Jack London: SF Pioneer?

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

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So claims Dr. Clarice Stasz, Sonoma State University.

London explored numerous styles of science fiction: pre-history, apocalyptic catastrophe, future war, scientific dystopias, technocratic utopias. Running through most stories are the ideas of social evolution, racialism, and anti-capitalism. In some stories, London emphasizes "social science fiction," the problems of society, particularly the exploitation of workers and the materialism of capitalism.
More here: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London/Essays/scifi.html

(Also check the 'First SF Story' topic for a link to an Ambrose Bierce story which, even though it is mainly horror, uses scientific principles as the basis for its horror. I'm not trying to claim every writer ever for the SF genre, just exploring the SF-like tales that can be found in areas you'd usually not expect them. It helps in gaining a broader understading of what this SF thing is, and definitely introduces me to some great new stories!)
 

Foxbat

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I remember many many many moons ago reading a Jack London story called 'The Scarlet Plague'. It was a story of survivors and how they try to rebuild their lives and civilisation. Considering the number of Post-Apocalypse stories flying around nowadays, I think it fair to say that London was something of a pioneer (along with many others). A fine read from what I remember. Methinks I'll have to go get me a new copy :)
 

fallenstar

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I thought he was just a writer of adventure stories and things like hunting and stuff. I just did a commentary on his short story "The Law of Life". Don't think a lot of you heard of that, but that was a long boring story (I wonder why I chose that one), and so are my commentary, long and boring. From then I DO NOT like him.......by the way how is he a SF pionner??I don't remember reading a some how related to SF story by Jack London
 

Foxbat

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how is he a SF pionner??
As I mentioned earlier - The Scarlet Plague. It holds its own with many of the post apolcalypse type films and stories we have been subjected to in recent years. Given the time it was written (a time most agree when SF was in its infancy) this, in my opinion, qualifies him as something of a pioneer - but, as I said earlier, only one of many. I would also call Poe, Verne, Swift and others pioneers.
 

Vladimir

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I thought he was just a writer of adventure stories and things like hunting and stuff. I just did a commentary on his short story "The Law of Life". Don't think a lot of you heard of that, but that was a long boring story (I wonder why I chose that one), and so are my commentary, long and boring. From then I DO NOT like him.......by the way how is he a SF pionner??I don't remember reading a some how related to SF story by Jack London

I found a lot of his books boring and couldn't finish them. However, his "Smoke Bellew" series of short stories about the gold rush are fantastic, very well-written and often humorous. Also, "The Heart of the Three" is a typical pulp adventure, I used to love it when I was a kid.

I don't recall reading any sci-fi by him and was suprised to find his name on this forum. Guess I'll hve to find out more.
 

j d worthington

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This may help on that score:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pe.cgi?5041

I read Star Rover back when I was in high school (lo, these many moons ago), and recall quite liking it; certainly it was a prime example of the immediate precursors of science fiction. (One even encounters a reference to it in Harlan Ellison's short story, "Shatterday" in this regard.) I read Before Adam a year or two ago, and found it to be quite easy going, a fascinating story of a remembered past existence which actually overshadows that of the present narrator (much as is the case with Robert E. Howard's James Allison tales, which were obviously influenced by London's short novel). Somewhere abouts I have The Iron Heel, but I've never got around to reading it, though I know it is one of the formative novels of early sf.
 

Vladimir

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Thanks! I was just looking for this for Kindle, and guess what - there is a collection of ALL Jack London's works for less than 1$. This is definitely my next read (as soon as I'm done with "Tiger, Tiger" of which, by the way, I am stilll to find a thread on this great page)
 

Orcadian

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Both Before Adam and The Scarlet Plague are very gritty. They do not pull any punches! For me, Before Adam gave possibly the most authentic glimpse of life when it truly was nasty, brutal and short. Meanwhile, The Scarlet Plague is a true dystopia, offering little hope for the future of civilisation. It ends in a way that is reminiscent of Earth Abides, and I wondered whether George Stewart had been influenced by London's writing.
 

Cthulhu.Science

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ALL of Jack London's works are available FREE at archive.org.
Here is a collection of 23 books that claim to be "the complete work of Jack London Public domain"

Here is the archive.org Jack London search page with 29,308 files -- including Jack London in Hindi -- if you want to do a deep dive.
This includes books, articles, critiques, movies, TV series, audio productions, the "Jack London Newsletter" from the 1970s to 1990s -- etc.
 

Cthulhu.Science

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aberpf.londonj.cabin.jpg
 

BAYLOR

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Both Before Adam and The Scarlet Plague are very gritty. They do not pull any punches! For me, Before Adam gave possibly the most authentic glimpse of life when it truly was nasty, brutal and short. Meanwhile, The Scarlet Plague is a true dystopia, offering little hope for the future of civilisation. It ends in a way that is reminiscent of Earth Abides, and I wondered whether George Stewart had been influenced by London's writing.
ALL of Jack London's works are available FREE at archive.org.
Here is a collection of 23 books that claim to be "the complete work of Jack London Public domain"

Here is the archive.org Jack London search page with 29,308 files -- including Jack London in Hindi -- if you want to do a deep dive.
This includes books, articles, critiques, movies, TV series, audio productions, the "Jack London Newsletter" from the 1970s to 1990s -- etc.

The book that I constantly recommend by London is The Star Rover. It a terrific book.:cool:
 

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