Science Fiction London, Jack: The Scarlet Plague. v1. 22 Sep 2022
#1  GrannyGrump 09-22-2022, 02:29 AM
In 2073, sixty years after an uncontrollable epidemic has depopulated the planet, James Smith recounts the story of his life before the plague, when he was an English professor. In 2013, the year after “Morgan the Fifth was appointed President of the United States by the Board of Magnates”, the disease came about and spread rapidly.

Smith worries that he is the last to remember the times before the plague. He reminisces about the quality of food, social classes, his job, and technology. As he realizes his time grows short, he tries to impart the value of knowledge and wisdom to his grandsons. His efforts are in vain, however, as the children ridicule his recollections of the past, which sound totally unbelievable to them.

London was inspired in part by Edgar Allan Poe’s 1842 short story “The Masque of the Red Death”. Both Poe’s story and London’s fall into a genre of apocalyptic fiction featuring a universal plague that nearly wipes out humanity. The book was noted in 2020 as having been very similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially given that London wrote it at a time when the world was not as quickly connected by travel as it is today.

(—from Wikipedia)

John Griffith Chaney (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916), better known as Jack London, was an American novelist, journalist, and activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors to become an international celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing.

His most famous works are adventure stories set in in Alaska and the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush, such as The Call of the Wild, White Fang, “To Build a Fire”, “An Odyssey of the North”, and “Love of Life”. He also wrote about the South Pacific and about adventures at sea. He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction, and wrote tales of fantasy and mystery & suspense.

Originally published in “London Magazine” in 1912, and in book form in 1915. This book is in the public domain worldwide because the author died more than 100 years ago, and it was published prior to 1927.
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