Earth Abides (S.F. MASTERWORKS)

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9781857988215: Earth Abides (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
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In this profound ecological fable, a mysterious plague has destroyed the vast majority of the human race. Isherwood Williams, one of the few survivors, returns from a wilderness field trip to discover that civilization has vanished during his absence.

Eventually he returns to San Francisco and encounters a female survivor who becomes his wife. Around them and their children a small community develops, living like their pioneer ancestors, but rebuilding civilization is beyond their resources, and gradually they return to a simpler way of life.

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Gollancz SF Masterworks trade edition paperback fine book In stock shipped from our UK warehouse

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Generally regarded as the classic tale of life struggling on after a global disaster, Earth Abides (1949) was George R. Stewart's only venture into SF. Before the first page the human race has been almost completely wiped out by plague. Our hero Isherwood "Ish" Williams discovers a female survivor and fumblingly tries to bring up a new civilization in the ruins of California. It's an elegiac story of loss as humanity makes it through the crisis, at the cost of our race's painfully gathered knowledge--which seems irrelevant to the new generations as they develop a hunter-gatherer society reminiscent of the old Amerindian tribes, and see no practicality in the fabulous tales of the old days told them by Ish. His nickname is deliberately reminiscent of Ishi, the once famous Californian Indian who was also the last of his tribe and became a misfit in a new world, in his case early 20th-century America. Annoyingly for fans of survivalist SF who reckon civilization can be rebuilt in about a month with a Swiss army knife, Earth Abides proposes that the cycle of regrowth will take significant time ... but there is always time. Stewart's title and epigraph echo the Book of Ecclesiastes: "Men go and come, but Earth abides." One of the sadder, gentler Millennium SF Masterworks reissues. --David Langford

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780345487131: Earth Abides

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