Lucky strike

plus A sensitive dependence on initial conditions and "A real joy to be had" : outspoken interview

[electronic resource] :, 121 pages

English language

Published Jan. 6, 2009 by PM Press.

OCLC Number:

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3 stars (3 reviews)

Begins on a lonely Pacific island, where a crew of untested men are about to take off in an untried aircraft with a deadly payload that will change the world forever. Until, that is, something goes wonderfully wrong. As a special addition, Robinson has also included an essay, A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions, which dramatically deconstructs history to explore what might have been if things had gone differently over Hiroshima on that fateful day in 1945.

2 editions

reviewed The Lucky Strike by Kim Stanley Robinson (PM Press Outspoken Authors, #2)

Politically thoughtful, but I couldn't engage with the story

3 stars

This book has three parts: the story "The Lucky Strike", an essay by Kim Stanley Robinson expounding on the themes of the story, and an interview of the author by Terry Bisson.

The Lucky Strike imagines that the crew of the Enola Gay are not the ones to fly Little Boy to Japan. Instead, the bombardier on The Lucky Strike is very torn about killing 100,000 people and imagines himself saying no, leaping out of the airplane, and worse. I think we should examine our motivations for bombing Hiroshima, but I don't know enough to have a moral opinion whether it was correct in the time. Nevertheless I'm deeply uncomfortable with the choice we did make. Maybe that's why all the second-guessing bombardier Frank January does in the story doesn't resonate; it repeats things I've thought about myself. I can't say "don't read this" because my inability to connect with …

reviewed Lucky strike by Kim Stanley Robinson (PM Press outspoken authors series -- 2)

Review of 'Lucky strike' on Goodreads

2 stars

I like Robinson’s Mars books and am interested in the atom bomb, so I did not expect this to be so flat. The short story is not provocative or insightful. The essay is a mess of science-y argument—quantum this, neurology that, chaos theory, therefore history is messy—and the interview is aimless, almost without relevance to the preceding elements.

(Perhaps I would have been impressed had I not already been convinced that the massacre of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not necessary to end the war with Japan, nor to avoid an invasion? Not dropping the bomb on citizens should not be astonishing.)

avatar for joeyh

rated it

4 stars


  • Fiction
  • Alternative histories (Fiction)
  • History