Final Impact: A Novel of The Axis of Time
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“The action is nonstop, the characters very real–and very different from each other–and, to coin a phrase, it makes you think.”
–S. M. Stirling, author of Island in the Sea of Time
In the year 2021 a multinational fleet–experimenting with untested weapons technology–pitched through time, crash-landing in 1942. The world is thrown into chaos as Roosevelt, Hitler, Churchill, Tojo, and Stalin scramble to adapt to new, high-tech killing tools, and twenty-first-century ways of war.
For “uptimers” like Britain’s Prince Harry and the men and women who serve aboard the supercarrier USS Hillary Clinton, war is a constant struggle with their own downtime allies, who are mired in ignorance and bigotry.
As the Allies counter the Nazi assault and set off for the coast of France, Japan begins to buckle, soon every battle will be played out in a lethal dance of might and intelligence, unholy alliances and desperate gambles, and each clash will be fought with the ultimate weapon; knowledge from the future.
Thanks to the historical records, all sides know that two superpowers will emerge, while the losers will be pounded into submission. But time has shifted on its axis, so none know who will survive, or how peace will take hold in a world turned upside down. These are the questions that John Birmingham brilliantly answers in his critically acclaimed adventure of war and imagination.
Praise for John Birmingham’s Weapons of Choice
“Birmingham’s enthralling battleground mixes provocative historical fiction and socially conscious futurism.”
“High-tech intrigue and suspense similar to the works of Tom Clancy.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
allowed a small pause to add gravity to his words. The faces of the military men in the room were somber, and largely unreadable. Henry Stimson, his secretary of war, was nodding grimly, but with noticeable enthusiasm. It was Stimson who had argued strongly—and in the end, effectively—for delaying their first atomic strike until they had a sufficient store of weapons to launch equally devastating follow-up strikes and, just as important, enough planes to deliver them as far as Moscow if need be.
stimulants for too long. There were uppers you could get, ripped off the formula for stims, but she didn’t like them much. The effects were crude, and the crash was brutal. With her inserts tapped dry she was better off going back to basics: sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and Hooah! bars. The uproar increased again outside. Two huge bangs shook a broken mirror off the wall above Murphy’s head, and it shattered against the floor. She could hear animalistic screams under the sound of a brief but
the crowded underground room, however, Hitler’s outburst actually lifted a few spirits, because it meant that the focus of his rage had shifted safely away from everyone else, at least for a brief moment. It had no effect whatsoever on Himmler, though, since he had long since stopped paying any attention to the führer’s rants. They were like a constant background refrain, similar to the rumble of the British bombs during the night. Still, the SS leader felt nearly as sick as the Luftwaffe
heavy with unspoken thoughts. To himself, however, Harriman could not help thinking, Where in God’s name is this going to end? D-DAY + 30. 2 JUNE 1944. 0053 HOURS. NKVD HEADQUARTERS, LUBIANKA, MOSCOW. Laventry Beria examined his penis. It was hard, and the fish-belly-white flab of his expanding gut threatened to engulf it. As often happened after days of nigh-unbearable stress, he found himself all but overcome by an irresistible surge of sexual energy as soon as he was released from the
of Reichsführer Himmler, not Herr Hitler. It appears that some ill fortune may have befallen the Nazi leader, but at this stage we don’t know the nature of his situation. We do know, however, what they are offering: a complete cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of all German forces to their 1939 positions, and, most risibly, an alliance against what Foreign Minister Ribbentrop is calling the Bolshevik menace to civilization. “The Foreign Office has made no reply as of yet.” Roosevelt spoke up