The White Plague by Frank Herbert

The White Plague

The White Plague by Frank Herbert

Originally Published: 1982



The White Plague by Frank Herbert.

It was written in 1982 as science fiction. That, in itself, is scary.

When an IRA bomb explodes, killing his wife and two children, molecular biologist John Roe O’Neil goes a little crazy.  He creates a virus that is carried by man, but kills only women.  He releases it in Ireland, England and Libya.  His demands to the world are to send all citizens of those three countries back to them, and let the plague take what he has lost.  If not, he will release more plagues.  He travels to Ireland where he plans to infiltrate the lab where they are working on a cure so that he can sabotage their results.  However, the Irish know he is coming.

Countries are scrambling.  They are hiding their women.  

This is a scary book, because you can see it happening.  Yes, science fiction in 1982, but is it now?  It is quite simply bio-terrorism, and if you consider it as possible, it is scary as hell. Herbert detailed what may happen in a society where a plague could be released.  The way the governments of the countries respond to the plague is plausible.  Not all the countries agree on the same plan.  I can see that happening, can’t you?

Wonderful, thought-provoking book.

Re-Read: September 2016


About the Author:  Frank Herbert,  was first a journalist, then a photographer in WWII, then short stories, and finally started writing science fiction.  His best-selling Dune series sold millions.  His son, Brian Herbert, followed in his footsteps.


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