The White Plague

The White Plague

Book - 2007
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From Science fiction grandmaster Frank Herbert, creator of the Dune universe, comes this novel of bioterrorism and gendercide.

What if women were an endangered species?

It begins in Ireland, but soon spreads throughout the entire world: a virulent new disease expressly designed to target only women. As fully half of the human race dies off at a frightening pace and life on Earth faces extinction, panicked people and governments struggle to cope with the global crisis. Infected areas are quarantined or burned to the ground. The few surviving women are locked away in hidden reserves, while frantic doctors and scientists race to find a cure. Anarchy and violence consume the planet.

The plague is the work of a solitary individual who calls himself the Madman. As government security forces feverishly hunt for the renegade scientist, he wanders incognito through a world that will never be the same. Society, religion, and morality are all irrevocably transformed by the White Plague.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2007, ©1982
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765317735
Branch Call Number: FICTION Her
Description: 445 pages ; 21 cm


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Jul 19, 2011

I didn't enjoy this book. I loved Dune and its sequels, but this one is very depressing. Humanity starts out doomed and ends up in a similiar state, although the doomsday scenario changes.

There are glaring story flaws. For instance, in Ireland and Britain (and Libya, but we never see that), all the women die and the author never addresses who would care for the surviving male children. No where in the story is there a toddler or young child. No mention is made of who would tend the sick in hospitals and nursing homes.

All through the book, women are thought of by all characters as a resource or as a faceless mass without any individuality.

To be fair, the book is very dated. It was published in 1982, and the Troubles in Ireland are very central in the story. In these days, most Irish people seem heartily sick of that turmoil. There's lots of Catholic stuff in the story, which a lot of young Irish people would find wearisome as well.

Aug 04, 2008

Excellent story. Classic Herbert. The content continues to be relevant.


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