ON TOPIC - WEIRD PLAGUES

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ON TOPIC - WEIRD PLAGUES

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1paradoxosalpha
març 27, 2020, 10:30am

Weird literature has a lot of cultural resources for us in a time of pandemic and threatening socio-economic collapse. Lots of people are reading The Stand these days, or at least recollecting it. I was just reflecting on James Morrow's The Eternal Footman. What other books suit the moment?

2AndreasJ
Editat: març 27, 2020, 11:24am

A plague both sets off the action and provides the climax to CAS's "The Isle of the Torturers".

3ghr4
març 27, 2020, 11:49am

Poe’s short story The Masque of Red Death of course.

4KentonSem
Editat: març 27, 2020, 12:05pm

Harry Harrison's Plague From Space is one of those oh-so-thin Bantam paperbacks that's basically a horrific medical thriller with SF touches.



Before Captain Trips came along, Stephen King wrote about the devastating A6 flu in "Night Surf", found in the Night Shift collection.

5paradoxosalpha
març 27, 2020, 12:35pm

I don't think The Andromeda Strain is very weird, but it is virulent.

6elenchus
Editat: març 27, 2020, 1:04pm

I suspect I've not read many of these books, and found a 2014 Guardian article on plague fiction with a list of notable titles. I was correct that I've not read any.

Here's another from LitHub. It mentions Joe Hill's The Fireman, which seems a bit Weird.

ETA How many zombie stories are predicated on a virus of some sort?

7KentonSem
març 27, 2020, 1:15pm

Do the V-symbionts in The Laundry Files count?

>6 elenchus:

I thought of the multitude of zombie stories, too. I'd guess that the majority of them at least hint at some kind of virus as the cause.

8KentonSem
març 27, 2020, 1:24pm

Just remembered John Shirley's gruesome Crawlers, featuring a deadly nanotech plague. It's a lot of fun.

9dukedom_enough
març 27, 2020, 1:27pm

Does H. P. Lovecraft have any stories that use plagues? There's lots of uncleanness, and baleful influences, but I can't recall anything that depends on actual diseases.

10paradoxosalpha
març 27, 2020, 4:29pm

Maybe "The Colour Out of Space" comes closest?

"Ormond involves a member of a sinister secret brotherhood. That and Arthur Mervyn both describe the plague of yellow fever, which the author had witnessed in Philadelphia and New York." --Supernatural Horror in Literature

11AndreasJ
març 28, 2020, 4:02am

>9 dukedom_enough:

Not really a plague story, but "The Last Test" features a doctor seeking a cure for all fevers.

Now I sort of wish I'd nominated it for the season's Deep Ones.

12WeeTurtle
Editat: març 28, 2020, 5:32am

Not so much a plague I guess (though maybe if we consider animal transmitters) but this situation has reminded me of a short story I read in "On Spec" magazine a while back. I forget the title, but still have the issue around at my mom's place. It was a short bit about a young guy who drunkenly makes his way to his friend's older sister's house. Story aside, she lets him stay because he's so plastered that he'll probably forget to go through the safety routine when entering and leaving houses and "let one of them in." The author describes how clothes are duct-taped shut around hands and shoes and people wear masks or nets, etc. Apparently there's some virus that is passed through mosquitoes that are now rampant. I don't think it's every said just what, exactly, except that its now part of the routine of living.

13KentonSem
març 29, 2020, 1:33pm

Just ran across "King Pest"by Mr. Poe.

14housefulofpaper
març 29, 2020, 1:36pm

how about The Purple Cloud by M. P. Shiel