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Written By:Whitley Strieber / James Kunetka - 1984

  • Warday - Whitley Strieber / James Kunetka cover

    Warner - 1st Edition - 1st Printing April - 1985

  • Warday - Whitley Strieber / James Kunetka cover

    Holt, Rinehart and Winston - 1st Edition - 2nd Printing

  • Warday - Whitley Strieber / James Kunetka cover

    Coronet - 1985


Warner - 1st Edition - 1st Printing April - 1985

It lasted thrity-six minutes—and devastated the world

Five years after a "limited" nuclear war, two survivors journey across America. They—and you—will discover what is left of our way of life: the depth of the devastation—and the hopes of a new society desperately struggling to be born.

Holt, Rinehart and Winston - 1st Edition - 2nd Printing

October 28, 1988. Warday.

It lasted only thrity-six minutes and when it was over, much of the earth remained untouched.

But in those thrity-six minutes, a world had been destroyed.

Seven million American died in the immediate blast. Millions more would die of radiation, famine, and disease during the next five years.

Millions also lived, strung out across a country that knew it had been hit—but not why. Or where. Or how.

In the days and months that followed, an America blacked out by the breakdown of its communications systems and wrestling with the demands of an unprecedented emergency struggled first for survival.

Later it would seek answers—seek to find out how it had happened, who had survived, what was left.

Five years after Warday, the answers have yet to be found. America is still a strange place, filled with haunting relics of the past, constant reminders of what was lost. But survival is no longer in question. It is time to take stock.

And so, five years after the missiles detonated, two survivors set forth on a trek across America. Determined to find out what has happened to the rest of the country, theirs will be a journey of discovery filled with pain and hope. From Texas to California, across the vast distances of the Great Plains, into the once-bold centers of commerce and power along the eastern coast, and through the small cities and rural hamlets of the South—amid pockets of resurgence and remnants of destruction, they will hear America speaking: remembering the past, willing the present, longing for a future.

Warday: It takes you into a world you couldn't imagine.

Coronet - 1985

Warday takes you into a world you couldn't imagine... and gives you a chance to change the future.

On October 28, 1988 at 4:20 p.m. the first nuclear war in history begins. Thirty-six minutes later it is over. America has deployed an anti-missile system, provoking a desperate Russian response: a nuclear attack over North America. Within minutes the Americans counter-strike. The result: six million Americans are dead.

Whitley Strieber, James Kunetka: two survivors of the horrifying events of Warday

But what really happened on Warday and why? Who has survived? How do the other survivors feel? Five years after the devastation, these two friends set off on a voyage of discovery across America to find out.

Warday was merely a flicker of hell; what remains are the consequences.


Warner - 1st Edition - 1st Printing April - 1985





From Edward Kennedy to Playboy to Playboy magazine, readers have praised Warday as an absorbing, suspenseful novel—and an important book for every American to read.

"A first-rate novel, as real as snapshots of tomorrow. And as scary."—New York Daily News

"Haunting... horrifying... engrossing... an all too believable look at what could be the future."—United Press International

"Disturbingly plausible... its vision of post nuclear chaos exceeds 'The Day After'."—Newsweek

"Imaginative... entertaining reading."—Boston Herald

"Frightening... controversial... a futuristic thriller."—Chicago Tribune

"Extraordinary... a book that conceivably could make a difference. You owe it to yourself to read it."—Cosmopolitan


Senator Edward M. Kennedy: "Those who still believe that a nuclear war can be fought and won owe it to themselves to read Warday. It is a fearful view of the incalculable suffering of a post-nuclear world, a chilling reminder that even if America did temporarily and physically survive such a catastrophe, it would not survive spiritually or politically."

Senator Mark O. Hatfield: "Even we who are trying to alter U.S. nuclear weapons policy become numb to the reality of a potential nuclear war. Warday succeeds in bringing us all closer to imagining the unimaginable by portraying a future U.S. as a believable nightmare.

San Francisco Chronicle: "The novel's overall impact is enormous, not only because of its unflinching assessment of an embarrassment of horrors, but also for its tireless humanity."

The Detroit News: "Detailed and compelling... a dramatically written future history."

The New Republic: "Warday has many virtues... The reserved, adult tone of Warday is rare in antinuclear writing, and somehow more chilling than anger or outrage."

Congressman Edward J. Markey: "A compassionate tale and compelling work of fiction. This book should be surely read in both the Kremlin and the White House."

The Boston Sunday Globe: "Informed... vivid."

Mademoiselle: "Chillingly real... moving."

Playboy: "Convincing. No matter what side of the nuclear fence you're on, this book is fascinating reading."

Pittsburg Post Gazette: "Reduces that large unknown of nuclear war into something each of us can understand, and therefore, feel the horror of, all the more fully."

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland): "A book that must be read... in the end, it affirms Faulkner's statement that 'man will not only endure, he will prevail."

Kansas City Star: "Warday is a unique melding of talents... the writers carry it off admirably."

The Fresno Bee: "Breathes life into two journalists' exploration of a fragmented nation... less of a polemic and more of a potential not-so-fictitious diary of the future."

The Atlantic Journal: "The journey is one of the most extraordinary anyone could ever take."

The New Jersey Herald: "If you sit down with no other novel this year, you should read Warday. It is to 'The Day After' what a nuclear device is to a firecracker."

Paul Warnke, former director of U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament, and chief U.S. negotiator for SALT II: "Vividly imaginative... To read it is to reinforce the recognition that we can't afford to find out if the fact would match the fiction."

Post-Intelligencer (Seattle): "Gripping... moving and memorable."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Will enable you to think the unthinkable."

John Barkham Reviews: "A chilling drama."

The Columbus Dispatch: "A believable futuristic voyage... the book will raise the level of understanding of the long-term effects of nuclear war for all its readers."

Baltimore Sun: "Chillingly realistic... detailed and obviously well-researched... maintains a fine pace."

Star (Toronto): "This brave book is a gigantic effort at public education in the best sense... In breath and interest and artistry it goes far beyond the extravaganza 'The Day After'."

Randal Kehier, national coordinator for the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign: "An emotionally compelling story that subtly forces the reader to confront the issue of nuclear war by creating a believable human scenario rather than resorting to alienating rhetoric."

Associated Press: "What may be the most talked-about book of the year."

Houston Press: "Powerful and extraordinary... a spellbinding narrative difficult to leave once started... a tale of despair and horror, but, interestingly, one also of America's eternal spirit of true grit."

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "Perhaps the most objective 'what if' look thus far at a post-nuclear-war America... a noble effort, confirming the worth of challenging the inevitability of nuclear war."

Dr. Helen Caldecott, Founder, Woman's Action for Nuclear Disarmament: "Warday must be read by all adults invested with a false sense of security about a future for themselves and their children."

Jerome Grossman, President, Council for a Livable World: "Warday brings nuclear war from the abstract to the human dimension. A gripping story which highlights the crucial need to prevent nuclear war."

Coronet - 1985

Warday was merely a flicker of hell; what remains are the consequences.

Nothing makes the case against the continuing arms race so compellingly and with such immediacy as WARDAY. Marrying the clinical details of non-fiction with the passionate humanity of a novel, WARDAY is a heart-wrenching work of total authenticity and conviction. Nothing in it is beyond the realms of possibility, technologically or politically, and this is what gives it its awesome power and terrifying reality. It is filled with many voices and many stories, stunning in its intensity, overwhelming in its truth.

The result is utterly convincing.

WARDAY AND THE JOURNEY ONWARD is about a journey around the United States five years after a 36-minute nuclear exchange.

We discover a startling world, full of unexpected twists of history. Britain, for example, has survived Warday, because Europe in the mid-eighties developed a regional treaty protecting itself as far as possible from an unexpected nuclear war.

Even in America, Warday barely scorched the treetops. It is just the sort of 'limited' war that Pentagon planners envision in their happiest dreams. Our book reveals the hard, scientific truth of what really happens after such a war, what the planners are afraid to tell us.

On War day seven million Americans die. There are not even enough bombs to touch off a nuclear winter. But, five years later, we find British relief officals fighting to help the Americans rebuild a disintegrated country, and seventy million more Americans dead of starvation and disease.

We Americans and Soviets are locked in a black embrace. You can choose: help yourselves and thus help us break the deadlock, or join us on some dreary future day, in the ashes and bones. —Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka

"The speculation in the book is intriguing" —Books and Bookmen

"A dramatically constructed account of a massive nuclear mistake. An extraordinary book — one that you can't put down easily." —Dubliner's Diary

"An authentic book by leading authorities in the fields of nuclear warfare and weapons." —Sunderland Echo

"An impressive account of statistical information" —Guernsey Evening Press

"As a novel of the near future, this book is a complete and enthralling success" —The Standard

"Chilling professionalism and verisimilitude. A work of imagination grounded on factual projection... There are still prophets among us. They do not wear flowing robes or long beards. Nowadays they write best-sellers" —Irish Independent

"An absorbing and meticulously researched look at the future guaranteed to fascinate and, hopefully, accelerate the movement towards disarmament" —Cork Examiner

"...not only imagines but documents the world after a 'limited' nuclear exchange. Combines a talent for research with a sense of urgency" —New York Times Book Review

"A sure-fire bestseller" —Chicago Tribune

"A successful marriage of horror and scientific fact" —Dublin Evening Press

"The novel's strength is in its underpinning of scientific and technological know-how" —Publishers Weekly

"Read WARDAY and pass it along... A splendid and fearful novel of nuclear holocaust. A classic of cautionary fiction... Remarkably convincing" —Oregon Post

"An extraordinary book that conceivably could make a difference. You owe it to yourself to read it" —Cosmopolitan

"I like it" —The Guardian