There was some nihilist creed that convinced people to destroy technological society and attempt to kill off the few survivors who were not affected. The story line centers on their survival and research. It took place in the USA.

  • How old is the book? Do you remember any other details? Specific scenes, character names etc.
    – Moogle
    Apr 14, 2014 at 17:40
  • Fairly recent, probably last decade. Series of scenes with a light plane pilot flying between uncontaminated (sealed) fuel sources. Various attacks by the berserking anti-tech crowd. Sorry no character names.
    – TwistTies
    Apr 14, 2014 at 17:47
  • Are you sure you're not conflating two books? The part (only in the question heading) about Chinese people on the moon hurling rocks sounds like Heinlein's "The Moon is the Harsh Mistress", but not any of the rest of the question. Apr 14, 2014 at 18:12
  • No, not conflating. I am aware of Heinlein's gravity well. This one had a small Chinese outpost on the moon firing missiles or lasers or rocks at the survivors whenever they left a radio or electronic signal, something like that. It seemed to be a minor part of the story line.
    – TwistTies
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


This is the "Daybreak" series of novels by John Barnes, starting with Directive 51 (very recent -- 2010).

The followers of Daybreak bring about the end of technological civilization using nanotechnology and engineered viruses that break down rubber, plastic, petroleum fuels and metal conductors. Some airplane combustion engines remain, but need to be carefully maintained and decontaminated. Navy ships at sea survive for a while, but gradually start falling victim to Daybreak.

Nuclear "pure fusion" detonations from pre-placed weapons in key cities are used; later, pure fusion weapons are launched from a moon base, targeting (as you note) radio transmissions from survivors.

In the second book, we start to find out that Daybreak

appears to be an emergent property of a complex system... also, taking the meme "thought virus" concept to heart, if you think about Daybreak too much, you become susceptible to it, and can also be mind controlled by other Daybreak followers. It starts to get screwy, I didn't feel compelled to read the third book.

  • Sounds like fun.
    – Ash
    Aug 3, 2017 at 12:51

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