The Last Ship: A Novel
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“An extraordinary novel of men at war” (The Washington Post) and the book that inspired the TNT TV mini-series, starring Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin and Michael Bay as Executive Producer
The unimaginable has happened. The world has been plunged into all-out nuclear war. Sailing near the Arctic Circle, the U.S.S. Nathan James is relatively unscathed, but the future is grim and Captain Thomas is facing mutiny from the tattered remnants of his crew. With civilization in ruins, he urges those that remain—one-hundred-and-fifty-two men and twenty-six women—to pull together in search of land. Once they reach safety, however, the men and women on board realize that they are earth’s last remaining survivors—and they’ve all been exposed to radiation. When none of the women seems able to conceive, fear sets in. Will this be the end of humankind?
For readers of Going Home by A. American, Lights Out by David Crawford, The End and The Long Road by G. Michael Hopf, and One Second After by William Forstchen.
could hear Selmon’s softly pitched voice. “There is no way to know or to find out, Captain; not absolutely. But we know this: the larger the land mass, the greater the contamination. And its corollary: the greater the distance from the sea, the higher the level. With that immense mass far away from any sea, and with a mere mile from the shore become unacceptable, and climbing steadily . . . Close to a certainty, sir.” There is a curious thing, scarcely given to our comprehension of it, having
had spoken to them and told them in her stern no-nonsense tones, stronger than bookfuls of Navy Regulations, Navy directives, that it had to be so—the absolute, nonnegotiable imperativeness of this code and of rigorously abiding by it if the ship were not to be torn apart, something no true sailor wants, abhors above all else. Who chooses to upset the house where he lives and make it unlivable— especially if there is no way for him to exit it? In any event we had no difficulties in our normal
sky, following directly behind in the path of the exploded one, it also now bursting and throwing out its blinding light, my head reflexively turning to shield itself. In quick succession I could make out others ascending over that same vertical roadway, each exploding in its fireball to join the others in a vast conflagration of the heavens. Myself now vaguely aware that others of the settlement had come to join us and to watch what was happening high in the skies. The Tomahawks bursting one
Then, comprehending, returned a faint smile. “That would seem to be beyond argument, sir. If it came to that, matters could go on with very few men. If nature rather than the Navy had been doing it, she would just about have reversed our numbers of each.” This was getting into territory where I did not wish to venture. I waited a moment and then decided to say something that really didn’t need saying. There were a couple of things about Selmon. Ship’s captains adore straight answers and value
been decided—replaced by anticipation—by, it seemed to me, something akin to eagerness, even fervor. Almost, it seemed, to my astonishment bordering on alarm, a hurry to get on with it. It was my own lurking doubts, these various suspicions, without discernible basis, that I could not understand. I should have been grateful to him—and was; but gratitude mixed with a palpable unease, a question as to motive, as to intent: bringing this hard disquiet into me, its source difficult to identify. I