Peter George - Apocalypse Now

Born in Treorchy Peter Bryan George was the son of a local headmaster. During WW2 he served in the RAF where he managed to survive a plane crash. Undeterred by his near-death experience he rejoined the air force in 1951.

With the whole world in the grip of Cold War paranoia George developed something of an apocalypse fixation. Nuclear war and all its attendant horrors became more than just a preoccupation, it was an obsession.

He began to write sci-fi books and thrillers under various pseudonyms. In 1958 he wrote Two Hours to Doom (US title: Red Alert). This was the book upon which Stanley Kubrick based his film: Dr Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Along with Terry Southern, George collaborated with Kubrick on the script. The original book was deemed too horrifying to be filmed exactly as it was written, so they decided to turn it into a political satire instead. After the film's release George penned the novelization and made himself a small fortune.

In 1965 George developed the nuclear apocalypse theme further penning
Commander-1 which follows the progress of a nuclear submarine crew trapped under ice.

It seems that despite his successful career Peter George could never escape his personal demons and continued to be haunted by the prospect of a nuclear apocalypse. During the writing of a third holocaust novel in 1968, to have been called
Nuclear Survivors, George committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth.

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