A riveting science fiction novel of unprecedented interest. The fiction component is human survival drama at its best; the science component is a realistic and interesting portrayal of easy to understand scieitific data, mostly astronomy, but also geology, anthropology, medicine and other natural sciences. Notable is the perfectly plausible scenario depicted.
During a fifteen year long comet shower of colossal proportions, planet earth is hit by a monstrous 7-mile diameter coment/asteroid. Earth suffers incomprehensible destruction and the resulting planet-wide cloud cover plunges the entire globe into a decade long deep freeze. The mini ice age extincts a significant proportion of all living creatures on the planet. The novel brings forth the agony of a few human survivors as they try to overcome the worst meteoritic winter since that which dealt a death blow to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Can humans, under the horrible conditions of a large comet impact, avoid extinction? Can human cunning and will to survive triumph against such overwhelming odds?
The author, a physician and amateur astronomer, brings forth in this novel the physical and mental tribulations, the despair and the agony, the pain and desperation of a few North American families as they desperately struggle to persevere where so many billions do not. The novel exposes the saga of a few families from San Francisco, Chicago, Tucson, Syracuse and Quebec.
And for the starving few that finally, when the earth starts to thaw, crawl out of their caves, shelters and tunnels, what awaits them is an exponential greenhouse effect that with torrential world-wide rains, floods the entire planet. "Fire, then ice and then water. A comet's scourge never ceases until it extinguishes you," laments one of the survivors as he ponders the fate of his family after barely making it through the agonizing years of the Mini Ice Age.
The lives of the novel's protagonists interweave as the emerge from the underground to battle the lements, and then to battle in war with each other. For the New Earth has no political boundaries, no law or order, no modern weapons and no technology. But humans retain plent of greed as they battle to become the rulers of the few tiny remnants of fertile land remaining world-wide.