As Cold War tensions and American nationalism rose during the Reagan years, the "Men's Adventure" genre of books -- tales of global espionage, vigilante justice, and sexually-charged swords and sorcery -- saw a deluge of new titles relating the adventures of rugged men waging guerrilla warfare against Soviet forces in a conquered America of the future. If the conquest involved a nuclear exchange, the list of enemies could be expanded to include mutants and savage or degenerate post-holocaust civilizations; but the goal was always to restore America to its former glory.

The Doomsday Warrior series was one of the more popular of these. Begun in 1984 by authors Ryder Syvertsen and Jan Stacy writing together under the pen name Ryder Stacy, they describe life in the United States a hundred years after a massive Soviet nuclear strike not only devastates the country but causes the Earth to tilt on its axis, wreaking havoc on the environment worldwide.

The Soviets occupy the U.S. and subject its surviving citizens to unspeakably brutal treatment. In one memorable scene, high-ranking Party officials in Washington, D.C. are entertained by watching young black girls being thrown into pits containing vicious Dobermans. The KGB is headquartered in a nightmarish black tower built on the wasteland of the Midwest.

But America's hope is not yet fled entire, for a remnant of freedom fighters lives on in a hidden underground city, from which they launch strikes against the Russian oppressors. They are led by the "Doomsday Warrior" himself --Ted Rockson, whose nickname is "the Ultimate American." (NOTE: I swear I am not making this up. People in the books actually say things like, "It's Ted Rockson, the Ultimate American!") Rockson is handsome, in excellent physical condition, an expert at armed and unarmed combat and especially skilled with the "Liberator" rifles that he designed and with which he has equipped his rebel army.

In a typical book, Rockson will set off on a mission across the wasteland, encounter some post-holocaust oddity (like the tribe of man-starved Amazons), get captured by the Russians, ingeniously escape, and all the while the Russian body count grows. He will also have sex at least once, probably twice.

Next to the encounter with the Amazons, the most wonderful example of this last was the time Rockson met his true love while they were in adjoining cells and manacled to the walls. Certain that she was going to be executed at dawn, she wanted nothing more than to make love to the Ultimate American before she died. Somehow the pair managed to do it through the bars.

This type of story, where a heroic superman armed with a phallic weapon battles genetically inferior creatures to establish a new order, was brilliantly satirized by Norman Spinrad in his Nazi SF novel The Iron Dream. Mindlessly violent brain candy...unintentionally hilarious paranoid power fantasy...surrealistic stroke book...The Doomsday Warrior was all this and more.

  • #1: Doomsday Warrior (1984)
  • #2: Red America (1984)
  • #3: The Last American (1984)
  • #4: Bloody America (1985)
  • #5: America's Last Declaration (1985)
  • #6: American Rebellion (1985)
  • #7: American Defiance (1986)
  • #8: American Glory (1986)
  • #9: America's Zero Hour (1986)
  • #10: America's Nightmare
  • #11: America's Eden (1987)
  • #12: Death, American Style
  • #13: American Paradise (1988)
  • #14: American Death Orbit (1988)
  • #15: American Ultimatum (1989)
  • #16: American Overthrow (1989)
  • #17: America's Sword (1990)
  • #18: American Dream Machine (1990)
  • #19: America's Final Defense (1991)

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