Lucifer's Hammer (1977) by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

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Lucifer's Hammer (1977) by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

Post  BoG on Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:21 am

Wikipedia wrote:Lucifer's Hammer is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, first published in 1977. It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1978. A comic book adaptation was published by Innovation Comics in 1993.
This novel seemed to have been an influence on such films as Meteor (79), A Fire in the Sky (TV-77) and Deep Impact (98).

Wikipedia wrote:The story details a comet impacting on Earth, an end to civilization, and the battle for the future. It encompasses the discovery of the comet, the Los Angeles social scene, and a cast of diverse characters whose fate is to be among the few who survive the massive cataclysm and the resulting tsunamis, plagues, famines, and battles among scavengers and cannibals.

When wealthy soap company heir and amateur astronomer Tim Hamner codiscovers a new comet, dubbed Hamner-Brown, documentary producer Harvey Randall persuades Hamner to have his family's company sponsor a television documentary series on the subject. Political lobbying by California Senator Arthur Jellison eventually gets a joint Apollo-Soyuz (docking with the second flight-worthy Skylab) mission into space to study the comet, dubbed "The Hammer" by popular media, which is expected to pass close to the Earth. Despite assurances by the scientific community that a collision with Earth is extremely unlikely, the public, many of whom are fueled with religious fervor by the evangelist Henry Armitage, who teaches that the arrival of the comet signals the End Times, begins to hoard food and supplies in anticipation.

Eventually, to the shock of scientists at JPL in Pasadena, who could not track the trajectory accurately enough because of the comet's constant outgassing, the Hammer does fall, breaking up into several smaller comets that impact around the world with devastating results, striking parts of Europe, Africa, the Gulf of Mexico, and both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The strikes trigger several volcanoes and earthquakes around the world, including the San Andreas fault, heavily damaging the Southern California region and the rest of California, causing millions of casualties. Several of the fragments land in the ocean, causing further damage by the resulting tsunamis (which destroy several major coastal cities around the world, including Los Angeles, killing millions) and long-term climate problems due to the massive quantities of vaporized seawater.

Immediately following the Hammer's impact, anticipating the coming ice age and the inevitable southward migration of survivors from Russia into Chinese territory, China launches a preemptive nuclear attack on major Russian cities. The Russians are able to respond in time and, with American assistance, China is effectively destroyed but Russia still suffers devastating losses. Within hours of the comet strike hundreds of millions are dead and much of the world is left in ruin. As the survivors contend with weeks of nonstop rain, flooding destroys practically every dam and levee, leaving the search for food a top survival priority. Civilization crumbles as people use the few remaining weapons to protect themselves from each other.
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