine, water and all the utilities stop.The Black Mountain community realize something major has happened andthey eventually learn that something mega has happened. The Megathing here is the Electro Magnetic Pulse that interferes witheverything (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Credibilityof the scenarios in the Story
Thescenario in the book is highly credible. The book is thoughtprovoking, and it sends one thinking each and every other day. We cansee the other side of a fallen country. The scenario is incrediblebecause we learn many things from it. We teach about the length ofsurvival and how to help family members with medical needs. In thestory, we continuously know how John and Elizabeth are workingtirelessly to continue helping Jenny with her life. The diabeticjourney seems to be tough, but they do everything they can for her tosurvive (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Wealso learn how essential modern equipment is to any community. Theloss of it becomes a significant burden to the society. It furthereducates us on the importance of having an alternative source ratherthan depending on modern equipment. When the power went out, muchsuffering came in this is because people lacked the basic needsafter they were rationed.
Thebook further challenges us on our mechanical knowledge. It questionsthe skills we have that may benefit the community in times of need.When the vehicles failed, people with mechanical knowledge would havehelped but since there was no one the whole community was stranded.The mechanical knowledge would have assisted in improvisingalternative medical kits that would have helped save most deaths. Weclearly see that most medical equipment’s failed and the only thingthe people in the community can think of is death (Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
The leadership in Black Mountaincommunity is wanting. There is no good leadership, and that is whythe community is suffering. The leaders in the community are biasedand self-reliant (Callaghanet al., 2015).
For example, John does not areabout other people he only cares about his sick daughter and fatherin law. When people come to seek help from he does not pay attentionto them. He claims he does not want to hurt his family. Badleadership has interfered with the peacefulness of Black Mountain.The refugees continue streaming in without any question. Thehospitals are also corrupt, and proper medication is only offered tothe ex-military officials while the rest are left to suffer or die(Forstchen,W. R., 2011).
Thescenarios in the book are captivating. The plausible sceneries madethe book scary too. The name of the city where the story happens isamazing. It leaves one wondering why the title was black and why themountain was used. It gives an opportunity for one to think about theevents. The sceneries also allow one to be a critical thinker and tobe able to critique the book. The characters in the story areamazingly used to show the reaction of people in this world(Callaghanet al., 2015).
Inconclusion, Forstchen, works is amazing. It is an excellent book thatprovokes many senses for its readers. It aids in thinking beyond thenormal life and to analyses on bettering the future (Glasstoneet al., 2012).The story is very educative to the future generationsince it urges them to develop better systems that can bealternatively used in case of anything happening.
However,the author and the editor should improve their grammatical errors.The book has many grammatical mistakes that ought to be corrected.The errors do not make sense since the book is written in thirdperson tense. The book uses strong language that may not be suitablefor young users hence recommendable for a certain age. Also, it isscary and horrifying nature may not be appropriate for the youngreaders (Glasstoneet al., 2012).
Loveis an integral part of the society, and as a society, we should liveharmoniously. Love brings inequality, and where there is love, thereis neither superior beings nor minor ones. Love overcomes all sortsof evils in the society. If there was love among the black mountaincommunity, the number of deaths would have reduced since there won’tbe unfair treatment.
Theevents in the society denote the real America. The author wanted toshow that the current regime was not all super. The refugee in thestory line symbolizes those people from the enemy countries (Crane.,2016).It replicates the Islam community who find joy in mass killings. Thebook furthers warns America of impending danger that is why thecommunity in the artistic world is in fear. The fear in thiscommunity symbolizes the terror that will engulf the US once theElectromagnetic pulse is realized.
Forstchen,W. R. (2011). Onesecond after.Macmillan.
Puspitasari,N. (2014). TheEffects Of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack To Human Life ReflectedIn William R. Forstchen’s (2009):Sociological Approach (Doctoraldissertation, Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta).
Glasstone,Samuel and Dolan, Philip J. (2012)TheEffects of Nuclear Weapons.
Callaghan,J., & Phythian, M. (2015). Intellectuals of the Left and theAtomic Dilemma in the Age of the US Atomic Monopoly,1945–1949. ContemporaryBritish History, 29(4),441-463.
Crane,C. C. (2016). AmericanAirpower Strategy in World War II.University Press of Kansas.
Schmitt,J. (2016). The Impact Ordnance has on Warfare and Civilization.
Woodbury,Z. (2015). Climate Crisis and the Cosmic Bomb: Is the American Dreaman Expression of Cultural Trauma?. Ecopsychology, 7(4),185-191.