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Ahern, Jerry

Entry updated 8 May 2023. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of US author Jerome Morrell Ahern (1946-2012), most of whose output consisted of violent Weapons-oriented Post-Holocaust novels, most notably in his Survivalist sequence, in which ex-CIA agent John Rourke attempts to preserve his family after a global nuclear conflict. This is perhaps the most influential series in the subgenre of Survivalist Fiction. The first arc of the sequence begins with The Survivalist #1: Total War (1981) and ends with The Survivalist #17: The Ordeal (1988). The second arc of the sequence – the unnumbered The Survivalist: Mid-Wake (1988) through to The Survivalist #27: Death Watch (1993) – takes place after the Earth's atmosphere has been destroyed by a catastrophic fire, and Rourke has saved his family and himself by entering cryogenic sleep (see Cryonics), emerging after 500 years (see Sleeper Awakes) to find a world deserted except for the personnel of the Eden Project – fresh from 500 years of hibernation aboard a fleet of space shuttles – along with batches of surviving groups of Nazis [sic] and fanatical communists. Twenty-first century continuations of the sequence, beginning with The Survivalist #30: The Inheritors of Earth (2013) with Sharon Ahern and Bob Anderson, seem at least initially to have been assembled from Ahern's notes.

A second rather similar sequence, the Defender series, begins with The Defender #1: The Battle Begins (1988) and ends with The Defender #12: No Survivors (1990). With his wife, Sharon Ahern, whose contributions elsewhere are sometimes anonymous, he wrote the short Takers sequence, as well as a number of singletons. He also contributed Turkish Bloodbath (1980) to the long-running Nick Carter sequence, writing as Nick Carter, and wrote the first ten titles of the associational adventure-thriller series Track. Of his singletons, The Freeman (1986) with Sharon Ahern applies a survivalist take to the Near Future creation of a Dystopia in America, indirectly caused by the USSR; this was followed by the loosely connected Miamigrad (1987) with Sharon Ahern, in which a decadent Miami remains obdurately dystopian. [NT/JC]

see also: Social Darwinism.

Jerome Morrell Ahern

born Chicago, Illinois: 23 June 1946

died Jefferson, Georgia: 24 July 2012



The Survivalist

Survivalist Short Story Collection

  • Shades of Love (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Speaking Volumes, 2013) with Sharon Ahern and Bob Anderson [story: ebook: Survivalist: na/]
  • Once Upon a Time (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Speaking Volumes, 2014) with Sharon Ahern and Bob Anderson [story: ebook: Survivalist: na/]
  • Light Dreams (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Speaking Volumes, 2014) with Sharon Ahern and Bob Anderson [story: ebook: Survivalist: na/]
  • For I Have Sinned (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Speaking Volumes, 2014) with Samantha Ahern and Sharon Ahern [story: ebook: first appeared in More Phobias: Stories of Unparalleled Paranoia! (anth 1995) edited by Richard Gilliam, Martin H Greenberg, Edward E Kramer and Wendy Webb Survivalist: na/]

Survivalist: Rourke Chronicles

  • Everyman (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Speaking Volumes, 2014) with Sharon Ahern and Bob Anderson [Survivalist: Rourke Chronicles: pb/]


The Defender

Ed Mulvaney

individual titles

about the author


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