A Quick Snapshot
These thrillers take place on a massive scale and revolve around disasters such as major earthquakes, volcano eruptions, raging fires, floods, asteroid strikes, etc. with widespread wipeout potential for a large population or for the entire world.
The main protagonist trying to thwart the disaster may be an expert in a related field, or an ordinary Joe or Jill average citizen. Usually they partner up with someone or gather a team to save their community or save the world.
Arthur Hailey’s AIRPORT is an edge-of-your seat example of this sub-genre, when a blizzard wreaks havoc at an airport, endangering thousands of lives. And Michael Crichton’s STATE OF FEAR is another, when an attorney races to avert a global environmental catastrophe.
CYBERSTORM by Matthew Mather
A series of disasters suddenly hit New York City. A lethal epidemic that’s been decimating the entire country. Communication networks going down and Internet access cut off. A monster snowstorm that isolates the big city from the rest of the world.
Days pass with no outside contact. Then weeks. Law and order break down, and murder and mayhem become the new norm. Chaos rules. Millions of people are fighting desperately to survive.
As conspiracy theories about a foreign cyberattack gather fuel, Mike Mitchell, an ordinary New Yorker, struggles to hold it all together and keep his family alive in a city that’s already become a wintry tomb for so many…
LUCIFER’S HAMMER by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
An enormous comet hits the Earth like a giant hammer, forging earthquakes a thousand times more powerful than any ever seen and unleashing tidal waves of epic proportions. Cities are covered by oceans, and oceans turn into steam. A new Ice Age is beginning, and civilization as we know it is over.
A few “lucky” men and women survived the comet strike. But what’s coming next could be just as terrifying…
AIRPORT by Arthur Hailey
A bestseller and major motion picture.
As a massive blizzard pounds Lincoln International Airport outside of Chicago, airport and airline personnel make a valiant effort to cope with the epic storm that’s endangering thousands of lives.
Meanwhile, a lone airliner in flight desperately struggles to reach its destination.
During the span of the next seven hours, a heart-stopping, edge-of-the-seat human drama is going to play out as an arrogant pilot, a beautiful flight attendant, a hard-core maintenance man, and a think-outside-the-box airport manager give everything they’ve got to head off disaster.
STATE OF FEAR by Michael Crichton
Environmental lawyer Peter Evans and his team are drawn into a web of subterfuge and fear as they work to shed light on a far-reaching conspiracy. If the evidence they’re following is correct, ruthless eco-terrorists are manipulating weather all over the world to create natural disasters.
From Los Angeles to Tokyo, from Antarctica to the Solomon Islands, this amalgam of cutting-edge science and action-packed thriller is not only vastly entertaining, but also a powerful commentary on one of our most pressing issues today – global warming.
THE HAMMER OF EDEN by Ken Follett
When a terrorist threat of a man-made earthquake is broadcast by a controversial radio talk show host named John Truth, FBI agent Judy Maddox is assigned to track down the terrorists… a shadowy group known as The Hammer of Eden.
Judy’s background research leads her to maverick seismologist Michael Quercus, who confirms that, shockingly, it might be possible for someone to deliberately trigger an earthquake. And when evidence is found that a tremor in a remote desert in California may have been machine generated, she realizes the threat is all too real.
Now Judy, pinpointing the next target with the help of quirky but charismatic Michael, must head off the terrorists before they bring a major city down in ruins, killing an untold number of innocent people.
OVERLOAD by Arthur Hailey
It’s the middle of a sweltering July heat wave with no end in sight, and California utility company Golden State Power & Light is already on overload. To cope with the excessive power demands, an emergency brownout has been put into effect. Then GSP&L’s newest and largest generator suddenly explodes, causing a widespread power outage and killing four people.
A fringe group claims responsibility for the explosion. What they’ll do next is unknown.
And for GSP&L vice president Nim Goldman and his family, investigative reporter Nancy Molineaux, detective Harry London; and quadriplegic Karen Sloan whose every breath depends on electric power, the nightmare is just beginning…
48 HOURS by William R. Forstchen
A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the Sun is going to strike the Earth in 48 hours. It’s so powerful that it could shut down and possibly even destroy the electrical infrastructure of the world.
In an effort to stave off permanent damage, a worldwide blackout is put into effect prior to the arrival of the CME. Hospital emergency generators are disconnected. And all communications are turned off globally, including media broadcasting and cable, the Internet, and cell phone systems.
But no one can really predict what’s going to happen when the CME hits…
CONDOMINIUM by John D. MacDonald
Golden Sands, a “dream” condominium complex in Florida, is actually a nightmare waiting to happen.
It was built on a weak foundation, and all the construction’s shoddy. The land it was built on is a joke. It’s a hodgepodge of shortcuts, oversights, crackdowns, breakups, and payoffs.
Now an epic hurricane is headed straight for Golden Sands. And the brave but foolhardy souls who live there are right in its path…
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