Earthwreck! by Thomas N. Scortia

Earthwreck! is one of the best science fiction novels of the 1970s that I’ve read.  The author has done his homework in all aspects.  For science fiction, the characters are well developed and sophisticated,  the plot believably developed from an incredibly suspenseful premise.  As science fiction, the science is sound, for the time it was written (1974), and soundly extrapolated into the near future.  We have 2nd generation space shuttles delivering materials and supplies to a large American space station for the completion of a moon ship intended to establish a Lunar base.   When full scale nuclear war springs out of the middle-East, the space station crew are the only survivors of the human race — except for the parallel Russian space station and it’s “enemy” crew.  A plan for survival using  their stations, shuttles, moon ships and all the resources of both stations depends on their ability to make and keep peace immediately after their ultimate losses.  Each of the main characters — those already filled with hate, who just lost families, those who just want to live —  have different stakes, but they all share one — survival of humanity.

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