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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Probably one of the cheesiest series of SHTF fiction to come out has got to have been the 'Survivalist' by Jerry Ahern, and it's zillion sequels. The first book was "Total War: Survivalist No. 1" (1981) and there were 28 other books in the series written (29 total, 27 numbered and 2 un-numbered).

Now, I thought the 'Survivalist' was kind of interesting when I read it, but even at the age of 14, after having read the first 3 books of the series (ok, I was bored and needed something else to read), I had pretty much figured out the obvious fact that the writer was a hack who didn't know jack sh^t about that which he wrote.

Yes, it took Jerry Ahern to make a series of novels cheesier than Mack Bolan. Ahern, IIRC, also wrote a gun leather and holster column for the gun rags.

American Survival Guide did a review of this series and said, "A series of novels about guns, nuclear war, survival, and shooting, by someone who knows nothing about guns, nuclear war, survival, and shooting."

The hero was John Thomas Rourke: steely jawed ex-CIA agent, absolute know it all 'gun expert' who made his living writing and lecturing about firearms. He was also a trained pilot and a graduate of medical school.

His weapon? A CAR-15, of course. He also carried a pair of custom Deutonics .45's and a Colt Python .357 Mag - all on him plus ammo and mags. He also carried an AG Russel 'Sting A1' dagger which he threw with absolute precision, always (threw it at a guy in the surf once, hit the dude in the chest, killing him instantly, shot some more opponents at the same time, and still managed to recover his 'Sting A1' in the process). He also had, strapped to the back of his Harley, a Steyr SSG sniper rifle.

He was always rapidly 'palming' a mag to reload, never missing a beat. Everyone else was always clumsy and inadequate, while he was just cool and as fast as lightning, seldom, if ever missing (don't need a whole lot of ammo if you don't miss). He was always able to resupply his ammo from the dead, caches, and other scavenged sources.

He never carried much other real gear though, 'survival' was all about guns and shooting and not a lot else. He was always able to 'scrounge' what he needed since so many people had died right off the bat and just conveniently left all of the stuff there for the picking.

The Survivalist series

The Survivalist #1: Total War
The Survivalist #2: The Nightmare Begins
The Survivalist #3: The Quest
The Survivalist #4: The Doomsayer
The Survivalist #5: The Web
The Survivalist #6: The Savage Horde
The Survivalist #7: The Prophet
The Survivalist #8: The End is Coming
The Survivalist #9: Earth Fire
The Survivalist #10: The Awakening
The Survivalist #11: The Reprisal
The Survivalist #12: The Rebellion
The Survivalist #13: Pursuit
The Survivalist #14: The Terror
The Survivalist #15: Overlord
The Survivalist: Mid-Wake
The Survivalist #16: The Arsenal
The Survivalist #17: The Ordeal
The Survivalist #18: The Struggle
The Survivalist #19: Final Rain
The Survivalist #20: Firestorm
The Survivalist #21: ...To End All War
The Survivalist: The Legend
The Survivalist #22: Brutal Conquest
The Survivalist #23: Call to Battle
The Survivalist #24: Blood Assassins
The Survivalist #25: War Mountain
The Survivalist #26: Countdown
The Survivalist #27: Death Watch
 

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IMO, Ahern is a bogus opportunist. In 1998 one of Dad's friends gave me an Ahern video on Handgun Concealment as a joke. Cheesey can't even describe it. It featured his sons wearing holsters of all kinds under trenchcoats etc. He tediously described in droning detail each holster and the boys displayed every gun in his collection. Lousy lighting, lousy acting, lousy script and the camera work looked like it was done by a drunken man. Dad gave me my first Scotch and water while we watched that horrible thing and we laughed and laughed. I finally gave it to a boyfriend who was taking film class and he used it as an example of what not to do.

IIRC, I think I saw ads in the gun rags for an Ahern holster company from long ago too.

RIKA
 

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I read the books still have them around here somewhere, I think.

100% fiction is all they were, I liked the concept of the books general plot but he went overboard in a lot of the scenarios.

I think he must have borrowed alot from Tappan's Survival Guns because of all that hardware he had Rourke carrying.
What I got really disgusted with is he'd spend more time in each newer book re-hashing previous events. Would have been alot better if he cleaned up some of those silly fight scenes and did the plot as a novel rather than cheap pulp-fiction.
I gave up on them about half-way through the series.
If I ever find the rest for a dime a piece at a garage sale I might finish the series, if I want to waste that much money.

And yes I remember when he tried his hand at writing for the gun-rags, same time I quit subscribing to G&A and Handguns.
 

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Read my first one (#4, "The Doomsayer") when in Ft. Jackson, SC. (Long time ago... :unhappy: )

Had two Ahern holsters, including the "Tri-Speed" shoulder rig. Had three different levels of retention choice. 1- Pull-thru (a la Alessi), 2 - additonal thumb snap, and 3 - velcro over-strap.

If jumping from a plane, that much retention might be a good idea. Short of that, I'm not that 'retentive'. And I rarely use a shoulder rig anymore.


Believe it or not, just this past weekend, I was considering digging out that old series for my 13-year old to read. (I assume I still have them packed in a box somewhere...) Not ideal from a 'training' or educaional point of view, obviously, but good to help him start thinking along "what-if..?" lines. And realistic or not, they're entertaining, probably more so to a 13-year-old.

Additionally, Rourke's morals and ethics (as far as I recall) were as impeccable as his [unbelievable...?] mental and physical attributes; I like that aspect of them. It's more than I can say for the "Mack Bolan", "Mac Wingate", or "Doc Savage" types.

Can't knock Ahern too much. I met him once at a SHOT show in Houston (back when he was pushing Crain knives), and he was actually pretty friendly. (None of those "baleful looks" you always saw in the gun rags.) He also called me a couple times (post-show follow-up sales calls), and he was always polite and friendly. Not trying to name-drop here, you just meet a fair number of 'known' peple at SHOT shows and those kind of places. Met Col. Cooper that same show. (Crotchety old prick, IMO.)

In the late 80's or early 90's, iirc, Ahern actually switched genres and wrote a couple fiction "paranormal" books. Never read one myself.

If nothing else, that series was what introduced me to Detonics; a love affair I've had longer than I've had with my wife. And A.G. Russell is based here in Arkansas; don't be dissin' him. (Of course, so is the Daisy Red Ryder... ;) )
 

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he favored the hammer DOWN carry with Detonics, yet, but I dont remember reading about his having a pair of them AND the revolver. Maybe that came about later? I thought the first book was ok, the rest sucked. You know how much velocity that 185 gr, non plus P jhp gets out of a Detonics? :) 900 fps,tops. whoopee, no expansion of the jhp, and a whole 320ft lbs. For that, you lug around a 35 oz(loaded) package? I can have that sort of "power" with a 15 oz (loaded) Mustang 380. :)
 

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I always thought that the cheesiest SHTF fiction that I ever read was the fantasy about the guy floating down the mississippi in the dark, shooting people in the back to steal their kit. Until he could sell his "services" to a Warlord in Louisiana :p :p :p :p :p :p
 

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John- Yeah I the books did have a few good points. Like I said they'd have been alot better if published as more condensed novels than series fiction. Some of the sub-plots where good to and I'll give him credit for character development.
And I do have a black chrome Sting 1a, bought it in 1984 when AG Russel still worked behind the counter at his old location in Springdale.
I have not seen him at all since he moved the store up to Lowell off of 540 though that could be bad timing on my part.
One thing about the Sting, I could never bring myself to do any throwing with that thin blade it has. Thin as a razor but cuts like one too.
 

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Todd - I've been to the old and new AG Russell shops myself. Last couple times, it was more "mass-market" oriented than I like; but if that's what the customers want, it's hard to fault the guy too much.


andy said:
he favored the hammer DOWN carry with Detonics, yet, but I dont remember reading about his having a pair of them AND the revolver...
Yes, he always carried two Detonics, hammer-down in an Alessi "Bodyguard" double shoulder rig. Had one of those myself when I used to carry revolvers. No typical thumb snap; used a pull-thru snap closure in the trigger guard, and it was very fast for a shoulder rig. Just grab the gun butt & "snatch" it out. Yes, Federal 185-grain JHP. (That's actually my Detonics' favorite load; go figure.)

His "hip" gun was a 6-inch "Metallifed" Python, in some flap holster; shooting Federal 125 JHP.

He also carried a short-barrel "Lawman" .357 in the small of his back, at least in the early books. Used it to 'turn the tables' on the "TIPRG" wing of the "PPGT" when he and Rubenstein were caught 'foraging' in what looked like an abandoned semi-trailer. Extra points for anyone else who remembers what TIPRG and PPGT stand for; I clearly read those things too many times when young. [Hint: When hearing what "PPGT" is, Rourke says, "Try saying that wit a few beers under your belt. :uhh: ]

All those guns (four handguns {two .45's and two .357's} on him, plus the CAR-15 and the Steyr .308 rifles), plus the knives ("Black Chrome" Sting 1A, and a Gerber sheath knife, plus some pocket knife); along with mags, ammo, etc... no wonder he "appropriated" a motorcycle first chance he got.

And I thought I travelled heavy... :p

Later books, he changed weapons somewhat, but that was his original loadout. (Yep; definitely I've read those too many times...)
 

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I read the first 2 books, and decided that I could lower my choleserol by not reading the rest. I couldn't imagine trying to comfortable with all the hardware, and never did figure out what the " Metalified" coating was, primitive teflon was my best guess. When I carried a .357mag it was a Trooper MKIII 4" bbl, and I used Black Hills 158gr SJHP. I couldn't suspend reality enough to enjoy the books, but my first WTSHTF book was "Alas Babylon" and most others pale by comparison. Super hero, heros bore me as no one man can do all, be all, and survive all, without getting his hair mussed, and still get laid in the final chapter.
 

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Alas, Babylon (Pat Frank, iirc..?) is a great book. That one's not "packed away" somewhere; it still sits proudly on the book shelf with Atlas Shrugged.
 

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I thought Babylon was awful lame,myself.They sure put up with a lot of crap before taking any sort of action, were woefully poorly equipped, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
"Through Darkest America" was kind of different. It takes place generations after a nuclear war.

Howie: "Pa, they gonna have the stuffed n***** at the fair again this year?"

Pa: "Don't see why not son, they have it there every year."

Howie: "Pa, you ever seen a live n*****?"

Pa: "Now son, I ain't THAT old!"

The book got kind of macabre after that. Too many of the animals had died. People raised, herded, and ate 'stock'. Stock were naturally retarded humans.
 

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only one I"ve read that seemed even halfway realistic was LUCIFER'S HAMMER, by Niven and Pournelle(sp?) It was pretty good, altho it sort of wimped out at the end, offering a nuclear power plant and its attendees as the nucleus for "reeducating' mankind about how things are made-done. Ha. Those workers are going to run home to their families,probably WITHOUT properly shutting down the plants, resulting in meltdowns and VERY dangerous places to be within 20 miles of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There was also kind fo a neat book called 'The Lost Traveller'. Technology and civilization took a kick in the nuts but didn't completely vanish. The country broke up into thinly populated autonomous regional governments.

In Sierras near the one centered around the San Joaquin Valley in California was a clannish tribe called the 'Hells Angles' that did mercenary work for the local government in exchange for fuel and components for their motorcycles.

Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/nuclear/index.htm
 

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Lucifer's Hammer was a good book, but the movie version (Deep Impact) was a real disappointment.
 

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Almost forgot:


"PPGT" = Paramilitary Provisional Government of Texas

"TIPRG" = Texas Independent Paramilitary Response Group

(I know everyone was worried about that.... ;) )
 

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John in AR said:
Lucifer's Hammer was a good book, but the movie version (Deep Impact) was a real disappointment.

Hmm....didn't know Deep Impact was based on the book. Never went to see or rented it.

What did they do leave out most of the post impact scenes in the book?
 

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Yes. The movie is more centered around one of the discoverers of the comet; a teenager who accidentally finds it while on a class field trip. Then it cuts back and forth from his family situation (and his girlfriend's), to the reporter who accidentally stumbles across it and leverages her way into personal conversations with the President.

In the book, the "impact" is probably less than a fourth of the way through the story; in the movie, the impact is almost literally the ending scene. You see the people running (literally, on foot, running) to high ground to escape the East Coast tsunami. You see who makes it to high ground, and who doesn't.

There are no "aftermath" story lines at all. At ALL. Whereas in the book, the aftermath WAS the story. The reason I rented it was because it was based (allegedly) on the book; very disappointing. :poke:
 

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As far as movies "Miracale Mile" was a real thought producer. What would you do if You knew the end was coming, and You had 45min to get out, but no one believed your story. I know that it wouldn't matter in the larger sense, but how would You cope?
 

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I have Miracle Mile on tape. Anthony Edwards (before ER and after Revenge of the Nerds), and Mare Winningham before she was well known, either.

Probably didn't cost that much to make and not loaded with huge special effects, but grabbing and disturbing anyway. (Kind of like "Signs" in those respects.)


Maybe I can be the de-facto movie reviewer around here; seems like this is about the only crap I know much about. :crap:

(I've considered getting a social life, but I hear that tends to involve people. None for me, thanks. :sidestep: )
 
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