Jack London saw this coming. So why didn’t we?
In 1910 the California author, already famous for The Call of the Wild and White Fang, wrote a short post-apocalyptic novel about a 21st-century pandemic in his home state.
To revisit The Scarlet Plague now, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, is to marvel at how much London understood—a century ago—about the challenges facing Californians now.
London imagined a global epidemic in the year 2013 that killed almost all the people in California, and presumably on Earth. In the novel, …