Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Journals of the Plague Years” as Want to Read:
Journals of the Plague Years
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Journals of the Plague Years

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The future of the AIDS epidemic, written in the 1980s, so the "Plague" dare not be mentioned by its true name. Sex and death psychically linked.
A young girl who gets infected, a sincere Christian head of the sex police, a crazed infected soldier in the Army of the Living Dead, a research scientist, more or less finally save the world from the Plague by happenstance.

Nook, 0 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Norman Spinrad (first published January 1st 1990)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Journals of the Plague Years, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Journals of the Plague Years

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 212)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This book's big strength is that (in the tradition of The Handmaid's Tale) it uses SF to explore a major issue of its day were it taken to an extreme conclusion.

That may also be this book's biggest weakness, since it makes it feel somewhat dated.

I don't think it is at all a spoiler for me to say this is a story about HIV/AIDS. That much is pretty obvious from the beginning. In the afterward to this edition, the author notes that he originally stated as much in the text, but his publisher urged h
Hum...well, it was readable--interesting idea, I s'pose, with AIDs as the modern plague, and the concept is good, there's action, the (ironically) 'usual' disparate allies thrown together by some common cause/enemy to save the day in the 11th hour...all that. As I finished reading, for a bit I felt like it was maybe 4-star material...then, as the climactic ending, the warm fuzzies of all's-well-that-ends-well, started to fade from immediate memory, it slid down to more of a solid 3.

But there ar
Excellent ! J'ai vraiment adoré ce court recueil de trois novellas qui dépeignent trois futurs possibles des USA (au regard des années 1980-1990, c'est tout de même un peu daté). Si la première, "Chair à pavés", est un ton en dessous des deux autres, c'est surtout parce que les deux autres sont très très bonnes.

Les années fléaux se penchent sur une Amérique alternative ou le sida est devenu un tel problème qu'une police sexuelle est chargée de traquer les malades et de les conduire dans des zone
_Journals of the Plague Years_ by Norman Spinrad was first published in the mid 90s. Spinrad has made this book, along with many of his other books, available for purchase as an ebook.

It is a science fiction dystopian novella about a sexually transmitted plague. Think AIDS, but more devastating to society.

Some of the dystopian fiction I've read seems somewhat hackneyed. Spinrad avoids this by the structure of the novella: the chapters comprise of alternating first person accounts from various p
Ben Kruskal
Fascinating treatment of "The Plague", a fictional version of HIV, speculating on ways it might have changed our society. Written in 1988, it no longer describes the current situation vis a vis HIV, so it reads even more like spec fic, but it certainly provides an interesting and thought provoking angle.
Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη
αν εξαιρέσεις το τέλος που μου φάνηκε λίγο ζορισμένο χάπυ-έντ, μου άρεσε πολύ.
This is an excellent short novel dealing with AIDS awareness, more specifically examining personal responsibility and social issues. At first glance it's somewhat similar to his earlier story "Carcinoma Angels," but is much more detailed and thought-provoking. The narrative switches between four interesting viewpoint characters, seeking sense and redemption in situations that overlap and resolve convincingly. It's a challenging, intelligent book; hard-hitting despite being short and fast-paced.
James Eckman
Apr 07, 2015 James Eckman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, it's a great book IMHO
Shelves: fiction, sf
This is about a super-AIDS epidemic originally written as a book outline in the 80s that could not be sold as a book, but the outline with minor changes was used in an anthology. A decade later they published it as a paperback. The story itself is well done, the characters start out a bit cliched, but they break out of their molds in wonderous ways.

Spinrad's agent told him it was the finest book outline he'd ever seen, budding authors may want to read it for comparison.
Christopher Grant
Mar 11, 2012 Christopher Grant rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Alternate Realities or Speculative Fiction Lovers
Shelves: sf
Journals Of The Plague Years is Norman Spinrad's allegory to the AIDS epidemic and the hysteria that surrounded (and still surrounds) the disease.

The prime message in the story is not to fear the unknown but to love the known. You cannot treat the disease if you are afraid. You must be bold and you must care about the afflicted. Only then can we start to find the cure.
Θα μπορούσα να δώσω ίσως 3 αστέρια. Η θεματολογία καλή, αν και δεν συμπαθώ ιδιαιτέρως τα dystopian. Διαβάζεται πολύ γρήγορα. Μου φάνηκε όμως ότι έχει αναπτυχθεί πολύ πρόχειρα και επιφανειακά και η γλώσσα πολύ φτωχή, ίσως να φταίει η μετάφραση. Θα το διαβάσω και στα αγγλικά και θα τότε ίσως κερδίσει άλλο ένα αστεράκι.
An excellent short novel. An extrapolation of the chaos ensuing from a total outbreak of a mutating sex virus (AIDS, but the word is never mentioned). Would make a fantastic action film, if it hasn't been done already.
Dec 27, 2009 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spinrad, Philip K Dick, Stanisław Lem, "Dangerous Visions" fans.
Recommended to David by:
Novelette. Characters are a often cardboard cut-outs, though diverse and well executed as such. In places the story is male wish fullfillment sex fantasy. Fun for its ideas and its Philip K. Dick "screw the man" attitude.
An incredibly dark book, it is a very frightening look at a scarily possible dystopia.
The afterward is the best chapter of the book.
remarkable...aids is us...
Pnpnpn added it
Aug 12, 2015
Lauren marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2015
Mathew Carruthers
Mathew Carruthers marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2015
Dan J
Dan J marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2015
Courtney marked it as to-read
May 25, 2015
Alex Stef
Alex Stef marked it as to-read
May 23, 2015
Cary Morton
Cary Morton marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
Minh added it
May 17, 2015
Walter Parker
Walter Parker marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2015
Morfeas marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2015
Winter marked it as to-read
Mar 11, 2015
Kel Munger
Kel Munger marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • True Names... and Other Dangers
  • Dr. Adder
  • Poison (Minders #4)
  • Reaching Higher (Encounters, #2)
  • Story Teller
  • Looking for Some Touch (Utopia X, #1)
  • The Ballad of Beta 2
  • Cat Toy
  • Far from Home
  • Escape From Kathmandu
  • Blue Champagne
  • The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (Wraeththu, #3)
  • Scarred
  • Shenandoah (Mother Earth, # 2)
  • The Masters of Solitude (Masters of Solitude, #1)
  • A Fire in the Sun (Marîd Audran #2)
  • The Empress of Mars
  • Skin Deep
Born in New York in 1940, Norman Spinrad has been an acclaimed SF writer.

Norman Spinrad, born in New York City, is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. In 1957 he entered City College of New York and graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree as a pre-law major. In 1966 he moved to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles, and now lives in Paris. He married fellow novelist N. Lee Woo
More about Norman Spinrad...
Bug Jack Barron The Iron Dream The Void Captain's Tale Child of Fortune Little Heroes

Share This Book