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The Collected Science Fiction and Fantasy of Jack London 2: The Iron Heel And Other Stories

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Renowned as a writer of classic adventure stories such as The Call of the Wild and White Fang, Jack London also had a parallel career as a writer of science fiction and fantasy. In Leonaur's three volume, The Collected Science Fiction & Fantasy of Jack London, his SF and fantasy novels and shorter works are brought together for the first time. In the early twentieth centur Renowned as a writer of classic adventure stories such as The Call of the Wild and White Fang, Jack London also had a parallel career as a writer of science fiction and fantasy. In Leonaur's three volume, The Collected Science Fiction & Fantasy of Jack London, his SF and fantasy novels and shorter works are brought together for the first time. In the early twentieth century the USA diverged from the path of the history we know. Viewed from 800 years in the future, through the pages of an ancient manuscript, we learn that huge business conglomerates became all powerful, and ordinary people little more than slaves - the property of a despotic regime that controlled their lives. Those savage and inhuman times are vividly depicted in The Iron Heel, one of Jack London's finest novels. Also in this volume are five shorter works that demonstrate both the scope of London's imagination and his concern for the future of our world.


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Renowned as a writer of classic adventure stories such as The Call of the Wild and White Fang, Jack London also had a parallel career as a writer of science fiction and fantasy. In Leonaur's three volume, The Collected Science Fiction & Fantasy of Jack London, his SF and fantasy novels and shorter works are brought together for the first time. In the early twentieth centur Renowned as a writer of classic adventure stories such as The Call of the Wild and White Fang, Jack London also had a parallel career as a writer of science fiction and fantasy. In Leonaur's three volume, The Collected Science Fiction & Fantasy of Jack London, his SF and fantasy novels and shorter works are brought together for the first time. In the early twentieth century the USA diverged from the path of the history we know. Viewed from 800 years in the future, through the pages of an ancient manuscript, we learn that huge business conglomerates became all powerful, and ordinary people little more than slaves - the property of a despotic regime that controlled their lives. Those savage and inhuman times are vividly depicted in The Iron Heel, one of Jack London's finest novels. Also in this volume are five shorter works that demonstrate both the scope of London's imagination and his concern for the future of our world.

48 review for The Collected Science Fiction and Fantasy of Jack London 2: The Iron Heel And Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Warren Fournier

    Jack London's world of sci-fi is quite bleak, from a man's obsessive torture of the last mammoth for accidentally stepping on his dog, to two scientists willing to murder over the secret of invisibility, to the gruesome delivery of a severed arm as a gift to a corrupt 25th century cotton magnate, to the gleeful genocide of the Chinese population through biological warfare. "The Iron Heel" falls right in line with this cynical view of humans and their inheritance, and is a stark contrast to other Jack London's world of sci-fi is quite bleak, from a man's obsessive torture of the last mammoth for accidentally stepping on his dog, to two scientists willing to murder over the secret of invisibility, to the gruesome delivery of a severed arm as a gift to a corrupt 25th century cotton magnate, to the gleeful genocide of the Chinese population through biological warfare. "The Iron Heel" falls right in line with this cynical view of humans and their inheritance, and is a stark contrast to other sci-fi works of the era that depict brawny and brainy inventors building spaceships and ray guns to blast both earthly and otherworldly baddies. In fact, this novel is far too real. Do not be misled or put off by other reviews that "The Iron Heel" is all about the evils of capitalism. London's main focus is the concentration of power within a very small class of elites. Few can successfully argue that we are not seeing the results of Oligarchy in our own country over the past 40 years, and this novel brilliantly outlines how such a thing happens and the consequences. The destruction of the Middle Class, the economic drive for a ruling class to push world trade on its nation, the manipulation of the press to keep the mass population asleep, the political use of "Antifa"-style groups and tactics, all eerily comes together in a work that is over a century old but is shockingly current to the modern reader. Some reviews complain about the amount of footnotes, but I see them as critical. Many of the notes in the first part are about real historical events, and are very educational, in addition to strengthening London's intellectual arguments for his socialist-leaning economics and futurist predictions. This work may not leave you singing Socialist anthems, but will certainly keep you much more aware of the politics around you. A must read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Potter

    I had never read any of Jack London's works before. Now that I've read this one, I'm very tempted to read some more. This is exactly the kind of thorough examination, with perfectly viable examples, of why capitalism does not work. The characters and their stories are made up, but they are mirror images of so many people in our world today. Given that this book was first published in 1908, I first thought it was amazing how accurately London portrays all parties in the capitalist game of today. I had never read any of Jack London's works before. Now that I've read this one, I'm very tempted to read some more. This is exactly the kind of thorough examination, with perfectly viable examples, of why capitalism does not work. The characters and their stories are made up, but they are mirror images of so many people in our world today. Given that this book was first published in 1908, I first thought it was amazing how accurately London portrays all parties in the capitalist game of today. As I consider it though, it seems that he is simply telling the story that has played out time and again - the inevitable corruption of power in a capitalist society. As I read the novel, I couldn't help wishing that the average Westerner would read it as well - especially those who seem to think that capitalism "gives them the freedom to be successful if they're willing to work hard." Unfortunately, hard work has much less to do with success than does luck of being born into a family of influence. Sadly, the average Westerner is so brainwashed into thinking that capitalism is working for them, they are completely unwilling to even consider other alternatives. This book presents the true driving force of capitalism and how it suppresses the common sense of the masses in order to sustain itself. It shows, with examples, why so-called "conspiracy theories" are not implausible (as capitalists would have us believe), but inevitable and necessary to keep a capitalist system from collapsing. This is the book that inspired Orwell's 1984, and sadly most of the governments of our time. As a side-note, this book is in the public domain and is available as an eBook (several formats) on Project Gutenberg. Therefore, there are no excuses for not reading it!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    The free kindle version I had contained only The Iron Heel. The Iron Heel depicts a kind of alternate history, where the socialist movement is strong enough to pose a legitimate threat to capitalism in the early 1900s. Written in the form of a dairy, the protagonist, Avis, describes her relationship with her husband, socialist leader Ernest, and then the violent struggle of the early stages of the socialist movement. Scattered throughout the novel are footnotes from hundreds of years in the futur The free kindle version I had contained only The Iron Heel. The Iron Heel depicts a kind of alternate history, where the socialist movement is strong enough to pose a legitimate threat to capitalism in the early 1900s. Written in the form of a dairy, the protagonist, Avis, describes her relationship with her husband, socialist leader Ernest, and then the violent struggle of the early stages of the socialist movement. Scattered throughout the novel are footnotes from hundreds of years in the future, when socialist ideals are a given. One of the earliest dystopias I've read, I think The Iron Heel is fascinating in terms of how it forms a political dystopia. I certainly see links between this work and 1984. Anyone who is interested in reading early forms of dystopia or fictionalized versions of socialism would find this interesting to read. The protagonist, Avis, can be a bit vapid at first, but by the end she's kicking some ass, though still only with the help of men. And the responses from the capitalists were often unbelievable. However, still quite interesting to read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bhakta Jim

    Many reviewers have compared this to Atlas Shrugged, although it is a defense of Socialism, not Capitalism. Add me to that list. Judging this solely as a work of literature, it isn't great. There are way too many footnotes and not much story. However, some of the footnotes serve a purpose. They remind us that the oligarchs back when this novel was written were brutal enough that the future that London predicted must have seemed plausible to his readers. The footnotes speak of actual events, like Many reviewers have compared this to Atlas Shrugged, although it is a defense of Socialism, not Capitalism. Add me to that list. Judging this solely as a work of literature, it isn't great. There are way too many footnotes and not much story. However, some of the footnotes serve a purpose. They remind us that the oligarchs back when this novel was written were brutal enough that the future that London predicted must have seemed plausible to his readers. The footnotes speak of actual events, like the Supreme Court deciding that child labor laws were unconstitutional, the Haymarket riots, etc.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

    Stupid Communist Mills & Boon, don't bother...read it for a laugh if you are bored....Behold Ernest EVERHARD...what kind a post-modern Porn name is that? lol. You would have to be obsessed with homo-erotic communist crap to really think this is anything other than a Commie-Homosexual-fantasy! WE laughed at the entire book from beginning to end. My gay actor friend did all the voices for the book while reading bits of it out loud in an overly serious BBC radio voice....this can only work if it is Stupid Communist Mills & Boon, don't bother...read it for a laugh if you are bored....Behold Ernest EVERHARD...what kind a post-modern Porn name is that? lol. You would have to be obsessed with homo-erotic communist crap to really think this is anything other than a Commie-Homosexual-fantasy! WE laughed at the entire book from beginning to end. My gay actor friend did all the voices for the book while reading bits of it out loud in an overly serious BBC radio voice....this can only work if it is an extreme satire on communist homo-erotic repressed lit. hiding behind an equally absurd political repressive ideas! hahaha. www.ceciliayu.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Fantastic stuff. Dystopian novel. Very well written. Author had obviously gone to great lengths to present a view of society from a socialist perspective through his character Ernest Everhard who argues against various classes of people that society can no longer progress as it currently is, later he partakes in the revolution. I would suggest it is a read on a par with Brave New World, We, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984. But remember it was written before all these and like Orwell Jack London was an i Fantastic stuff. Dystopian novel. Very well written. Author had obviously gone to great lengths to present a view of society from a socialist perspective through his character Ernest Everhard who argues against various classes of people that society can no longer progress as it currently is, later he partakes in the revolution. I would suggest it is a read on a par with Brave New World, We, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984. But remember it was written before all these and like Orwell Jack London was an insider, reference People of the Abyss.

  7. 5 out of 5

    T.S. Cage

    I've read the Iron Heel and thought it was a great work of speculative political science fiction, right up there with Orwell's 1984 (and apparently its predecessor). I never read the other stories. I've read the Iron Heel and thought it was a great work of speculative political science fiction, right up there with Orwell's 1984 (and apparently its predecessor). I never read the other stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lennellson

    I read this as a very young woman and it made a big impression on me. I want to re-read it to see if it changes my opinions that I now hold as a very conservative preson.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    The Iron Heel was a great story, the other stories I could've done without. I seem to remember one being shockingly racist. The Iron Heel was a great story, the other stories I could've done without. I seem to remember one being shockingly racist.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Oswalt

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

  13. 4 out of 5

    S.C. Flynn

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adam D. Morris

  15. 5 out of 5

    John P.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edward Hackett

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  21. 4 out of 5

    William

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lane92679

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  24. 4 out of 5

    RJHall

  25. 4 out of 5

    David

  26. 5 out of 5

    Miles Ripley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tom Anderson

  28. 5 out of 5

    John Ervin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ray Packham

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  31. 4 out of 5

    Erik Knight

  32. 5 out of 5

    Tess

  33. 5 out of 5

    Katie Hovland

  34. 5 out of 5

    Christopher York

  35. 5 out of 5

    David

  36. 5 out of 5

    Bill Reeves

  37. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  38. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

  39. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  40. 5 out of 5

    Chad Showalter

  41. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Penrose

  42. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

  43. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

  44. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  45. 5 out of 5

    Cardinal Casey

  46. 5 out of 5

    Vik Tor

  47. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

  48. 4 out of 5

    Marta Oliynyk

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