Sos the Rope - Piers Anthony - 1968 Pyramid Paperback Edition - Jack Gaughan Cover

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Blurb: "They were the first who dared to enter the badlands: Sol, man of many weapons, Sola his wife, and Sos, who loved them both.

The kill-spirits of the blast were retreating, taking with them the evil which the old books had called 'radiation'. But still the badlands held their secrets - terrible secrets laying in wait for those who dared to return. And yet there was no other way, for Sos was pledged to follow Sol - and Sol had been chosen to build a dream - the same dream which had been built so many times, eons before..."

another variable blurb: 

Earth's demon. They call him Sos - a man mightier in strength and spirit than the greatest warriors of post-blast legend. His past is shrouded in enigma, but now he wanders the earth, writing a heritage in blood and bravery.
To some, he is savior; to others, agent of cataclysm. One man alone bears the terrible curse of his friendship. Two mortal women share his doom-driven love.
Yet only Sos knows the ultimate purpose of his strange, violent mission on earth: save mankind - or destroy it forever.

Vivid, dramatic, and compelling in its blending of adventurous narrative and speculation, SOS THE ROPE was the unanimous choice of the judges to receive the $5000 Pyramid Publications/Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Novel Award.