Pushbutton War

Cover image for


Published: 1960
Language: English
Wordcount: 8,495 / 31 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 65.7
LoC Category: PS
Audiobook: librivox.org
Downloads: 1,106
Added to site: 2008.01.03
mnybks.net#: 19590
Origin: gutenberg.org

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.

Show Excerpt

ving him additional trouble. Each track had to be analyzed, and the presence of the meteor shower greatly increased the number of tracks he had to worry about. However, the worst was past. One more day and they would be over. The clutter on his screens would drop back to normal.

Even under the best of circumstances, his problem was bad. He was hemmed in on one side by physics, and on the other by arithmetic. The most probable direction for an attack was from over the Pole. His radar beam bent only slightly to follow the curve of the Earth. At great range, the lower edge of the beam was too far above the Earth's surface to detect anything of military significance. On a minimum altitude trajectory, an ICBM aimed for North America would not be visible until it reached 83° North Latitude on the other side of the Pole. One of his interceptors took three hundred eighty-five seconds to match trajectories with such a missile, and the match occurred only two degrees of latitude south of the station. The inv


Average Rating of 3 from 2 reviews: ***
Paulo Respighi

The native american stuff didn't irritate me that much. The idea behind the story was interesting. To safeguard against ballistic missiles, you have pilots sitting in steerable missiles who are launched automatically to match the missile trajectory, then the pilots take over to sort the warheads from the chaff and destroy them. Of course, multiple warhead missiles weren't invented then.

Anyway, the main character is such a pilot, who gets launched on such a mission. His thought processes were reasonable, even clever. All the characters are male.


I downloaded this book because of the interesting title but within a couple of paragraphs I realised it wasn't going to be that great. The writing is extremely clunky and the characters are so wooden the Apache character could hollow them out and use them as a canoe.

Talking of the Apache guy, don't ever ask him anything! You only have to ask this chap if he wants a cup of coffee and he'll hit you with six paragraphs detailing his proud heritage and what he thinks about life in general. They should have called him Big Chief Exposition. The other characters are equally daft.

The story also goes to great pains to eliminate any excitement that the situation might hold early on.

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