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An instant classic upon its original publication in 1949 and winner of the first International Fantasy Award, Earth Abides ranks with On the Beach and Riddley Walker as one of our most provocative and finely wrought post-apocalyptic works of literature. Its impact is still fresh, its lessons timeless. 

With an introduction by Connie Willis

When a plague of unprecedented virulence sweeps the globe, the human race is all but wiped out. In the aftermath, as the great machine of civilization slowly and inexorably breaks down, only a few shattered survivors remain to struggle against the slide into barbarism . . . or extinction.

This is the story of one such survivor, Isherwood “Ish” Williams, an intellectual loner who embraces the grim duty of bearing witness to what may be humanity’s final days. But then he finds Em, a wise and courageous woman who coaxes his stunned heart back to life and teaches him to hope again. Together, they will face unimaginable challenges as they sow the seeds of a new beginning.

Praise for Earth Abides

“One of the finest of all post-holocaust novels.”—The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

“The book has more thought-challenging elements than a shelf full of ordinary novels.”—The Christian Science Monitor

Product Features

  • Del Rey Books

3 comments on “Earth Abides: A Novel”

  1. A Thoughtful Tale of a Devastated Culture Struggling to Survive “Men go and come, but earth abides.”For a story that was first published in 1949, Earth Abides remains relevant now more than ever. Mass plague vectored through air travel has been featured in a number of recent films (i.e. Contagion, Outbreak), TV shows, and yes, even the news. Set between the European Black Death of the late 1600s and the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s Earth Abides explores the waning hopes, hardships, and resignation of plague survivors of present-day...

  2. Space Age to Stone Age in Three Generation! Somehow I missed this great book when growing up. At the time, post apochaplal novels focused on the nuclear threat, like On the Beach were in vogue. No harm, this book is perhaps even more timely now when civilization ending threats have multiplied. Stewart obviously gave a lot of thought to the key issue, which we still face: the speed with which our technology and thus our entire culture can disappear, literally in the span of two or three generations. Down to earth and not burdened by...

  3. One Of The Best Post Apocalyptic Books EVER! I read this book back in the 1970s and thoroughly enjoyed it back then. Re-read it recently (with my girlfriend) and enjoyed it just as much the second time around.A young man (Ish) goes on a solo mountain trip in northern California for some quiet time to finish his college thesis. After several weeks of isolation, he gets bit by a rattlesnake. He gets deathly sick and after about a week of fever and delirium in his cabin, he finally gets well enough to drive down off the...

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