ATOMSK is an early Cold War thriller with the title being the Soviet
Union's secret atomic center in Siberia. Early scenes take place in
Occupied Japan just after WWII. America plans to send one of its top
spies, a Major Michael Dugan, to Atomsk to learn what he can learn and
get him back alive. Later, the US intends to let the Soviets learn
the Americans know of Atomsk but not how much they know, nor how they
obtained the information. As a part of that secondary plan, Dugan is
to leave some traces of his presence in and around Atomsk that the
Soviets will discover once they know their secret site is a secret no
longer. But the Soviets won't know how much the Americans know about
the center nor exactly how they gained that knowledge.
Stylistically, my memory is a bit vague not having looked at the novel
in many years. If I can put my hands on it, I will report more fully
on the style. But I recall the novel owed a good deal to Paul
Linebarger's "day job" at the time as a leading expert in
psychological warfare. His book PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE was the
standard text on the subject and many say he created modern
As an aside, the U.S. Army headquartered a psychological warfare group
at Fort Bragg on the John F. Kennedy Center for Special Warfare--home
of the Green Berets. By the time I arrived there in 1969, "warfare"
had disappeared. The names had been changed to the JFK Center for
Military Assistance and psychological warfare had become Psychological
Operations or PSYOPS.
We weren't given Dr. Linebarger's book or anything else I recall to
study. I do remember standing guard duty at night protecting a statue
of a Green Beret soldier from midnight fun-seekers who had been spray
painting the nether regions of the statue with festive colors.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "juri.nummelin@..."
> Richard Moore:
> "I was very happy one day to find the May 1949 volume as it contains a
> thriller ATOMSK by Carmichael Smith, pseudonym for Paul Linebarger
> greater success writing as Cordwainer Smith."
> What's the book like? Anything in the vein of his science fiction?
> sounds intriguing.
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