False flag in science or speculative fiction?
January 7, 2014 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Help me remember a story where Florida is nuked by the US government and it's blamed on terrorists to justify authoritarian measures. I thought it was a John Brunner novel....

I thought it was Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, The Sheep Look up or The Shockwave Rider, but the plot summaries of those on wikipedia don't mention this. I thought it was a novel, but it could have been a short story. It's a near future/alternative reality speculative or science fiction story.

The bombing is mentioned off-handedly. I don't see this mentioned on the TV Tropes page.

I've read most of Philip K. Dick, so it could have been one of those, but my memory of the mood of the story doesn't fit a phildickian universe.
posted by morganw to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Could it be Brunner's The Other End of Time?
posted by Chrysostom at 4:43 PM on January 7, 2014

It certainly wouldn't be out of the question for one of Brunner's near-future novels. I can tell you 100% that it's NOT Shockwave Rider, as that's one of my favorite novels and I reread it fairly frequently. I don't remember anything like that in Stand on Zanzibar but I'll be rereading that one shortly so I will follow-up if you haven't nailed it down. It certainly would be in keeping with the plot of The Sheep Look Up, but I don't remember -- and I absolutely refuse to reread that one because I don't need to be suicidally depressed for the next week.
posted by adrienneleigh at 5:35 PM on January 7, 2014

I don't have my copies handy, but that totally sounds like something in either Zanzibar or Sheep - whichever had the term "muckers" for spree violence.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:35 PM on January 7, 2014

"Mucker" is from Stand on Zanzibar.

I did a quick look on Google Books. "Florida" does not appear in Zanzibar. It does turn up four times in Sheep, but nothing about nukes or terrorism.

And sorry, I meant The Wrong End of Time earlier. The Other End of Time is Fred Pohl.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:57 PM on January 7, 2014

posted by rmd1023 at 6:19 PM on January 7, 2014

The Shockwave Rider has a scene where a nuclear bomber is dispatched to drop a nuke within the state of California, but our hero manages to abort the mission. I don't recall anything about Florida in that book.
posted by monotreme at 9:19 AM on January 8, 2014

There's a plot point in Haldeman's Forever Peace where a U.S. fusion plant had an "accident" and nuked a large chunk of some state (I think the Dakotas somewhere). It's discovered by the protagonist that this was in fact deliberate sabotage by the government, to discourage other countries from attempting to develop their own fusion technology.

(Curiously enough, I'm about halfway through Stand on Zanzibar right now. No nukes yet!)

(Edit: According to Google Books, I'm misremembering -- it's not a fusion plant but a "nanoforge", and it is indeed North Dakota.)
posted by neckro23 at 8:44 PM on January 8, 2014

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