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The Napus: The Great Plague of the Year 2227

by Léon Daudet
adapted by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

In Paris, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, an old man suddenly vanishes without a trace: a new plague has reached France, and will soon grow to terrible proportions. The event is witnessed by a cytologist working at the Aristotle Institute, who is also a Polyplast--the result of an experiment in selective breeding intended to produce pacifists, but which has also had perverse results. As a result of his presence at the crucial event, the Polyplast becomes a privileged observer of the entire tragedy, of which he naturally sets out to write a personalized history, explaining how the new plague became the casus belli of yet another war in an endless series, fought with the aid of "Archimedes": powerful, long-range weapons that would destroy the world in no time were it not for their habit of misfiring, and only killing tens of thousands of people instead of millions. The Napus, first published in 1927, remains one of the classics of absurdist science fiction.

Published by The Borgo Press in January 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4344-4575-9

The Brian Stableford Website