For a good while I've been trying to recall a book I read about 15 years ago. What I remember: The Novel was based around a modern day (at the time) global war scenario, with the main battles taking place on the Asian continent between US and Chinese infantry forces, involving entrenched combat during bitter cold.

Other Info:

  • The Book was very large, about the size of a hefty encyclopedia/dictionary.
  • There was a plane on the cover resembling an F-117 Nighthawk
  • A good portion of the plot focuses on the internal monologue of a newly elected US president. In particular I remember his monologue describing how he was trained to "chop" one hand into his palm to emphasise certain words during his speech he uses "and that is something i feel very strongly about" as an example I think.
  • Another main character was a younger US soldier who survived a massacre by chinese forces by hiding under his dead comrades in his trench.
  • Descriptions of the M16 a high ranking US soldier was using vs the AK rifles the chinese were using, in particular the fire selection modes and how they showed the attitude/fighting style of each force.
  • Background character US Soldier getting a cold burn from his frozen rifle

I hope this rings a bell with somebody, the title has plagued me for years!

  • Have you looked at World War III in popular culture and World War III speculative fiction on Wikipedia to see if anything rings a bell?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jun 21, 2017 at 13:35
  • @Randal'Thor Thanks, I actually found it through there! Turns out it was a novel called "Arc Light". Ordered a copy now
    – NotADog
    Jun 22, 2017 at 8:10
  • Great, glad I could help you find the book! Feel free to post an answer to your own question (there should be an orange "Answer Your Question" button in the bottom left) so that it can be marked as solved :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jun 22, 2017 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


It was a book called Arc Light. Here's the cover with the plane:

cover image

And Wikipedia mentions some of the same characters I remembered:

The novel focuses on four key groups:

  • President Walter Livingston, his successor, and his National Security Council, particularly National Security Advisor Greg Lambert.
  • The US Air Force crew of an ICBM silo who receive the firing order and are then stuck in their silo when the Russian missiles strike.
  • Major David Chandler, US Army Reserve as he is activated and sent to Europe where his unit spearheads the allied advance towards Moscow.
  • Chandler's wife, Melissa, as she struggles with their first child in the midst of a nuclear war.

I found the book by looking through WW III speculative fiction on Wikipedia, major thanks to Randal'Thor!


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