End Of Days
A PAGE-TURNING, HEART-STOPPING EPIC NOVEL OF NUCLEAR WAR, BASED ON 28 YEARS OF REAL-NEWS RESEARCH INTO THE FEASIBILITY OF NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION
A small terrorist organization enlists its best and brightest to sneak into the nuclear storage facilities of the world’s great powers and smuggle out ample nuclear-bomb fuel for their mission. Then, the terrorists cobble together a crude nuke capable of wreaking staggering devastation, Hiroshima- or Nagasaki-style. Then, the terrorists nuke the great powers, framing other great powers for the crime. In retaliation, the great powers start nuking one another. In a flash, the small terrorist organization has orchestrated a global nuclear Armageddon.
Sounds like horror fiction? In fact, it’s an extremely plausible likelihood, according to noted editor, author, and the world’s foremost expert on nuclear terrorism, Robert Gleason. In his resoundingly acclaimed new novel, END OF DAYS (Forge Books; September 20, 2011; $24.99 Hardcover; ISBN: 978-0-7653-2992-9), Robert Gleason brings this horrific scenario masterfully, chillingly, and, above all, believably to life. Inspired by a prediction futurist Herman Kahn made 50 years ago, this gripping work of fiction is backed by Gleason’s rigorous research—nearly 30 years’ worth of probing the alarming lack of security at nuclear storage facilities in the U.S. and other countries; the shocking availability of nuclear bomb-fuel and bomb-building technology for sale, by governments and on the black market; and the ease of making crude but frighteningly effective nuclear bombs.
Gripping and harrowing, END OF DAYS weaves an intricate, action-packed plot around the very real possibility of nuclear apocalypse. It begins in Mecca with Kate Magruder, intrepid reporter. She has come to cover a revolutionary pilgrimage: Russian’s minister of defense, Vladimir Malokov, nicknamed “Mad Vlad” for his wild and ruthless antics, has abruptly converted to Islam. But Kate’s real reason for following the flock is much more complicated. Her former field partner and ex-lover, John Stone, MLB star turned maverick journalist, may also be in Mecca—hot on the trail of loose nukes. As Stone demonstrated in a disturbing video message, virtually anyone can stroll into any one of the world’s many ill-secured nuclear storage facilities, scoop up handfuls of bomb-grade plutonium, and, with the help of a hunk of cannon (easily bought or, almost as easily, stolen), whip up a working model of the Hiroshima “gun-barrel bomb.”
Driven by a huge cast of fully drawn characters, END OF DAYS is filled with hard facts about real-world nuclear security risks and vivid depictions of the probable fallout. Along the way, Gleason compels readers to consider:
Formidable nuclear weapons like the Black Stealth Crow, “a creature of inconceivable cunning, elusive as smoke, invisible as night,” designed to evade infrared detectors, change shade in a flash, and hide in plain sight;
The catastrophic impact of a nuclear terrorist strike on Beijing…or on New York City’s lower east side, decimating Wall Street;
Hellfire on earth—ignited by nuking the Yellowstone caldera, a gigantic, super-volcanic crater. Such a blast would wreak the unspeakable—a hurricane of blazing embers, a cyclone of infernal ashes, and mountains of debris—across most of the U.S. and southern Canada.
Packed with shocking twists and earth-shattering possibilities, END OF DAYS is, in the words of New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston, “terrifying, outrageous, eerily prescient” and, to quote New York Times bestselling author Whitley Strieber, “unforgettable.” Grounded in meticulous research, END OF DAYS is also a chilling cautionary tale of what ultimately will happen if our current state of lax nuclear security and unchecked nuclear proliferation persists.
Praise for End Of Days
“Robert Gleason has been to the jagged edge of the pit and peeped in; he’s been seared by the heat of the eternal furnace, smelled the brimstone, listened to the mournful wailing of the damned. The Dante of our age, he’s back to tell us about it.”
-- Stephen Coonts, author of the New York Times bestseller, Assassin
“Terrifying, outrageous, eerily prescient. Somebody’s going to burn for this! Let’s hope it isn’t . . . all of us!”
-- Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, authors of the New York Times bestseller and Paramount film, Relic
“Gleason does for the end of the world what Milton did for Hell itself. Partly lyrical, entirely entertaining, it is always engrossing and fascinating.”
-- W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, award-winning, New York Times bestselling authors of Fire The Sky
“Great Caesar’s Ghost! What a story! At times mystical, at others apocalyptic, Robert Gleason brings life to nuclear catastrophe. His images are compelling and at times horrific. His characters take you through an almost mythic experience.”
-- Larry Bond, author of the New York Times bestseller Cold Choices
“One twist and turn after another, END OF DAYS is scary and compelling. A devious plot, it’s spun by a stellar hand, check it out.”
-- Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor's Tomb
“Well, Gleason has done it this time for sure with END OF DAYS. Readers diving into Gleason’s world will never again be the same again. END OF DAYS is a nuclear warhead of a novel, which could do for the Anti-Proliferation Movement what SILENT SPRING did for Environmentalism. People will inevitably compare END OF DAYS to such apocalyptic masterworks as THE STAND, LEFT BEHIND, SWAN SONG, FAIL SAFE, DR. STRANGELOVE andTHE SUM OF ALL FEARS, but in truth there are no comparisons. END OF DAYS dwarfs all previous efforts. A vision old as the BIBLE, violent as Armageddon itself, END OF DAYS is more than a novel. It is the fulfillment of REVELATION, Nostradamus and all the ancient apocalyptic scrolls rolled into one. This is the End-Time writ large.
Bravo! Hats off! I wish I could have written END OF DAYS, but I’m man enough to admit that I could not have done it for all the tea in China!”
-- David Hagberg, winner of the American Book Award, three American Mystery Awards and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Expediter
“Just when we thought it was safe to dream again, Robert Gleason has pulled us back, kicking and screaming, to our collective nightmare: nuclear annihilation . . .”
-- Nelson DeMille
“I would be hard-pressed to recommend a book equal to the WRATH OF GOD—until now. I’ve just finished END OF DAYS, the prequel to that novel, and I am stunned. What an amazing story, sweeping in scope, terrifying, uplifting, outrageous, funny, and shocking, forming an unforgettable picture of humanity’s “end of days.” And what a stupendous cast of characters, from crazy Russian generals to shamans, torturers, visionaries, religious leaders, scientists, and even a brilliant computer named Thucydides, who is nevertheless flummoxed by the human race and falling in love. The WRATH OF GOD has already become a classic; END OF DAYS will surely follow. Combined, they are a story for the ages.”
-- Douglas Preston, New York Times -bestselling author of Impact and Blasphemy
“Gleason's work with Junius Podrug on such novels as Apocalypse 2012 and The 2012 Codex has made him an expert on all things apocalyptic, a subject he returns to with gusto in this wildly expansive tale of the coming End Times. Among the principal characters are John Stone, gonzo journalist; Kate Magruder, Stone's ex-girlfriend, whose mother uses her media empire to warn the world about the oncoming nuclear Armageddon and who has built a fortress, the Citadel, where she intends to wait out the war; and Ronald "Cool Breeze" Robinson, a new prisoner in the notorious Texas prison known as Jack Town. And then there are the more bizarre characters: a massive, singing rat known as Sailor, the story's real hero; semi-sentient nuclear weapons; and scores of madmen, killers, sadists, torturers, and evildoers bent on the earth's destruction. It all adds up to a thrilling take on a frighteningly possible future, one that makes the journey in Cormac McCarthy's The Road look like a stroll through the park.”
-- Publisher's Weekly
“Gleason tackles Armageddon and emerges with one of the best end-of-the-world thrillers in quite some time. The enormous cast of characters includes reporter Kate Magruder; Kate’s mother, Lydia Lozen (L. L.) Magruder, the great-granddaughter of an Apache shaman; and John Stone, maverick reporter on the trail of stolen nukes. L. L. has been dreaming of the end of the world since childhood, and she now lives in a kind of fortress in the Southwest, where she is prepared for the cataclysm she knows is coming. Meanwhile, Stone, hunting more tangible proof of Armageddon, has disappeared, and it’s up to Kate, his former lover, to find him and forestall the end. A couple of things set End of Days apart from other novels of its type: first, Gleason devotes more space than usual to the buildup, but he holds our interest all the way, generating suspense as he languishes over the details. Second, he excels at mixing biblical prophecy and the predictions of Nostradamus—both are regularly at the core of Armageddon-themed novels—with hard facts about the danger of nuclear proliferation. The combination of resonant myth and on-the-ground reality delivers a narrative knockout punch. Comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand and Robert McCammon’s Swan Song are well founded, but Gleason’s novel is in a class by itself.
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Gleason, executive editor at Tor/Forge, hits the jackpot with this riveting thriller. Prepub buzz is growing steadily with blurbs from A-list genre names (Steven Coonts, Nelson DeMille, Steve Berry) as well as politicians and military types. They’re all singing the same tune: this one is special.”
-- Booklist Online
“Robert Gleason has been pondering the inevitability of a Nuclear Apocalypse for more than twenty years. His thoughts are now words, his words nuclear-tipped missiles coming at us with warp speed. His prose and dialogue have the eye-popping bounce and muscularity of a professional break dancer. Once you enter his nightmare world, you'll race wildly through it to find the nearest exit--only to realize that End Of Days is not a dream. It's just tomorrow arriving a day early. Let us hope it inspires all of us to take action and prevent the ... End of Days. Tick. Tick. Tick ... ”
-- William S. Cohen, former Secretary of Defense, US Senator and author of the New York Times -bestseller, Dragon Fire
“A devious, believable tale packed with action and atmosphere. Gleason is at the top of his form, and you’ll hate to see it end. Given current world events, his story unfortunately isn’t that farfetched. The end may be closer than you think.”
-- General Sid Shachnow, ( U.S. Army/Special Forces, ret.), co-author of the memoir, Hope And Honor, winner of the William E. Colby Award
“Gleason’s powerful, compelling book is a stark reminder of the peril we face unless we find a way to destroy nuclear weapons before they destroy us.”
-- Former US Senator Byron L. Dorgan and New York Times bestselling author of Reckless!
“END OF DAYS is one of the reading experiences of my lifetime. Seldom if ever have I read a book that combined such literary power with a factual background that induced those basic components of tragedy, fear and pity, with such incredible intensity. Talk about being riveted to the page! I was transmuted!
Yes, I was frightened at times. But if this vision becomes a reality, as an historian I know it will become part of humanity’s long struggle to survive the worst side of our natures. Gleason has given us characters in this book that also send a message of hope, of ultimate -- to use a word he may not completely endorse -- salvation.
Congratulations to the author. No matter what happens in our precarious future, he’s written a book that people will read and ponder for a long time.”
-- Thomas Fleming, winner of the Lincoln Prize for Lifetime Achievement in History; former President of the American Society of Historians and of PEN; the New York Times -bestselling author of The Secret Life of Robert E. Lee
“For all the literary praise for Bob Gleason's work, the essence of his gift is that he's a mighty storyteller. This masterful tale of the risks of nuclear Armageddon--and much, much more--can only be compared in its imaginative impact with the seminal novels of the what-if? genre--John Buchan's Greenmantle leaps to mind, as well as Nevil Shute's On The Beach, in the sense that this novel is groundbreaking and peerless in its time.”
-- Ralph Peters, the New York Times bestselling author of The War After Armageddon and The Officers' Club
“Writers have brooded over the End Time since Gilgamesh, the Bhagavad Gita and Revelation. Well, END OF DAYS is the ride of a lifetime—or more accurately"of a deathtime!—leaving those epic sagas in the dust! High ambition fully achieved, this is one of those rare books WRITTEN in 3-D! It will take a Spielberg to make a movie of it!
Buy it, read it -- buy it and read it again! Then, find someone you love and read it aloud on a blustery winter night to your friends. This is a novel to share.”
-- David Black, winner of two Edgars, a dozen Emmy and Writers Guild nominations and awards as well as the author of The Extinction Event
“In WikiLeaks' release of diplomatic cables, concerns about nuclear terrorism were at the top of the list. Robert Gleason already knew the danger, and his astonishing END OF DAYS reads like a dark prophecy. This brilliantly conceived, ferocious journey into the final fire swept me up with the sheer intensity of the story. A heart-stopping reading experience like this doesn't come often, but when it does, you do not ever forget it. "End of Days" is just that: unforgettable.”
-- Whitley Strieber, the New York Times -bestselling author of Hybrids
“I LOVED the book! It's been so long since anyone did a book like this at all, never mind as well Robert Gleason. In END OF DAYS he breathes life into the long dead end-of-the-world tale. Not since Stephen King's THE STAND has anyone so brilliantly envisioned mankind's visceral struggle to survive against evil of all kinds. This is Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD on steroids, filled with unforgettable characters and adrenaline-charged set pieces that make the book altogether impossible to put down. Simply stated, one of those rare books that will haunt you long after the final page is turned. My only regret is that END OF DAYS had to end at all.”
-- Jon Land, author of Strong at the Breaks
“Booklist said of WRATH OF GOD, the sequel to END OF DAYS: Passionate readers need not fear Philip Roth's lament that fiction is dead, since the writer's imagination is outstripped each night by the evening news. Gleason has conjured up a postnuclear holocaust Islamic horde that has conquered Europe and Asia and is pushing inexorably through the American West. Only a rawhide-tough, old woman, and her unlikely allies--George Patton, Stonewall Jackson, Amelia Earhart, and an adolescent triceratops--stand in the way of the triumph of utter barbarism. Equal parts fantasy, historical fiction, SF, western, and morality play, this novel is sprawling, epic, cinematic, and a ripping good adventure yarn. If Gleason has forgotten anything about fashioning a book that will get widely read, the reader won't discover what it might be. All public libraries will want to put in an order.”
-- Thomas Gaughan, Booklist on Wrath of God, the sequel to End of Days
What You Need to Know About Robert Gleason and End of Days
- Fact: Robert Gleason spent 28 years researching nuclear terrorism for End of Days, and in it presents a pseudo-fiction tome based on the very real fact that terrorists have the means to acquire nuclear weapons;
- Fact: Featured in the recent History Channel’s two-hour special, “Prophets of Doom,” Robert Gleason is also considered by the History Channel to be one of the preeminent experts on nuclear proliferation;
- Fact: As End of Days will document, crashing airlines can also shatter a reactor’s containment shell and melt a reactor down, and Robert Gleason can explain how shockingly vulnerable U.S. power plants are to all style of attacks;
- Fiction and Fact: End of Days outlines a world awash in bomb fuel–enough for 40,000 Hiroshimas. The idea that bomb-building technology is sold openly, by governments and on the black market, is not far-fetched. Yemini detainee Salman Yehah Kasa Hassan was said to have asserted that “an associate of his brother was apprehended attempting to sell uranium for $500,000.” The material was allegedly seized by officials in Yemen and was “rumored to have disappeared in a transaction,” with bin Laden, one document states;
- Fact: The book also states that once terrorists have the bomb-fuel, making a nuke is easy;
- Fact: Gleason can come on-camera accompanied by national experts, including former high-ranking members of the military and previous administrations, all who support Gleason’s claims in the book.
What the Media isn't telling us about Nuclear Terrorism
- The killing of Bin Laden increases the risk that al Qaeda-Taliban units will carry out nuclear attacks on the US, including assaults on US nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons labs. Top al Qaeda leaders have told us how and why they plan on carrying out those attacks.
- Pakistan’s SSG—their equivalent of Seal Team Six—is training al Qaeda/Taliban units. They have already attacked and destroyed several Pakistani nuclear facilities and heavily secured military bases, which—after they had penetrated multiple layers of protective security— they blew up.
- New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant and San Francisco’s Sandia nuclear weapons lab would be almost irresistible targets. We know from their public utterances that they plan to destroy American nuclear facilities and eventually set off nuclear bombs in US cities. The author will also explain why US nuclear weapons labs are almost as poorly secured as US nuclear power plants.
- Nuclear bomb-fuel is and has been surprisingly easy to steal and why—once in possession of that bomb-fuel—terrorists would find it shockingly simple to cobble together crude but powerful Hiroshima- or Nagsaki-style bombs.
- In END OF DAYS Robert Gleason dramatizes how well-coordinated nuclear terrorist attacks could provoke global Armageddon . . . a Nuclear End of Days.
- Nuclear power is the Trojan Horse inside of which the nuclear proliferators and their illegitimate offspring, the nuclear terrorists, hide.
- Why President Obama isn’t doing more to prepare the country for nuclear terrorist attacks, including assaults on US nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons labs.
- Why President Obama isn’t doing more to prevent a nuclear 9/11.