Another Missing World War III Tale

There’s another type of story that seemingly just doesn’t appear in the conventional World War III niche (as far as I can tell): Stories centered around those with neither political or military capability. And by that I don’t mean the opponents in later Tom Clancy novels. The poor innocents caught up in the heat of war are often used in historical wartime fiction, but seem at best only in parts of conventional Fuldapocalypses (ie, Bannon’s wife in Team Yankee).

I think the biggest reason is well, no real incentive to do so. I don’t really have the best knowledge, but I can speculate that historical fiction writers don’t need to use an inherently contrived “Cold War hot but not that hot” setup to tell such a story. There’s plenty of historical conflicts that readers will understand better, and if a fictional one is needed/wanted, making it small, contemporary, or both can offer more of a hook.

So it’s a catch-22. The subgenre would benefit immensely from outsiders bringing their perspective. But most outsiders, even cheap thriller writers, don’t have much motive to write such a thing.

3 thoughts on “Another Missing World War III Tale

  1. acesarz

    I can’t speak for other writers, but in my case it was always the intention to keep a bunch of “man on the street” text in there. This is largely due to my being a child of the 80s, and that was the view I would have had. Yet, in actually writing the story, I find that those are the first stories to get cut for the sake of time. So far, in 72 Chapters, I think two are dedicated to “non military or political” characters, and yes, as the trope goes, it’s the ex-wife and her Jody. I’m glad you made this post and I’ll have a go at shining the light on this more in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maz

    I feel like such stories would quickly devolve into something similar to Threads or The Day After in literary form. Which is not to say it wouldn’t be good.

    Example: 1983 – A female detective (and single mother) hunts down a serial killer as Soviet air raids target Stuttgart and the Red Army Faction runs rampant. The story ends with the murderer being caught and killed, and the detective spending her last moments on Earth with her family just as the nukes begin to fly.


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