The Unparalleled Invasion

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"The Unparalleled Invasion"
AuthorJack London
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Short story
Published inMcClure's
Publication typeMagazine
Publication dateJuly 1910

"The Unparalleled Invasion" is a science fiction story written by Jack London. It was first published in McClure's in July 1910.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

Under the influence of Japan, China modernizes and undergoes its own version of the Meiji Reforms in the 1910s. In 1922, China breaks away from Japan and fights a brief war that culminates in the Chinese annexation of the Japanese possessions of Korea, Formosa, and Manchuria. Over the next half century, China's population steadily grows, and eventually migration overwhelms European colonies in Asia. The United States and the other Western powers launch a biological warfare campaign against China, resulting in the total destruction of China's population, the few survivors of the plague being killed out of hand by European and American troops, and China then being colonized by the Western powers. This opens the way to a joyous epoch of "splendid mechanical, intellectual, and art output". In the 1980s, war clouds once more gather between Germany and France, and the story ends with the nations of the world solemnly pledging not to use the same techniques that they had used against China.

Background and context[edit]

"The Unparalleled Invasion" was included in The Strength of the Strong, a collection of stories by London published by Macmillan in 1914,[2] which also included "The Dream of Debs", a critique of capitalist society in the US, and "The Strength of the Strong", which used a primitive background as metaphor of social injustice among men.

"The Unparalleled Invasion" has been controversial as it describes genocide as "the only possible solution to the Chinese problem", and has been cited as evidence of London's racism.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Unparalleled Invasion title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, retrieved 2015-02-04.
  2. ^ The Strength of the Strong Archived 2015-05-27 at the Wayback Machine The World of Jack London, retrieved 2015-02-04.
  3. ^ "Jack London's many sides emerge in James L. Haley's Wolf". Retrieved 2014-01-03.

External links[edit]