Best 1908 Adventures (9)

By: Joshua Glenn
February 11, 2018

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1908 adventure novels. Happy 110th anniversary!

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iron heel

Jack London’s Radium Age sci-fi novel The Iron Heel.

Between the (near-future) years of 1912 and 1932, according to the on-the-scene MS presented here by a far-future historian, an oligarchy known to its foes as the Iron Heel arose in the United States. (We learn, from the future historian, that the Iron Heel would maintain power for 300 years until a socialist revolution finally overthrew it, ushering in a utopian future society.) The Iron Heel is composed of robber barons who have bankrupted the middle class and reduced farmers to serfdom; they use mercenaries to keep laborers — in all industries except steel, rail, and others important to the oligarchs — in check. The Iron Heel has an amazing city built — it’s called Asgard, but let’s face it, it’s Google-era San Francisco — where the proles are wowed by technological advancements but prevented from advancing into the middle class.

Fun fact: Sci-fi historians believe that The Iron Heel influenced Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Whether or not that’s the case, Orwell himself described London as having made “a very remarkable prophecy of the rise of Fascism.” Serialized here at HILOBROW during 2018.

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1908 adventures that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists. The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS: 1904 | 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913. THE TEENS: 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923. THE TWENTIES: 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933. THE THIRTIES: 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943. THE FORTIES: 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953. THE FIFTIES: 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963. THE SIXTIES: 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973. THE SEVENTIES: 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

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