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Tomorrow! (Beyond Armageddon) Paperback – November 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip Wylie (1902–71) was a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction whose earliest books exercised great influence in twentieth-century science fiction pulp magazines and comic books: Gladiator was the inspiration for Superman, The Savage Gentleman was the forerunner of pulp hero Doc Savage, and When Worlds Collide inspired Flash Gordon. Wylie’s Gladiator, The Disappearance, Triumph, and When Worlds Collide are all available in Bison Books editions.
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Product Details

  • Series: Beyond Armageddon
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803226624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803226623
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,031,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By troutski on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book, when taken in the context of it's publication date. It is even more amazing today.
By swapping out communism for one of today's evils, it would be frighteningly contemporary.

There are 5-6 pages toward the middle where a newspaper editor writes on of the most powerful op ed pieces I have every read about the American condition.

This is truly a timeless read. The names have changed, but the stakes have not......
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Palm Springs Guy on January 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Didnt have too much hope for this book because it was written in the 50's but just let me say I was totally wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed it; enough so that I am in the middle of reading his other book, "TRIUMPH". I highly recommend this book written by one of the original pioneers of Science Fiction. It gives you an excellent glimpse into the mindset of post Word War II when everyone went to bed everynight wondering if the "Reds" would be dropping the atom bomb on them at any moment. I also found the idea, practice and implementation of Civil Defense interesting. Living in earthquake prone California, I beieve that Civil Defense is something that should be brought back with a vengence and taken seriously. Afterall, do you really want to sit around after a disaster and wait for the Government to show up and help you? Can anyone say "Katrina"? Great book that will provoke intelligent thinking. What more can you ask for?
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Craig Chilton -- xanadu4@ibm.net on December 3, 1997
Format: Textbook Binding
Several characters are followed through this fascinating novel, setting great groundwork for their experiences when nuclear war suddenly comes to America... and their city.
Wylie wrote this at the time when it was JUST becoming possible for nuclear warheads to be delivered by missiles, so bombers and missiles both come into play. So does germ warfare. And the result is a horrendously realistic account of nuclear war as only such a masterful author and researcher as Philip Wylie could portray it. The TV movie, "The Day After," came along decades later, and scared the wits out of many of its viewers... but that was a Sunday walk in the park compared to THIS story. THIS is the real deal, and when you set this book down, you'll find that it's a story you'll never forget.
By the way, if you enjoy this, then you MUST track down a copy of Wylie's LATER nuclear war novel, "Triumph," and decide for yourself whether or not he topped this earlier work. It's a toss-up!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Fred on June 6, 2003
Format: Textbook Binding
A moderately well written "end of the world as we know it" book. A great book gets me concerned about the well being of the characters but I just didn't get worked up about them. (Especially the kid who sometimes seemed more a device for exposition than a real child.) The action was good though and the underlying cold war "duck and cover" paranoia seeps through beautifully. Very good with minor flaws.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 1999
Format: Textbook Binding
"Tomorrow" is a good book. However, I thought "Triumph" was a better read, despite being considerably darker. Still, this is worth reading, especially for those of us too young to know about "civil defense" drills firsthand.
"When Worlds Collide" and "After Worlds Collide" are Wylie's best, and I'd recommend them above "Tomorrow." If you can find them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charl A. Harper on December 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I've long been a fan of apocalyptic literature and Philip Wylie's "Tomorrow" reminds me of other nuclear war novels, like "Alas, Babylon" and "On the Beach." Only it's more horrific because unlike the other two, we are shown the actual impact of the nuclear weapon and its effects on city and people in unflinching detail. Compared to this, the controversial 1980's TV movie, "The Day After" is a walk in the park. In fact, the network would never have been allowed to show many of the images from "Tomorrow."

The book was written in 1954 and reflects the social ideas of the time as well as what was believed would happen in a nuclear war. It is clear that one of Wylie's reason's for writing it was to argue for a stronger Civil Defense program, as it is set in two Mid-Western cities, one with a good CD program, the other without. Guess which city suffers fewer losses? For this reason, parts of the book come across as preachy and some of the characters only exist to show the reader the benefits of a CD program.

But not all of Wylie's characters are so one dimensional. I found it intriguing that given the period the book was written in, he created two strong, unconventional female characters. One is an intelligent woman, with a college degree in the hard sciences, who is part of the radiological team and who is on the front lines after the bomb drops. (The man she loves is military intelligence and remains in the relative safety of his base during the action.) The other suprising character is a smart mouth, bratty girl, who is caught up in the middle of the destruction and, with the occasional help of others, must find her way to safety. I was also impressed that Wylie tended to treat minorities with respect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 26, 2015
Format: Paperback
Written during the hottest part of the Cold War, Tomorrow! is a product of its time. It is both a post-apocalyptic novel and an ode to civil defense. Two neighboring cities face a nuclear holocaust. One has a civil defense program. The other does not. Philip Wylie is a heavy-handed cheerleader for civil defense. We now know what communities in 1954 generally did not know -- civil defense is no defense at all against nuclear weapons. Civil defense lulled people into believing nuclear war is survivable -- that might, in fact, have been its true purpose. Civil defense drills ended in the early 1960s after escalating protests convinced the public of their futility. The modern approach to crisis management, involving trained first responders, is more useful than marshaling ordinary people who show up for monthly drills wearing yellow raincoats and carrying Geiger counters. Yet every real crisis is too messy to be managed, no matter how sophisticated the management techniques have become. Wylie gives the reader a sense of that messiness even as he extolls the heroism of civil defense volunteers.

Wylie's novel, although dated, remains an entertaining look at an interesting period of American history. Tomorrow! is set in two fictional Midwestern cities. Green Prarie and River City are separated only by bridges. Green Prarie is serious about the civil defense drills that irritate Minerva Sloan, who owns the city's bank and newspaper. Civil defense advocates argue that people need to be prepared for a communist attack but drills seem to Minerva to be a poor excuse for disrupting a dinner party.
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