Most frequently considered a writer of hard-hitting
stories of daring-do on the high seas, or the snows of
Alaska through the enduring ‘The Call Of The Wild’,
Jack London also wrote some fine pioneering early
Science Fiction… now collected in
three volumes by Leonaur Press
‘It was in the summer of 2013 that the Plague came…’
Before Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jack London was the unschooled outsider writer. A man who wrote himself into literary history using only his creative energies, and the medium of the Pulp magazine explosion. London’s stories appeared in ‘The Black Cat’ magazine, ‘Overland Monthly’, ‘Colliers’ and ‘Pearson’s Magazine’ which all thrived, and were popular, before the term Science Fiction was even devised. There was no SF profession or career-structure to be initiated into, but many of the stories he contributed to those editions were proto-SF in all but name. “The Scarlet Plague” first appeared in the ‘London Magazine’ dated June 1912, a title owned by Cecil Harmsworth, and it was set exactly one-hundred years into the then-future. It was not the first story in which a rogue pandemic virus wipes out civilisation. It would not be the last.
Mary Shelley – creator of the Frankenstein myth, had written ‘The Last Man’ as early as 1826, in which her protagonist, Lionel Verney is the sole survivor of a global apocalypse, leaving him alone in the year 2100. The novel takes the form of manuscripts supposedly discovered aeons hence, describing the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries in archaic eighteenth-century terms. Another obvious precedent to Jack London’s tale is Edgar Allan Poe, even down to the chosen colour of his “The Mask Of The Red Death” (1842), in which a group of aristocrats hide within a sealed abbey in the hope of escaping a disease ravaging the countryside outside its confines. In London’s story Hare-Lip, one of the youths who have devolved to a simple tribal level, argues about his grandfather’s definition of ‘the Purple plague’ – arguing ‘why don’t you tell about the Red Death?’ Perhaps that’s a deliberate giveaway reference to Poe? Perhaps not.
But there have been many more treatments of the theme since, clear down to the TV adaptation of ‘The Walking Dead’ graphic novel in which a group of survivors flee across an America devastated by a zombie-plague. Cormac McCarthy’s bleak ‘The Road’ (2006) re-paces the same path. While midpoint in the century, not only does George R Stewart’s 1949 novel ‘Earth Abides’ expand the basic contours of London’s story, but even sets its location in the same San Francisco area. For his epic ‘The Stand’ (1978, revised 1990), in which germ-warfare virus ‘Project Blue’ escapes the lab to devastate the world, Stephen King openly acknowledges his debt to George R Stewart, which neatly loops the continuity all the way back to Jack London.
London’s story starts off with young Edwin and his Granser traipsing along the overgrown path of what was once a railway embankment. Previously James Howard Smith, Professor Of Literature at Berkeley, he is now ‘a dirty old man clad in goatskin’, joining his grandsons of the Santa Rosan tribe on the beach. The ‘filthy little skin-clad savages’ are mocking and sceptical, curious and doubting about the old man’s stories of a lost past. Before civilisation ‘lapsed like foam’ he claims there were eight-billion people alive on Earth in the 2010 census. For a fiction written in 1912, that’s a remarkably accurate guesstimate, but one that the innumerate Hoo-Hoo, Hare-Lip and Edwin can barely conceive. Patiently the old man relates his tale of how human hubris was brought low by the virus. How 400-survivors barricade themselves into the University Chemistry Building, imagining they are somehow safe, not unlike Poe’s aristos. But how only forty-seven escape from a city fragmenting into murderous riots and uncontrollable fires. He alone reaches Yosemite as the plague burns itself out. Re-emerging to become the nineteenth member of the Santa Rosan tribe. ‘I am the last man who was alive in the days of the plague and who knows the wonders of that far-off time’ he tells them. ‘We, who mastered the planet – its earth, and sea, and sky – and who were as very gods, now live in primitive savagery along the water courses of this California country.’
London wrote the story in the twentieth century’s first decade. The future he envisages is one in which airships once plied the skies, and the plague reverses a deeply polarised social order, so that a chauffeur now lords it over a Magnate’s daughter. There’s some philosophical musing about the cyclic nature of civilisation, rebuilding itself towards new wars and atrocity, only to collapse again into barbarity. The pride that comes before the fall. But there’s a poetic wistfulness too, as Granser and loyal Edwin watch a herd of wild horses prancing by the surf, perhaps driven down from the hills by mountain lions. A symbol of nature returning to reclaim what was fleetingly the human realm, returning America to its old pre-Columbian frontier state, a process repeating itself around the world. With a certain sense of the Earth renewed.
I first came across the story in a second-hand copy of ‘Strange Travels In Science Fiction’ (Grayson & Grayson, 1953), a hardback anthology edited by Groff Conklin, with luring cover-art showing a space-suited figure surveying a cratered lunar landscape. Inside, there was HP Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out Of Space”, Alan E Nourse, Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury, but it was London who left the greatest impression on my adolescent mind. Reviewing the book, ‘Authentic Science Fiction Monthly’ (no.44, April 1954) observes that ‘one very interesting point about it is that it contains a story by Jack London; few people outside the field of science fiction would have believed that this intensely sane lunatic and honoured writer had ever had anything to do with science fiction. Now they’ll know! This book should definitely be on your shelves.’
If science fiction is the genre that hauled itself up by its own disreputable bootstraps, these were its most representative pioneers. Edgar Rice Burroughs ‘A Princess Of Mars’ was published in 1917, a full decade after Jack London’s ‘Before Adam’ (1906) and ‘The Iron Heel’ (1907). Yet both were men who fought their way up to celebrity through the sheer power of their imaginations. Neither came from a literary or privileged background. Burroughs created ‘Tarzan’, one of great twentieth-century myth-figures, which made him wealthy. But Jack London was the better writer. And both wrote across a wide spectrum of themes, a necessary prerequisite of earning a living from the magazine scene of the time.
Jack’s single-parent mother – Flora Wellman, later married John London, and he took his stepfather’s name. He left school at fifteen to work in a cannery. At the time, acquisitive Corporations were laying legal claim to previously publically-owned oyster-beds, forcing those who lived off the Bay to become ‘pirates’. Jack joined them. Later, after a sealing expedition to the NW Pacific his socialist ideas were kindled by joining ‘Kelly’s Army’ – a kind of American Jarrow March, which resulted in him spending time in Eyrie County Penitentiary. As his earliest literary attempts were failing, he joined the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, among rogues, cheats and charlatans, and while he found no gold, he happened upon veins of fiction-themes worth infinitely more. He stumbled across his niche writing rugged tales of dogs, wolves and the Alaskan frontier. All of his life-experience combining to razor his story-telling skills, so that on his return to California he sold “An Odyssey Of The North” (1899) to ‘Atlantic Monthly’. This was subsequently expanded into a story-collection – ‘The Son Of The Wolf’ (1900), after which, although his picaresque adventures continued, writing would remain his main source of income.
The dignified proprietors of the periodicals he contributed to may have been initially disturbed by the popularity of the occasional proto-SF stories they published as novelties, but they were quick to swallow their dismay and capitalise on their success. London’s novel ‘Before Adam’ started out as a serial in the popular ‘Everybody’s Magazine’ (1906-1907). Like HG Wells’ “A Story Of The Stone Age” – serialised in ‘The Idler’ during 1897, it was a trip into prehistory. Using the Race-Memory device of a city-boy dreaming himself into the consciousness of a hominid member of the Cave People, the story powerfully evokes the primeval mid-Pleistocene atmosphere of this ‘Younger World’. The character names – Lop-Ear the Swift One, Cross-Eyes or Red-Eye, even anticipate those of his future Santa Rosan tribe in their new savagery. Allying his vision with his Klondike experience, in “A Relic Of The Pliocene” (‘Collier’s Magazine’, January 1901) a Yukon gold prospector discovers a live Mastodon. The story was rescued and reprinted – as “The Angry Mammoth”, in ‘The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction’ as late as May 1959. While his earliest tale with SF elements – “A Thousand Deaths” (in ‘The Black Cat’, May 1899), had sufficient strengths to also be reprinted by the same magazine (September 1967). It concerns a cold-hearted lone scientist who uses his own son in torture-like revivification experiments, until the son invents a superweapon that dematerialises the scientist, ‘puff! It was like the wind sighing among the pines. He was gone.’
And there was other if-onlying. HG Wells’ novella “The Invisible Man” was first serialised in 1897 in ‘Pearson’s Magazine’. Picking up on the concept, London’s “The Shadow And The Flash” followed in ‘The Bookman’ (June 1903), in which two of the narrator’s friends – Lloyd Inwood and Paul Tichlorne, have been fierce rivals since childhood. Both compete in the task of achieving invisibility. Paul succeeds in making his dog invisible, through injecting it with transparency reagents. Lloyd makes his entire laboratory disappear from view by painting it with absolute light-absorbing black. Then, brush-stroke by brush-stroke, bodily-member by bodily-member, he is himself painted and gradually vanishes from sight. The two men are so enraged by each other’s success that they fight – both invisible, and kill each other.
While SF academic John Clute claims ‘The Iron Heel’ (1908) to be ‘the most vivid and important SF novel of the year’ it was ‘one of the many early-20th-century SF novels about conflict between Capital and Labour’, yet it is the only one of its time still to be read. The novel, in the form of the ‘Everhard Manuscript’ – discovered, and annotated, in the future, spans an arc of years. In 1912 (the story goes) the Socialists win the American elections, but are barred from taking office. ‘Revolution, chaos, and war ensue’ (in ‘Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia’, 1995). The future-history, telling how socialist revolutionaries struggle against a fascist-style ‘Oligarchy’ dictatorship, extends through until 2632.
London’s strangely-titled short story “The Dream Of Debs” – first published in the January 1909 edition of ‘The International Socialist Review’, covers similar terrain. Less a story – less a SF story even though it projects events into an alternative imagined future, it’s more a political tract charting the course of a working-class General Strike devised by a labour leader called Eugene V Debs, illustrating that real power lies with the supposedly powerless. An instructional warning showing the truth that in this labour-intensive era, social balance is precariously structured on inequality. As told by narrator Corf, at first the disruption caused by the Strike is a minor inconvenience for the ruling class – there are no olives for the cocktails, and the chauffeur is promptly dismissed for siding with the Chauffeurs Union. Oddly, Bertie Messener – who ‘had never done a tap of productive work in his life’, argues that there’s no real moral dimension to the Strike, that it’s simply a quid pro quo for the smashing of the American Federation of Labour and the various underhand manipulations that employers have used to break individual unions and union actions.
From a twenty-first century point of view – accustomed to instant global communications, it’s stranger that, without newspapers and with telegraph wires cut, there’s no awareness of conditions outside the immediate area. Isolated, as food shortages set in there’s a farcical trip into the countryside intent on killing a cow to obtain meat, which ends in a beating. Martial law is declared as the upper-classes flee beleaguered San Francisco, their servants deserting them on the way. Order collapses. The objective is nothing short of starving the ruling class into complete submission, as ‘millionaires and paupers fought side by side for the food’. With the total capitulation of the employers, order, of a kind, resumes. But now begins the tyranny of organised labour. The story closes with the first counter-revolutionary grumbles that ‘something must be done’.
“The Strength Of The Strong” (‘Hampton’s Magazine’, March 1911) is an even more thinly-disguised Socialist lesson, recycling the same narrative-structure London had used with “The Scarlet Plague”, in which an oldster – this time in prehistory, recites tales of past-times to sceptical youngsters. Long-Beard and Deer-Runner debate how the initially separate family groups of the valley discover their collective tribal strength only when faced by invasion, but how that unity is then corrupted by the growth of internal power-structures. Restoration of that initial clarity of vision remains a hope for the days to come. Almost a ludicrously simplified thumbnail social history, with its promise of a future should sanity prevail, it remains too message-heavy to be a convincing fiction.
Yet despite this vision, London is not entirely free of the prejudices of his time. It would be unrealistic to expect otherwise. His story “The Unparalleled Invasion” – which debuted in the July 1910 issue of ‘McClures’ magazine, is particularly disturbing. Regarding the Chinese, he writes ‘the fabric of their minds were woven from totally different stuffs. They were mental aliens.’ Yet ‘China was to be feared, not in war, but in commerce.’ According to the future history he plots, China is guided by Japan, until a 1922 war drives the Japanese home. In this strange alternate twentieth-century there is no Hiroshima, instead ‘exit Japan from the world drama. Thereafter she devoted herself to art, and her task became to please the world greatly with her creation of wonder and beauty.’ Well, there’s Honda, perhaps! There’s no Vietnam War either, instead – by 1970, with no Mao and no one-child-per-couple policy, China’s relentless population expansion under their Emperor takes them into French Indo-China, effortlessly brushing French resistance aside (although why French imperial power has any more moral right to be there is not questioned). The United Powers of The Great Truce are so concerned by China’s unchecked growth that they adopt a plan advanced by minor scientist Jacobus Laningdale in his Presidential audience of 19th September 1975. By the following May world fleets and armies converge to encircle China, which is bombed by tubes releasing ‘every virulent form of infectious death’ including smallpox, scarlet fever, Black Death plus the spontaneous hybridisation of new plague-germs. The obvious problem of containment is resolved by the naval and military blockade ensuring no-one escapes the continent-wide charnel-house that results.
It’s a nasty story, even though the 17 April 1987 Convention of Copenhagen subsequently bans the ‘laboratory methods of warfare they had employed in the invasion of China’. As a SF prediction of germ-warfare, it shows ‘old war was made a thing of laughter’, outmoded the by ultra-modern ‘war of the scientist and the laboratory.’ By London’s fictional 1982 the vast empty wastes of China are resettled by ‘a vast and happy intermingling of nationalities.’ Could that be possible following such appalling genocide? With the guilt-stain legacy of ethnic cleansing, Nazi exterminations, as well as Stalin and the Native American atrocities acting as scars on global conscience it’s difficult to see how ‘the splendid mechanical, intellectual and art output that followed’ could happen. But perhaps that’s to elevate the slight tale beyond its natural pulp origins.
And it’s not as if Jack London was alone in his warnings about the ‘Yellow Peril’. It was not an uncommon theme. MP Shiel’s popular ‘The Yellow Danger’ (1898) played upon the same racial fears. While Philip Francis Nowlan’s ‘Armageddon 2419AD’ (August 1928) – the story later adapted to introduce ‘Buck Rodgers’ into comic-strip legend, portrays a future-America conquered by the Chinese. London’s compensatory belief in a socialist future in which national and racial divisions cease to be as important as the global human family, serves to lift him above such accusations.
And there are at least two more mitigating examples. London’s “The Heathen” (‘Everybody’s Magazine’, August 1910) draws on his nautical experience – the narrator is a pearl buyer. He’s on board the over-laden ‘Petite Jeanne’, heavy with an excess of passengers, which runs foul of the advancing storm centre of a vividly described hurricane. For those in peril ‘they were not seas at all. They resembled no sea a man had ever seen.’ Then in a free conversational style, ‘no, it is beyond me’ he concedes, ‘it would have been better had I stuck to my original intention of not attempting a description.’ Shipwrecked, he’s thrown together with the only other survivor, Otoo, the Heathen, a native of Borabora. Becoming lifelong loyal friends, the two establish mutual respect to the extent of the ceremony of ‘exchanging names’. Tokenistic maybe, but Otoo is described in every way as an exceptionally admirable character. While London demonstrates command of the techniques and strategies of the thuggish fight-game, as Norman Mailer would, in “The Mexican” (‘Saturday Evening Post’, 19 August 1911). Danny Ward fights ‘for money and for the easy ways of life that money would bring,’ while plucky contender Rivera fought to raise finance for the socialist Mexican revolution, with all his ‘blazing and terrible visions’. London not only perfectly captures the calculated dialogue of the fight promoters, but the implacable mindset of the Mexican too, and the pure hatred of gringos – focused on his opponent in the ring, that powers his fight. Despite taking a terrible punishing beating, it is the heroic underdog who earns the reader’s sympathies. Both stories also demonstrate the range of Jack London’s fiction.
His third and last novel-length foray into Science-Fantasy, ‘The Star Rover’ (1915) is partly based on interviews with Ed Morrell, a real-life former Death Row convict in San Quentin whose pardon London actively campaigned for. Morrell claimed to have experienced a disassociation of mind from body in prison while enduring torture. In London’s version of the events it is Darrell Standing, a university professor, who is the victim of ‘the jacket’, a total sensory-deprivation device from which he escapes by entering a trance-state that allows him access to interstellar realms and partial incarnation into past lives. Through this fictional guise ‘I was bound on vast adventure, where, at the end, I would find all the cosmic formulae and have made clear to me the ultimate secret of the universe.’ It also allows him to inhabit a succession of separate sequences strung together along the common theme, including a French nobleman called Count Guillame de Sainte-Maure, Adam Strang – an Englishman in medieval Korea, and Ragnar Lodbrog, a Norseman journeying from Alexandria to Jerusalem at the time of Tiberius. It’s through the considerable power of these transmigrations through time that London achieves his elusive balance between fine fiction, and agitation for social justice. Morrell was released, and became an occasional guest at London’s ‘Beauty Ranch’ in Sonoma County. The place where John Griffith ‘Jack’ London died.
Although the imaginative writers of the time couldn’t have been aware of it, a new genre was coming into being all around them, taking a blowtorch to all the affectations and pretences of great literature, making the slippery divisions between genre and literary fiction ridiculous and arbitrary. During the new century’s first decade, Jules Verne died (1905) and Hugo Gernsback, recently emigrated from Luxembourg to America, launched ‘Modern Electrics’ magazine (in 1908), the pulp predecessor to ‘Amazing Stories’. The future was already being written. In a rapid succession of years HG Wells’ ‘When The Sleeper Wakes’ (1899), MP Shiel’s ‘The Purple Cloud’ (1901), Jules Verne’s ‘Master Of The World’ (1904), Edwin L Arnold’s ‘Gulliver Of Mars’ (1905), and EM Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’ (1909) were extending the themes of fiction into new worlds of the imagination. Jack London was part of this process. And if Orwell’s dystopias were anticipated by ‘The Iron Heel’, London’s freewheeling prose-travelogues also carry trace-elements to be picked up by Jack Kerouac’s Beat ‘On The Road’ (1957) style.
Jack London was the unschooled outsider writer. A man who wrote himself into literary history through only his creative and diverse energies. Yet his fiction is still being read. And it’s still worth reading.
(12 January 1876 – 22 November 1916)
1895 – Who Believes In Ghosts! (‘The (Oakland) High School Aegis’ 21 October 1895), Damon and George trade tall tales
1899 – An Odyssey Of The North (‘Atlantic Monthly’, 1899), a man of mixed white and Aleut ancestry
1899 – The White Silence (‘Overland Monthly’, February 1899)
1899 – A Thousand Deaths (‘The Black Cat’, May 1899, then ‘The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction’, September 1967), his first story with SF elements, and his first sale for which he received $40
1899 – In A Far Country (‘Overland Monthly’, June 1899)
1899 – The Rejuvenation Of Major Rathbone (‘Conkey’s Home Journal’, November 1899), a story involving a ‘rejuvenator’ extracted from a ‘lymph compound’
1900 – Even Unto Death (‘The San Francisco Evening Post Magazine’, 28 July 1900)
1900 – The Man With The Gash (‘McClure’s Magazine’, September 1900)
1901 – The Law Of Life (‘McClure’s Magazine Vol.16’, March 1901), ageing Native American chief Kaskoosh is abandoned by his tribe, to die alone, he reflects on his life as predatory wolves circle
1901 – A Relic Of The Pliocene (‘Collier’s’, 12 January 1901), reprinted ‘The Angry Mammoth’ in ‘The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction’, May 1959, and ‘Venture SF (UK)’ October 1964)
1901 – The God Of His Fathers (‘McClure’s’, May 1901)
1901 – The Minions Of Midas (‘Pearson’s Magazine’, May 1901)
1902 – The Death Of Ligoun (‘The Children Of The Frost’, Macmillan, 1902)
1902 – Bâtard (‘Cosmopolitan’, June 1902), also published as ‘Diable’, the story of a French-Canadian who brutalises his dog, which eventually retaliates and kills him
1902 – Moon-Face (‘The Argonaut’, 21 July 1902), the unnamed protagonist trains his dog to retrieve thrown sticks, then uses it to dynamite moon-faced John Claverhouse, the subject of his irrational hatred
1902 – In The Forests Of The North (‘Pearson’s Magazine’, September 1902)
1902 – Keesh, The Son Of Keesh (‘Ainslee’s Magazine’, September 1902, collected into Jack London’s ‘Thirteen Tales Of Terror’, Popular Library, July 1978)
1903 – The One Thousand Dozen (collected into ‘The Faith Of Men And Other Stories’ by Jack London, Macmillan and Co, 1904)
1903 – The Shadow And The Flash (‘The Bookman’, June 1903, reprinted in ‘Famous Fantastic Mysteries’, June 1948)
1903 – The Leopard Man’s Story (‘Leslie’s Magazine’, August 1903), the animal-trainer tells stories of death and jealousy in a tent-show
1905 – A Raid On The Oyster Pirates (‘The Youth’s Companion’, 16 March 1905 and ‘The Pall Mall Magazine’ Volume 35, 1905)
1906 – Planchette (‘Moon-Face And Other Stories’ by Jack London, The Macmillan Company)
1908 – To Build A Fire (‘The Century Magazine’, then ‘Some Things Weird And Wicked’ edited by Joan Kahn, Bantam Books), trailered by an earlier version published in ‘The Youth’s Companion’ in 1902, it is set in the Klondike where a newcomer ignores advice, travels alone, and falls into a frozen creek, so that his survival depends on his ability to light a warming fire
1908 – The Enemy Of All the World (‘The Red Book Magazine’, October1908), a lone genius invents a super-weapon and terrorises the world
1908 – Goliah (‘The Red Magazine’, December1908), a ‘scientific superman’ inaugurates a millennium of international socialism by mastering an ultimate energy-source called ‘energon’, which makes him master of the world’s fate
1908 – A Curious Fragment (‘Town Topics (New York)’ 10 December 1908), one of the ruling 28th-century oligarchs encounters a severed arm bearing a petition from his industrial slaves
1908 – Lost Face (‘New York Herald’ 13 December, reprinted in ‘A Treasury Of American Horror Stories’, Bonanza Books, 1985)
1909 – The Dream Of Debs (‘The International Socialist Review’, January 1909, then ‘The Strength Of The Strong’ Jack London collection, Mills & Boon 1917)
1909 – The Seed Of McCoy (‘Turning Point: Fourteen Great Tales of Daring and Decision’ edit by George Bennett, Dell Laurel-Leaf 1965)
1910 – The Unparalleled Invasion (‘McClures’ July 1910, then ‘Gamma no.11’ October 1966, and ‘The Science Fiction Stories Of Jack London’, Citadel Press 1993)
1910 – The Heathen (‘Everybody’s Magazine’, August 1910)
1910 – Winged Blackmail (in ‘The Night-Born’ by Jack London, Century Co, February 1913)
1910 – When The World Was Young (‘The Saturday Evening Post’, 10 September 1910), a ‘magnificent… yellow-haired’ savage shares the body of a successful California businessman
1911 – The “Francis Spaight” (‘When The God Laughs And Other Stories’ by Jack London, The Macmillan Company)
1911 – The Strength Of The Strong (‘Hampton’s Magazine’, March 1911)
1911 – The Eternity Of Forms (‘The Red Book Magazine’, March 1911)
1911 – The First Poet (‘Century Magazine’, June 1911)
1911 – War (‘The Nation’, 29 July 1911)
1911 – The Mexican (‘The Saturday Evening Post’, 19 August 1911)
1912 – The Scarlet Plague (‘London Magazine’ June 1912, reprinted in ‘Out Of This World’ May 1944, Penguin and elsewhere, including ‘The Science Fiction Of Jack London’ Gregg Press 1975, ‘Strange Travels In Science Fiction’ edited by Groff Conklin, Grayson & Grayson, 1953, and ‘Omnibus Of Science Fiction’ edited by Groff Conklin, Chatham River Press, 1984)
1918 – The Red One (‘Cosmopolitan’ October 1918), an isolated tribal society in Guadalcanal turns a mysterious outer space sphere into the centerpiece of a death cult, of which scientist Bassett falls victim. Based on London’s interest in the psychoanalytical ideas of Carl Gustav Jung
1959 – The Strange Love-Challenge Of Big-Girl Island (‘Man’s Conquest’ magazine, July 1959) cover-blurbed as ‘Never Before Published! Jack London's Lustiest True Adventure’
1967 – A Piece Of Steak (‘The Edge Of The Chair’ edit by Joan Kahn, Harper and Row), a boxing story
1983 – Im Jahre 33 (Published in German in ‘Der Feind Der Welt’ June 1983, extracted from a chapter of ‘The Star Rover’ as originally featured in ‘American Sunday Monthly Magazine’ July 1910)
1985 – Make Westing (‘Mysterious Sea Stories’, January 1985, edited by William Pattrick, WH Allen)
1998 – A Ghostly Duel (‘The Mammoth Book of 20th Century Ghost Stories’ edit by Peter Haining, Robinson Publ)
2003 – In Yeddo Bay (‘The National Review Treasury Of Classic Children’s Literature’ edit William F Buckley Jrn)
2003 – To Repel Boarders (‘The National Review Treasury Of Classic Children’s Literature’ edit William F Buckley Jrn)
2005 – ‘The Collected Science Fiction And Fantasy Of Jack London 1: Before Adam And Other Stories’ (Leonaur, ISBN: 1846770084) with ‘The Scarlet Plague’, ‘A Relic Of The Pliocene’, ‘When The World Was Young’, ‘The Red One’, ‘Planchette’, ‘A Thousand Deaths, ‘Goliah’, ‘A Curious Fragment’, ‘The Rejuvenation Of Major Rathbone’
2005 – ‘The Collected Science Fiction And Fantasy Of Jack London 2: The Iron Heel And Other Stories’ (Leonaur, ISBN: 1846770041) with ‘The Enemy Of All The World’, ‘The Shadow And The Flash’, ‘The Strength Of The Strong’, ‘The Unparalleled Invasion’, ‘The Dream Of Debs’
2005 – ‘The Collected Science Fiction And Fantasy Of Jack London 3: The Star Rover And Other Stories’ (Leonaur, ISBN: 1846770067) with ‘The Minions Of Midas’, ‘The Eternity Of Forms’, ‘The Man With The Gash’