The Scarlet Plague - Jack London - The Scarlet Plague is a post-apocalyptic fiction novel written by Jack London in 1912. The book was noted in 2020 as having been very similar to the Coronavirus outbreak, especially given London wrote it at a time when the world was not as quickly connected by travel as it is today. Set in 2073, this classic science fiction novel begins sixty years after a devastating epidemic wipes out most of humanity. James Howard Smith, one of the only survivors from the San Francisco area who remembers life before the plague, tries to impart the value of his wisdom to his grandsons as his time on Earth grows ever shorter. Knowing only the savage world in which they have been raised, the feral boys cannot comprehend the scientific and technological wonders of a time before the Red Death and they mock their grandfather's indecipherable babble. A despairing Smith can only fear for the future of humanity . . .