Nuclear Testing and My First Publication

Big news on Monday! I found out my short story “Proving Ground” will be published this spring in Writers Bloc IV (a biennial anthology of local writers). It’s sponsored by the Henderson Writers Group, but National University judges the submissions.

This is my first official publishing credit (now I actually have something to include in my bio section when I query agents and editors)!!

Here’s a bit of background on the story:

From 1951-1992 the US government conducted 928 nuclear tests just 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. One hundred of these tests occurred above ground. The Civil Defense Administration used some of these projects to determine the effects a nuclear bomb would have on civilian communities. To this end, they built homes and other small structures inside the bombs’ blast radius and equipped them with furniture, mannequins, cars–even fresh food.

“Proving Ground” takes place on the eve of one such explosion, test name Annie, in March 1953.

Don and Judy drive out into the emptiness of the of the test site (at that time called the Nevada Proving Ground) the night before the detonation of a 16 kiloton device. Don is a senior physicist on site and Judy, though she also studied physics, works there as a secretary. He wants to end their affair while she wants to collect on a long-standing promise for career advancement. Hubris, naiveté, bigotry, and betray collide, creating an explosion between Don and Judy as destructive as the nuclear bomb about to drop.

I’ll give you more info about Writer Bloc IV later when I know the specifics about its publication. In the mean time, here are two great sites about the Nevada Test Site:

The Atomic Testing Museum
Nevada Test Site Oral History Project

Also, I believe the US Dept. of Energy still offers public tours of the test site. If you’re interested contact the Office of Public Affairs at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

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11 thoughts on “Nuclear Testing and My First Publication

    • You a great help to me ironing out all the scientific details. I’m very grateful! I’ll definitely send you a signed copy. I’ve been thinking we should co-author a sci-fi series someday. You bring the science; I’ll bring the fiction. Let’s entitle it “the plane of the ecliptic”. 😉

  1. Sounds really interesting! Should I read into the fact that you chose, “test name Annie”? I know I was a super annoying little kid, but never that bad! Haha. But on a serious note, CONGRATULATIONS! 🙂

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