Published in 1949, George R. Stewart's Earth Abides tells the story of Ish, one of the few survivors of a nuclear holocaust that has destroyed America and possibly the rest of the world (although the narrative does not make this explicit). It is set in a crumbling San Francisco in the near future, and chronicles Ish's journey as he sets out to discover other survivors and rebuild a community from scratch. In its reworking of tropes characteristic of the desert island or castaway narrative, the novel may be identified as a kind of science fiction robinsonade; that is, it draws much of its meaningfulness from an intertextual connection with Defoe's foundational novel Robinson Crusoe (1719). And as a concomitant of this literary revision, it builds upon the dominant premises of Defoe's novel in its references to imperial domination, bourgeois individualism and Christian dogmatism.
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The description says the original story is a Nuclear holocaust. This is not correct. The story is that the population died from a pandemic disease.