Here are the rules.  Here is the excerpt of the week:

On Friday, August 1st, 1958, about midnight, a Redstone ballistic missile carried a W39 thermonuclear device to about 50 miles above Johnston Island, where it detonated. This was the first missile-launched nuclear shot. The W39’s yield was 3.8 megatons, or, putting it another way, it released about 1,800 times the destructive power that Fat Man had. We in the Hawaiian Islands, about 1,000 miles north-northeast of the shot, had not been warned.

I had just turned 15, and was home asleep because my mother did not let me stay out that late. Some of my friends were out in Hilo, and when the sky lit up and something like a mushroom cloud formed, they were amazed and shocked. Was it a volcanic eruption? But no eruption flashed like that, or created a fireball.

[Who am I? Read more and find out!]

Last week: Roberto Bolano, author of 2666.

The Nervous Breakdown is an online culture magazine and literary community. It was founded in 2006. Our masthead can be found here.

3 responses to “Who Am I — 112611”

  1. Gloria says:


    Don Mitchell.

  2. Jim Simpson says:

    Yeah, Don Mitchell. I got this one right away with no peeking.

    The photo is of Octavia Butler. I know this only because my brother is a big Sci-Fi geek.

  3. Judaye says:

    Definitely Octavia Butler.

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