In the 1980s (or perhaps, not likely, early 1990s) I read a book about a fictional future rise of the Third World. It wasn't well written and I don't remember much about it, but one detail was that apartheid South Africa still existed and was brought down by (nuclear?) explosions in its gold mines.

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    You could improve this question by going through the checklists here and editing in any relevant info you can think to add.
    – Valorum
    Dec 11, 2021 at 23:25
  • One work that partially matches is The Warlord of the Air and its sequel, The Land Leviathan, by Michael Moorcock. Despite being partially set in South Africa, the nuke does not destroy South African gold mines, but they do figure into the plot.
    – Spencer
    Dec 12, 2021 at 1:01
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    It doesn’t quite fit, and is probably too recent (1991), but Larry Bond’s Vortex features nukes in South Africa, and the novel ends with the end of apartheid there. Dec 12, 2021 at 17:28
  • The description of Larry Bond's Vortex does remind me of the book, it has the same "near future" vibe. I think the book I'm trying to find was written in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Dec 13, 2021 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


This is a long shot. The only book I know of that has nukes in South African gold mines is The Rock by Bob Mayer.

From an Amazon customer review:

A nuclear bomb is smuggled into one of South Africa's deepest mines, and when detonated, ends the gold production necessary to power much of Africa's economic development. However, that is not all it does. Then a strange message appears to come out of Ayer's Rock. This message is in a highly compressed and coded form, but when decoded, the decoders see that it is the message carried by Voyager 2, intended for the rest of the Universe, although at this stage, Voyager 2 is at about twice Pluto's distance. Then, quite out of place, the message ends with the names of four people. The book then focuses on the US authorities "collecting" these people, with or without their permission, and shipping them to Ayer's Rock.

  • That looks like an interesting book, but from the little I remember from that book I read 40 years ago it didn't have much technological science fiction elements, except that it took place in what was then the future. Dec 11, 2021 at 23:53

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