I started the American Blackout series three years ago and, last month, Liberty Island Media released book one, Pulse of the Goddess. The young heroine, Emily Cricket Hastings, is one part Nancy Drew and two parts Joan of Arc. She’s a young aviator, hair stylist, and dreams of becoming a geologist someday. Cricket knows firearms, is a good hunter, and her father’s chief of police of their small Ohio town. She’s also been listening to Rush Limbaugh for years. Potentially, Cricket can fight terrorists, zombies, and space aliens, anything I put in her path. Zombies have been a favorite of mine, but they’ve well saturated the market. Go “Walking Dead!”

In my search for villains and disasters, I started reading about the devastation of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack knocking out the nation’s electrical grid. Late one night, I scared myself imagining people at work and likely never making it home. Even with a short commute, they’d be hoofing it with thousands of other folks, running with a terrified mob of desperate, hungry, scared, and lonely people, who had abandoned their dead cars. Add northern Ohio’s freezing temperatures of late fall and winter and a new circle of hell emerges. That night, well into the witching hour, I reconsidered throwing in my hat with zombies or the frightening creature in John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place.

Currently there are a number of book titles, both fiction and nonfiction that deliver the horror of lights out. Dr. Peter Pry, Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, has several books on the subject. Appearing this past summer on Fox News’ Life, Liberty, and Levin, he informed viewers that President Trump is the first president to include an EMP strategy in our national defense. Dr. Pry is worth checking out:

I would also recommend Jazz Shaw’s excellent article at Hotair.com. Jazz covers our electrical grid’s vulnerability and the years it might take to get large transformers back online.

In Pulse of the Goddess, a massive solar storm followed by a rogue state detonating a nuke high above Kansas wipes out our power grid and the digital age. Once again, Kansas – the land of Oz-level tornados and Thomas Frank’s mocking pen in his 2004 work What’s the Matter with Kansas? – gets the short end of the stick. The consolation prize for the Kansans is that there would be no immediate death and destruction, and no fallout from a nuke exploded 250 miles above their heads. They wouldn’t hear it, or see it, yet like the rest of the nation, they’d be given the bum’s rush back into the 19thcentury.

With the disruption of our food, water, and transportation infrastructure, it’s been calculated that 90% of our population would be wiped out within a year’s time. Gangs and madmen and madwomen would roam the fruited plain (I know, I’ve written about some real doozies in the series). But since we’re the people who crushed slavery, won a World War against two deadly, professional armies, and put a man on the moon, I believe we’d beat that high percentage of fatalities by a country mile. Most importantly, my prayer is that an EMP attack will be negligible with the “hardening” of our grid and a space-based missile system to take out an enemy’s ICBM, relegating such a power loss to the world of fiction, alongside its ugly cousin, the undead. Anyway, that’s my hope.