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I have a very fragmented memory of a book that, if I recall correctly, took place over 3-5 timejumps, starting out in atlantean prehistory.

  • Agents/Spies on a military base are attempting to stop a war before it starts

  • One is wounded/killed by guards while they're trying to hijack an aircraft to escape

  • Shortly thereafter the facility and indeed entire continent are vaporized in something similar to a nuclear ballistic missile exchange. It is revealed that this was Atlantis, and the war plunged the other major powers back into the stone age.

  • Timejump to a rocketpunk near future, aboard an American combat rocket similar in role to a modern Destroyer. It was flying above/might've been named the New Jersey, or I might be making it up.

  • A cold war/coup goes hot, pitched battle follows. Segment ends when a nuclear weapon detonates in proximity to the rocket, the narrator describing it being vaporized instantaneously with all hands.

  • Another timejump, I can't remember any specifics but I have a vague feeling it was in a more traditional space-opera setting.

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Hi. When did you read this book, and when do you think it might've been published? Also, do you recall anything about the cover? Dec 22, 2021 at 7:57
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    That sounds like the plot of the book version of E.E. Smith's Triplanetary, which added chapters set thoughout galactic and human history and then jumped to the somewhat rewritten story of the short space opera novel Triplanetary reprinted from the magazine. The effect of the additions was to make the book version of Triplanetary part of Smith's Lensman series. Dec 22, 2021 at 16:59
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    Bah. I read the title thinking it was the USAF vs Atlantis in a nuclear exchange. Now I'm less interested.
    – DKNguyen
    Dec 22, 2021 at 18:53

1 Answer 1

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From what I remember of it, and I didn't really get far into it, this sounds like the beginning of Triplanetary the first novel in the Lensmen series by E.E. "Doc" Smith. In particular the nuclear exchange destroying an ancient and extremely technologically advanced Atlantis is definitely a feature of Triplanetary. I also recall that the main thing that made it hard to get invested in was the fact that the story never stayed in one place for very long but kept jumping around. What little I read went through Atlantis, Rome, some godhead perspective of the people pulling the strings and then I gave up.

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    Took a peek, this is indeed the series I was thinking of. Thank you.
    – UIDAlexD
    Dec 22, 2021 at 9:35
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    @Ash you beat me to it! Dec 22, 2021 at 17:00

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