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Nerves

2011/10/13

Shortly after the Fukushima accident Curt Monash tweeted:

Lester del Rey anticipated #Fukushima-like nuclear reactor crisis, nurse practioners, & some feminism, all in a great 1942 novella Nerves.

Note that Monash made a typo: It is a 1952 novel. Even though it is DRM “protected” I bought Nerves for €4.12. It is a science fiction thriller that takes place in an atomic plant during an accident.Sometimes it tired me while trying to explain science that had to be believable and yet so close to our timeline. The book however does contain useful managerial advice on extreme crisis management (and how to motivate your stuff to perform the impossible) and one of the best definitions of insanity:

He had lived in an impossible world where only absolute perfection counted, and where he refused to accept perfection as possible, even to himself! He had built his hate against the impossible into a constant churning force that whipped every tissue of him during all his life.

As a book it felt more like a late draft, somewhat unfinished.

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