The Lucky Strike

The Lucky Strike is a novella-length story written by Kim Stanley Robinson and first published in 1984.


Alternate history, Hiroshima 1945 (to complete)

PM Press release

The Lucky Strike is a publication by independent publishers PM Press released on October 1st, 2009 featuring Kim Stanley Robinson as part of their "Outspoken Authors" series. It contains the novella The Lucky Strike, the short story A Sensitive Dependence On Initial Conditions and an interview with Robinson. Its contents are:

  • the short story/novella The Lucky Strike;
  • the short story A Sensitive Dependence On Initial Conditions (previously published in the short story collection Remaking History (1991));
  • "A Real Joy To Be Had", an interview with Robinson conducted by fellow science fiction writer Terry Bisson;
  • a bibliography of Robinson's works.

The book description from PM Presss is the following:

Combining dazzling speculation with a profoundly humanist vision, Kim Stanley Robinson is known as not only the most literary but also the most progressive (read "radical") of today’s top rank SF authors. His bestselling Mars Trilogy tells the epic story of the future colonization of the red planet, and the revolution that inevitably follows. The Years of Rice and Salt is based on a devastatingly simple idea: If the medieval plague had wiped out all of Europe, what would our world look like today? His latest novel, Galileo’s Dream, is a stunning combination of historical drama and far-flung space opera, in which the ten dimensions of the universe itself are rewoven to ensnare history’s most notorious torturers.

The Lucky Strike, the classic and controversial story Robinson has chosen for PM's new Outspoken Authors series, 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 our world forever. Until something goes wonderfully wrong...

Plus: A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions, in which Robinson dramatically deconstructs "alternate history" to explore what might have been if things had gone differently over Hiroshima that day. As with all Outspoken Author books, there is a deep interview and autobiography: at length, in-depth, no-holds-barred and all-bets off: an extended tour though the mind and work, the history and politics of our Outspoken Author. Surprises are promised.

Product description from Barnes & Noble:

Combining dazzling speculation with a profoundly humanist vision, this astounding alternate history tale presents a dramatic encounter with destiny wrapped around a simple yet provocative premise: the terrifying question of what might have happened if the fateful flight over Hiroshima had gone a bit differently. An extensive interview with the author, offering insight into his fiction and philosophies, is also included.

Publication history

  • 1985 The Year's Best Science Fiction, Second Annual Collection, ed. Gardner R. Dozois, Bluejay
  • 1985 Terry Carr's Best Science Fiction of the Year #14, ed. Terry Carr, Tor
  • 1985 Nebula Awards 20, ed. George Zebrowski, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
  • 1986 The Planet On The Table, Tor
  • 1986 Alternate Histories, ed. Charles G. Waugh & Martin H. Greenberg, Garland
  • 1991 There Won't Be War, ed. Harry Harrison & Bruce McAllister, Tor
  • 1993 The Norton Book of Science Fiction, ed. Ursula K. Le Guin & Brian Attebery, Norton
  • 1994 Remaking History And Other Stories, Tor/Orb
  • 1996 The Way It Wasn't, ed. Martin H. Greenberg, Carol Publishing Group/Citadel Twilight
  • 2006 ParaSpheres: Extending Beyond The Spheres Of Literary And Genre Fiction, April 2006, Omnidawn
  • 2009 The Lucky Strike, PM Press
  • 2010 The Mammoth Book of Alternate Histories, February 2010, Robinson Publishing, ed. Ian Watson and Ian Whates
  • 2010 The Best Of Kim Stanley Robinson, Aug 2010, Night Shade Books, ed. Johnathan Straham