by Frederik Pohl
Tor, $18.99, 368pp
Published: June 2014
This is a fictional novel built around the events of the Chernobyl in 1986. Written originally in 1987 it is a compelling view of the disaster mixing technical details with the heartbreaking stories of those affected. Pohl had the cooperation of many inside the U.S.S.R. with unprecedented access to technical information and first-person accounts of what is one of only two level-seven nuclear accidents. With the events of the 2011 Fukushima accident fresh in our memories, this paints a very real picture of the human and environmental cost of taking nuclear power too lightly.
This is not an easy read. We begin by getting to know the people who live near and work at the plant. And then, through their eyes, we live through the tragic events that left over 4,000 people dead and whose environmental effects have not really diminished even now, almost 30 years later.