World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Directive 51 (novel)

Article Id: WHEBN0027089327
Reproduction Date:

Title: Directive 51 (novel)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: John Barnes (author)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Directive 51 (novel)

Directive 51
Author John Barnes
Country United States
Language English
Series Daybreak
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Ace Hardcover
Publication date 2010
Media type Print (Hardcover )
Followed by Daybreak Zero

Directive 51 is the title of a science fiction novel by John Barnes. It is the first of three books comprising the Daybreak series.


The title is a reference to Directive 51, the Presidential Directive which claims power to execute procedures for continuity of the federal government in the event of a "catastrophic emergency".

In the near future, a variety of groups with diverse aims, but an overlapping desire to end modern technological society (the "Big System") create a nanotech plague ("Daybreak") which both destroys petroleum-based fuels, rubber and plastics and eats away any metal conductors carrying electricity. An open question in the book is whether these groups, and their shared motivations, are coordinated by some conscious actor, or whether they are an emergent property / meme that attained a critical mass.

The Daybreak plague strikes, and world governments are helpless to deal with it.

Industrial civilization rapidly breaks down, and tens of millions die in the US alone (the global death toll measures in the billions).

There is a presidential succession crisis.

Just as society in the US seems to start stabilizing, preemplaced pure fusion weapons detonate, destroying Washington DC and Chicago.

This is followed by additional pure fusion weapon strikes, which are determined to be weapons that are being created on the moon by nanotech replicators.

A shadowy neofeudalist group (the "Castle movement") led by a reactionary billionaire may be inadvertent saviors of society ... or may have some deeper involvement in things.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.