Post-Apocalyptic Book List
Advanced View Show All Novels Only Series Only Trilogies Only


Written By:Mike McQuay - 1984

  • Jitterbug - Mike McQuay cover


Even in hell there are some things worth fighting for

2155 AD: America is ruled by a fanatical Arab dictator with life-and-death power over every human being on earth. His weapon of control: the Jitterbug—a devastating plague used as an instrument of genocidal extermination. In the cities, the only refuge, millions of people struggle for survival while ruthless cabal of amoral executives battle each other for the remnants of power.

Out of the Southwestern desert comes Olson, an outlaw and outsider. Aided by blind chance, and a woman who knows the corporation's darkest secrets, he dares to challenge its corrupt rule. Only his strength can stand against the tide of destruction. Only his courage can make a better world out of the chaos of the old.


Against the sweeping backdrop of a world fanned by the flames of destruction, a handful of players battle for the fate of humanity:

Faisel: Self-proclaimed King of the World, tormented by his desire for the one thing he cannot have—his brother's wife.

Abdullah: Faisel's brother, the only man on earth who could challenge Faisel's rule. His strength lay in his kinship with the peoples of the desert and the love of his wife, Nura.

Olson: The outsider. A ruthless warrior in the battle for the city of Orleans, driven by the vision of a world to come to save its people.

Elwood: An aging executive who saw in Olson the last, desperate hope to save this people and redeem his own dreams.

Gret: A Houris, a woman raised from birth to give men pleasure, fighting for her freedom, learning from Olson the true meaning of love.

Milander: The Hand of God. Cult leader of the Jits, prophet of a new age of destruction, ready to sacrifice a million lives to bring the millennium.

Rennie Du'Camp: Olson's only true rival for control of Orleans. A cunning, ruthless executive who would use or destroy anything or anyone to satisfy his lust for power.


A searing epic of the future

"McQuay's in top form here... a fast, tough, surprising book." —Roger Zelazny

"Packed with emotion and human drama... A brilliant story told with great sensitivity." —Warren Norwood, author of The Windhover Tapes

Jitterbug is a modern saga of the will to survive. Mike McQuay has envisioned vividly a nightmare world on the edge of Armageddon. Blending the pacing and realism of a suspense novel with the imaginative speculation of the best of science fiction, Jitterbug is the thrilling tale of a loner whose vision redeemed a world.

"In lean mean prose strokes, McQuay paints a grim IF THIS GOES ON near-future scenario... The in-depth look at the Arab world of the 22nd century is particularly fascinating and timely. Good, gritty stuff!" —David Bischoff, author of War Games

"A startling example of the "what if" novel. JITTERBUG takes the reader to a frighteningly vivid world of an all-too possible near future. —David Brin, author of The Practice Effect and Startide Rising

"McQuay's books are always fast-paced, explicit and ingeniously plotted; but the double-length novel JITTERBUG... gives scope for even greater inventiveness and exhuberance." —R.A. Lafferty, author of Annals of Klepsis