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Pushbutton War   By: (1931-)

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Pushbutton War by Joseph Paul Martino is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that takes readers on a journey through the dark consequences of war in a modern world. Set in the near future, Martino presents a startling and chilling vision of the power of technology and the potential it holds to escalate conflicts and destroy the planet.

The story introduces us to a global crisis in which various countries are on the brink of war. While this is not an uncommon theme in literature, Martino adds an innovative twist by exploring the idea of warfare being conducted solely through pushbuttons. This concept adds an eerie and unsettling element to the narrative as it highlights how detached and impersonal this new type of conflict has become.

The author skillfully develops a range of characters with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, each grappling with their own moral dilemmas and motivations. From the ruthless military commanders to the ordinary citizens caught in the crossfire, Martino delivers a nuanced portrayal of the human condition during times of crisis. The emotional depth and complexity of the characters make them relatable and compel readers to question their own beliefs about war and its consequences.

What sets Pushbutton War apart from other dystopian novels is the relevance it holds in today's world. Martino's exploration of how technology can amplify conflicts and magnify the destructive capabilities of nations is a glaring reflection of the present age. The book serves as a powerful cautionary tale, warning us about the dangers of relying too heavily on technological advancements without considering the ethical implications.

The narrative unfolds at a brisk pace, keeping readers engaged from start to finish. Martino's writing style is concise yet vivid, allowing readers to visualize the gripping action scenes and fostering a sense of urgency. The author's attention to detail in describing the futuristic technology and its impact on society adds depth and credibility to the story.

One aspect that might have improved the overall reading experience is a more in-depth exploration of the consequences and aftermath of the pushbutton wars. While Martino does touch upon the devastation caused by these conflicts, there is room for further examination of the long-term effects on nations and individuals alike. Nevertheless, this does not detract significantly from the overall impact of the novel.

Pushbutton War is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that delves into the dark side of warfare in the modern era. Martino's ability to depict the complex emotions, moral dilemmas, and technological implications of this new type of conflict sets the book apart. It serves as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of our reliance on technology and the need for informed decision-making in matters of war and peace.

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Illustrated by Schoenherr

[Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Astounding Science Fiction August 1960. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

In one place, a descendant of the Vikings rode a ship such as Lief never dreamed of; from another, one of the descendants of the Caesars, and here an Apache rode a steed such as never roamed the plains. But they were warriors all.

The hatch swung open, admitting a blast of Arctic air and a man clad in a heavy, fur lined parka. He quickly closed the hatch and turned to the man in the pilot's couch.

"O.K., Harry. I'll take over now. Anything to report?"

"The heading gyro in the autopilot is still drifting. Did you write it up for Maintenance?"

"Yeah. They said that to replace it they'd have to put the ship in the hangar, and it's full now with ships going through periodic inspection. I guess we'll have to wait. They can't just give us another ship, either. With the hangar full, we must be pretty close to the absolute minimum for ships on the line and ready to fly."

"O.K. Let me check out with the tower, and she'll be all yours... Continue reading book >>

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