Monday, November 3, 2008

Joseph Paul Martino's "Pushbutton War" (short story, thriller, free): Chasing an intercontinental ballistic missile in a rocket ship!

Illustration accompanying the Project Gutenberg text of the short story titled Pushbutton War by Joseph Paul MartinoWritten as a (slow start) thriller describing the future of warfare & told in the manner of a space opera ship fight (but in upper atmosphere of earth). I found it ok but not really very interesting.

There is a lot of detail of ICBMs, how to recognize an attack, how to track & destroy it. Plus an interception machine that is part missile & part fighter plane. I'm unqualified to judge the accuracy of descriptions.

Story summary.

Major Harry Lightfoot, fighter pilot, US Air Force, has to destroy an incoming ICBM in upper atmosphere in his special plane. There is some background buildup before the attack, but most of the story is behavior of his special plane & how human/computer combination successfully defuses the attacking missile.

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding Science Fiction, August 1960.
Rating: B
Download full text from Project Gutenberg, Manybooks.
Listed among the stories from John Campbell's Astounding/Analog.
Related: All stories from Analog/Astounding; Harry Bates' Astounding.