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Triumph

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    ¿Triumph¿ is the latest addition to Bison¿s series entitled ¿Beyond Armageddon.¿ Devoted to reprinting science fiction and fantasy that deals with life after whatever ¿final battle¿ the authors choose, this series has returned a good deal of seminal work to print. It is an important and exciting part of modern publishing. Philip Wylie (1902-1971) is perhaps best remembered today for his ¿When Worlds Collide¿ (co-written with Edwin Balmer), also a part of the Bison series. Over the years, his somewhat erudite writing inspired a substantial portion of American popular culture. His ¿The Savage Gentleman¿ is generally considered the seed for Doc Savage, just as his ¿Gladiator¿ supposedly formed the idea behind Superman. Some writers have gone so far as to claim that Flash Gordon evolved from ¿When Worlds Collide.¿ ¿Triumph,¿ originally published in 1963, concerns World War III and its aftermath. At the time of its publication, atomic war was considered almost inevitable¿and somewhat immediate. Wylie¿s description of that war in ¿Triumph¿ remains horrifying and sobering. As does the core of the book, which has to do with how human nature adapts to its circumstances while remaining essentially the same. It is unfortunate, Wylie emphasizes, that the destructive side of human nature will remain intact. Wylie¿s mix of characters is somewhat forced, almost like a menu of a modern ¿politically correct¿ cast list. The 14 survivors of the war ¿ holed up inside a Connecticut mountain ¿ include representatives of several races and all the economic classes. But Wylie¿s fine-tuned sense of knowing exactly what he wants to say rescues the novel from its own clichés. Bison¿s series also contains Wylie¿s ¿The Disappearance¿ and ¿Gladiator.¿

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