Directive 51 Book

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View our feature on John Barnes’s Directive 51.

The first book in a new post-apocalyptic trilogy from “a master of the genre”

Heather O’Grainne is the Assistant Secretary in the Office of Future Threat Assessment, investigating rumors surrounding something called “Daybreak.” The group is diverse and radical, and its members have only one thing in common-their hatred for the “Big System” and their desire to take it down.

Now, seemingly random events simultaneously occurring around the world are in fact connected as part of Daybreak’s plan to destroy modern civilization-a plan that will eliminate America’s top government personnel, leaving the nation no choice but to implement its emergency contingency program… Directive 51.

515 pages, published in

A book by 859

John Barnes, famous American writer, was born in 1957. Graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in political science. He worked as a systems analyst and received his second degree in theater studies at Montana State University. He made his sci-fi debut with the short story "Finalities Beside The Grave" in 1985. He published his first novel, The Man who Pulled Down the Sky, in 1986. In total, he wrote and published about one and a half dozen science fiction and fantasy novels. His writings often explore issues of individual moral responsibility in a social context. Social criticism is present in all of his works. The four novels in the Million Open Doors series pose a series of serious questions about the impact of globalization on closed societies. He has been married twice. In the second and third books of the Million Open Doors series, the protagonist experiences a difficult family situation. Subsequently, it was widely discussed that this plot reflects the situation in the family of Barnes himself, who also had to overcome serious difficulties during the period of his second marriage, which ended in divorce. However, in the fourth book of the series, the following “Note on the autobiographical features of my works” appears: “My habit of omitting certain points of my biography has given rise to some rumors regarding my second divorce. These rumors directly concern the reputation of an innocent person. The fact that I went through a rather painful second divorce two years after the publication of Earth Made of Glass has led to constant press coverage that this book is about “that divorce”. The truth is that in order to describe the events in this book, I had to have the gift of foresight. Earth Made of Glass was nearly completed in 1996, with a final revision in the spring of 1997 and published in April 1998. The events allegedly referred to in the novel took place in the spring and summer of 2000, and the divorce itself was filed in 2001. Neither my first nor my second wife even resembles Margaret, the fictional heroine (none of them is a brutal killer, my long life with them testifies to this). Of course, many readers and critics find it much more convenient to speculate about what I "mean" than to draw the correct conclusions for their own benefit from my works, in particular, from "Earth Made of Glass" and "The Merchants of Souls" ... The only thing I can honestly say is that these books were written with the aim of investigating the ugliness that occurs in our lives. All this is described in my books because I was interested, so to speak, in the scent of these deformities. Since then I have been attracted by completely different "aromas". Barnes currently teaches at the University of Colorado, where he resides.

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