Written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
Narrated by Marc Vietor.
Tim Hamner is a wealthy bachelor living off of the residuals from his family’s soap business and playing seriously at being an amateur astronomer. Invoking the word “seriously” I mean that he has built his own professional grade observatory high in the Sierras and staffed it with a disgruntled graduate student. Harvey, an ex-war correspondent, wants to make a documentary about Tim’s co-discovered new comet. This leads to lots of people taking an interest, and a lot of others laughing it off…right up until it hits the earth and civilization evolves.
Natural disasters as aftershocks, rioting, Lord of the Flies situations, desperate couplings of frightened people and cannibalism are just some of the areas the story lines brush up against. The folks who were interested from the start coined the phrase “Hot fudge Sundae but on a Tuesday”. As the date approached the survivalists preparing were said to have “Hammer Fever”. After impact, those remaining were reduced to a kernel of civilization and a whole lot of savagery.
The effects of impact were well thought out in this story yet I sense that they were scaled down from what really would have happened. I’m certain the co-authors argued back and forth about how much mayhem would leave them anything to work with in the aftermath for the story line. They did manage to produce an excellent work of Science Fiction. The Narration was well done also with voice range and delivery. Four units of nerdy satisfaction are thus assigned. Carry On!