‘Syzygy’ by Frederik Pohl (1981)
Based on an actual pseudo-science book ‘The Jupiter Effect’, Syzygy is more of a collection of character studies than anything else. On page 246 (out of 248 total) Pohl eventually gets around to introducing something that could be classified as “science fiction”. In the end the bad guys are punished and the intellectual good guys, while not actually triumphant, at least are headed in the right direction.
What resonated with me was a couple of paragraphs much earlier in the novel-
“…he had just been telling her about the current international crisis. But the nerve endings in her crisis centers had long since been anesthetized. Not just in hers. In her whole generation’s. To the young people born in the 1950s, the world had cried wolf one time too many; they no longer heard the alarums…born in the year Eisenhower was re-elected and John Foster Dulles began easing troops into Vietnam. She lived through fallout-shelter drills…riots at the Democratic convention…Palestinians shot up the Munich Olympics…starved babies in the Sahel…hijacked to Cuba…Iranian mobs swarmed over the U.S. Embassy…It was too much. Ayatollahs and Nixons and Idi Amins came and went, and after a while…her generation- simply looked away.” (p.27-28)
Hmmm, yeah, that sounds like my generation.
Probably should have listened to my vinyl copy of the Larry Fast/Synergy album ‘The Jupiter Menace’ while reading Pohl’s book.