The Iron Heel (1908) is considered one of the earliest novels of modern Dystopian Fiction, which would lead to works later known as Soft Science Fiction. Jack London, a socialist himself, portrays America under tyrannical rule. It is based on Avis Everhard's fictional "Everhard Manuscript" and was written by London as a woman's first person narrative, not a common writing style at the time. [Note that "philomath" (chapter V) is a Greek word meaning lover of learning.] The book's epigraph:
“At first, this Earth, a stage so gloomed with woe
You almost sicken at the shifting of the scenes.
And yet be patient. Our Playwright may show
In some fifth act what this Wild Drama means.”
Return to the Jack London library.