The world that Man has known for close on twenty thousand years had been overthrown in a holocaust of atomic fire and annihilation. The immense and complex system of civilisation had been utterly destroyed almost overnight and only a scant handful of true humans remained.
Stretched out between the rivers of radioactive fire, the cities were growing wildernesses of shattered stone and brick, splintered glass and silent streets. But here and there in quiet places sheltered from the deadly rains, men waited for the fires to subside and hoped to rebuilt something a little like the civilisation which had existed before.
This is the stirring and sometimes terrible story of the supreme struggle for survival, when the continued existence of the human race on Earth is uncertain after such a tremendous catastrophe, and when all life is menaced by the wandering bands of mutants, creatures spawned and tainted by the deadly radiation.