|Signet Books - paperback|
I picked up this novel because I liked the cover, simple as that. And it wasn't a novel that I immediately recognized by him. For the price, what the hell, if I didn't like it at least it will look nice with some of the other vintage sci-fi paperbacks I own.
I'm happy to say that I mostly enjoyed The Day After Tomorrow. I had some issues with it, but for a brisk pulp era science fiction novel I got a kick out of it. Basically, it's the story of 7 survivors after the fall of America to the PanAsians who've taken shelter underground in the mountains of Colorado. Together they plan a revolt against the rule of the evil empire of PanAsians by utilizing a gizmo that operates on what they refer to as The Ledbetter Effect. There is some explanation early on how the Ledbetter Effect works, but it all went right over my head. Essentially, it's not much different from Green Lantern's power ring. And like GL's power ring doesn't work on anything colored yellow, The Ledbetter Effect is designed to not work on anything white, meaning Caucasians. To expedite matters, they decide to create a religion by which they can communicate and recruit the surviving Americans, train them in using the Ledbetter Effect and overthrow the evil PanAsians. The plot gives room for Heinlein to comment on religion, war, politics and race. The problem is that the novel teeters on that uncomfortable edge of racism in doing so. Also, much of the action, (battles and massacres, etc) occur offstage. There is enough action to keep the pace moving quickly, but I like a little more "wetwork" in my war/spy novels. Also, there isn't a single female character of importance in the story. To me, that's something of a missed opportunity. Then again, maybe it's better that sexism was left out here.
So, if you appreciate golden age science fiction, then this might be one you'll enjoy, keeping in mind the time and place it was written.