“The Quick and the Bomb” by William Tenn

Stories from Suspense Magazine #1 Spring 1951

Tenn was the pseudonym writer Phillip Klass used for most of his science fiction stories, reserving his own name for his nonfiction work. Born in London, Klass grew up in Brooklyn, New York. After marriage, the couple moved to Pennsylvania, where he taught comparative literature at Penn State University. Among his students who became writers themselves were David Morrell and Ray Ring.

Tenn’s stories appeared in Astounding, Galaxy, F&SF and many other magazines and collections. In “The Quick and the Bomb” a man rejects city life to build a self-sustaining bomb shelter under his farm to protect his family from the impending nuclear war. It’s a fascinating glimpse into post-WWII anxieties, told with Tenn’s trademark sarcastic wit.