After the outbreak of an atomic war, an american family tries to survive by reaching an area far away from the big cities and most of fleeing people, where they hopefully could survive the following harsh years. Or at least that’s the plan in the mind of the family father, but neither his wife nor his sons seems to grasp the real situation, thinking that soon all will return to normalcy. The second story is a continuation of the first, some years later, that shows some of the consequences of the actions taken by the father in the first story.
Very bleak, post-apocalyptic, anti-survivalist story. Had a very interesting introduction by Michael Swanwick. The main character is completely ruthless and pragmatic. Yet despite his vision to start rebuilding civilization after its collapse, he completely fails, unable to grasp that civilization isn’t build by a few, strong people, likes he believes himself to be one, civilization is the sum of the lives of countless people working together. His anti-social behavior is his downfall, driving away even those people near him.
On the technical level (writing, plotting, etc.) it’s excellent, but I just don’t like post-apocalyptic that much. Too low-tech for my taste.