John Harris – Footfall

This cover always gave me the chills, the awesome scale which is John Harris’s hallmark, the beautiful landscape of fields and waterways leading up toward what feels like it should be a sunrise but instead that grotesque orange bulb about to devour everything..

It comes from 1985 which were really gritty days to live through with the threat of Nuclear War a constant dark grumbling in the background.


There was this, and Threads and The Day After – with the US and USSR racing to building weapons so powerful we could barely comprehend the totality of the destruction they could cause – the new question – do we really want to destroy all life on this planet?

I still feel a visceral repugnance whenever I see a mushroom cloud, it’s existence a reminder of how far we’ve gone – the ingenuity of destruction – realms that betray our better humanity.

I’ve never read the book but reading the synopsis from the Wiki page is interesting – an Alien invasion of Earth is partly halted by humans using nuclear weapons on Earth

– the Aliens, “who are familiar with nuclear weapons but prefer to use cleaner ones, are shocked by what they consider the barbarity of humans’ willingness to “foul their own garden” with radioactivity.”

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle_1985_Footfall.jpg


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