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Line of Departure
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Cutting Room Floor
(Guns of H&G)
Hell & Gone by Henry Brown
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(Call it men's fiction, action-adventure, military thriller or even a war novel...but Hell and Gone is not about Iraq or Afghanistan.)
There is some controversy over whether or not tactical nuclear weapons, small enough to fit in a suitcase, actually exist. Since nuclear warheads have been made small enough to fit in artillery shells and bazooka rockets, it seems a no-brainer that suitcase nukes are possible.
The subject of red mercury is even more controversial."Red mercury is a compound containing mercury that has undergone massive irradiation. When exploded, it creates tremendous heat and pressure - the same type needed to trigger a fusion device such as a mini-neutron bomb."
Some insist that red mercury is nothing but a hoax, including the writer of the Wikipedia article on the subject. However, scientists like Sam Cohen, inventor of the neutron bomb, believe red mercury does make softball-sized fusion warheads possible...and that other nations--as of over a decade ago--are very interested in developing such weapons.
Here's a couple links:
Interview with Sam Cohen
The secret underground IDF facility described in Hell and Gone is a product of my imagination. If I had knowledge of such a place, I would certainly not write about it.
CIA Operative Suicides
There's an old legend about Agency spooks having cyanide capsule tooth fillings, which they could use to commit suicide if compromised on assignment in an enemy country. I don't know for sure if the legend is based on fact...but it seems plausible, so I drew on it.
Since the time period in which this novel takes place, there has been some mention of the government-sponsored atrocities in the Sudan--but only those taking place in the Darfur region. So...Muslim-on-Muslim genocide is newsworthy, but genocide against Christian blacks in southern Sudan is not?
An Embarrassing Mistake--My HALO Scene
A reader recently made this comment: "Pins out at 800 feet is basically suicide. If the pilot chute immediately catches your main will open in a maybe three seconds. If your pilot chute gets caught in the air pocket created by your back you have to "break the seal" so to speak by looking over your shoulder to get the pilot chute out of that pocket. If this happens your will probably fall an additional 1000 or more feet before your main deploys. Remember, in free fall you are falling roughly 1000 every six seconds."
He is absolutely right, and I specified the 800 foot yank not once, but twice. My static line jumps were usually around 800 feet, and I guess I fixated on that. This is corrected in the e-book now, but the paperback is not so easy to fix. My apologies.