The Scarlet Plague
by Jack London

The Scarlet Plague cover
Cover of The Scarlet Plague on the Open Library.

Humankind is almost completely wiped out by a virulent, ebola-like disease in the summer of 2013. James Howard Smith, an English literature professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the last man alive who still remembers that summer. The story is told in flashback, to Smith’s grandsons.

It’s not great literature (The Sea Wolf and Call of the Wild are both way better), but I decided to write about The Scarlet Plague in 2013, about the time the novel turned 100.

At the time, the predictions about late stage capitalism were unsettling enough. Now, on the novel’s 110th anniversary, we have pandemics too. Hoo Boy.

Full discussion at Multo.