The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide
Expanded 2nd edition!
Everything You Need To Know To Survive The Zone
"The meltdown of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant on the 26th of April 1986 resulted in the worst nuclear accident in history. Many lost their lives, and thousands were evacuated overnight. The resulting ‘Zone of Alienation’ was left an irradiated and abandoned wasteland.
Or so we thought…
Thirty years later, the Second Chornobyl Disaster created a rift, through which the laws of physics and nature were corrupted and warped.
This new and twisted landscape hides many mysteries and dangers, but also great riches for those brave enough to reach in and take them.
You will not have heard this before, as the event was covered up, and all information relating to its aftermath has been suppressed by the authorities.
With this guide, however, you will learn both the truth and how to survive and thrive in 'the Zone’."
(Taken from the book's back cover)
The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide:
My Take on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Universe in Book Form
Imagine this: “If 'The Zone' was real, could you survive it?"
Probably not, but with the correct information and training, you might just stand a chance. Most rookie Stalkers are not able to answer the following questions...
"What are the physical and mental preparations you need to make?"
"What are the skills you need to learn and where can you go to learn them?"
"What equipment, supplies and weapons do you need to take with you?"
"What are the Zone's many hazards, and how do you overcome them?"
...and this lack of knowledge gets them killed. This book, “The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide” provides the answers to all these and more, so that a rookie Stalker can survive and thrive in The Zone long enough to become a veteran.
If you would like to find out a little more about my background, and how this has aided me in the creation of 'The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide', please take a look at my blog post 'What Qualifies Me to Write 'The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide'? which explains this in detail. I'm certainly not a subject matter expert - I wouldn't survive 24 hours in The Zone that's for sure - but I feel I have done the subject matter justice.
The accompanying Reading Guide may help to explain The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide a little better - see below.
The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide:
Expanded 2nd Edition
Attention all Stalkers! After several more years of research, writing and editing, my book, The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide: Expanded 2nd Edition is now ready and can be downloaded for free as a PDF by clicking on the download button below the front cover image.
As a bonus gift to you, dear reader, a high-resolution version of the book's front cover can be downloaded by clicking the front cover icon below. NB - it is some 450MB in size so it might take a little while to download.
What’s New in the Second Edition?
A fantastic new purple-themed front cover by cover artist Dan Davies (who also created the first edition's superb red-themed front cover.)
Additional sections in part inspired by current events in Ukraine.
Grammatical and factual errors are fixed.
It is about 5000 words longer.
Expanded epilogue, post-script, sources list and author’s afterword revealing the true identity of ‘The Trader’ and the in-universe reasons for some of the book’s stylistic choices.
What’s the Catch?
Nothing - there is no catch! It is being given away freely. I'm not even asking you to give me your email address. All I ask is that if you like my book or find it useful, please consider making a small donation to one of the charities helping in Ukraine, such as:
A charitable fundraising platform launched by the President of Ukraine. Note that funds from UNITED 24 may be spent on defence, such as procuring drones.
If you would prefer to donate to purely humanitarian charities, then Warchild and Disaster Emergency Committee - Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal should be suitable alternatives.
A charity helping children affected by conflict and war.
Disaster Emergency Committee - Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal
Charities helping vulnerable people affected by the ongoing conflict.
There are two main reasons I decided to upgrade and re-release The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide. First, and most importantly, is the war in Ukraine and the humanitarian disaster for the Ukrainian people it has caused. I’m not wealthy enough to donate any appreciable funds, and I’m way too old, unwell and with far too many family commitments to take up arms by joining the International Legion, so what I can materially do is limited. But I felt compelled to do something.
Releasing this book for free and asking readers to make a small donation to the above-mentioned charities is the best that I can realistically do. Slava Ukraini!
The second - and far less important - reason is that the English-speaking S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fanbase has grown significantly since the book was first released. This is largely due to the announcement that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Heart of Chornobyl will be released on PC and consoles in 2024 (the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games were PC exclusives) and the release of the megamod S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly 1.5.1/2 and its descendants, such as EFP, Dark Signal, and G.A.M.M.A. It is quite likely that these ‘rookie stalkers’ are unaware of The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide project. (If this applies to you, Hi, nice to meet you!)
Re-releasing it now will make them aware of the book, and its free availability, thus enabling them to download it should they wish to.
I hope you enjoy it. The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide has been one of my largest passion projects of recent years (alongside the Nomad’s Reviews website which hosts it and helping to create Series Resurrecta) and I poured my heart and soul into it.
Feel free to give feedback – both positive and negative.
If you wish to do so privately, then please use the contact form.
If you wish to do so publicly, then you can do so by either becoming a member and posting on the member's chat and public forum, or via the Nomad’s Reviews Facebook page.
Speaking of the first edition - the one with the red-themed front cover - it is still available for free to anyone who wants it, and it can be obtained by clicking the download button below. The front cover can also be downloaded by clicking the image below. Sadly, there are no high-res version of this one available as the original artwork was 'Lost to The Zone'.
Disclaimer: Both editions of The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide are unofficial companions to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise. Neither have been officially endorsed by GSC Gameworld and should be considered non-commercial fan creations. They are being distributed freely, and no financial support, crowdfunding etc. has been sought.
If anyone attempts to sell them as commercial works GSC Gameworld will be notified
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The Game and the Franchise
If you are unfamiliar with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe in which this book is set, but would like to know more, then please read on.
In 2007, Ukrainian Software developers GSC Gameworld introduced the world to S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl, a unique hybrid of First Person Shooter, Role Playing Game and Survival Horror. Praised for its bleak and immersive atmosphere, it soon became one of the most successful games to come out of Eastern Europe.
The game quickly grew a huge following in Ukraine, Eastern Europe and Russia. In the rest of the world, it has become a cult classic, with a small but fiercely loyal fanbase, and a very active modding community.
A series of novels, several in English and many more in Russian and German, soon followed. This series went on to sell well over a million copies combined.
The world of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was inspired by the classic 1971 Russian novel ‘A Road Side Picnic' and its 1979 film adaptation 'Stalker'. These literary and cinematic origins were merged with the real-life Chornobyl Disaster to create a truly unique game world, ‘The Zone.’
The YouTube videos below are both excellent introductions to the lore of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchise. If you are unfamiliar with S.T.A.L.K.E.R, I highly recommend watching these first. The 4.25-minute video by HugBox is a superb short-form introduction, whereas Into the Zone's 20.18-minute video goes into greater depth. NB - neither channel is affiliated in any way with The Chornobyl Zone Survival Guide or Nomad's Reviews in general - I just happen to think the videos are excellent.
Video by HugBox
Video by Into The Zone
If you are a fan of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, you may enjoy some of the articles I have written on the subject