The new age science fiction novel, “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel takes an unexpected turn when a group of people, need to learn to survive during a flu epidemic. The story starts during a play ” King Lear”, when suddenly an actor, Arthur, dies of a heart attack right on stage. During the first three chapters we are introduced to a few characters Jeevan, a paramedic trying to save the dying actor, Kirsten, a little girl who was witnessing this tragic event and a actress in the play. Also, Laura who is Jeevan‘s girlfriend, and Hua, a friend to Jeevan‘s who happens to be working in a hospital.
In the third chapter Hua tells Jeevan about a ‘Georgia Flu‘ effecting his patients, during a phone call. According to Hua, this flu was no joke, on the other hand it was spreading very fast, leading to 37 deaths in Hua‘s hospital. Jeevan was extremely worried and immediately wanted to leave the city. He got in touch his girlfriend Laura and brother Frank, to save them from about the epidemic. Laura did not seem as worried, I actualy think she did trust Jeevan as much, “Jeevan, I’m concerned. This sounds paranoid to me.”(Emily Mandel, chapter 3). Maybe she thought he was just overreating. Jeevan was still quick to react and was determined to leave as soon as possible. Chapter five, brings us to Miranda, an executive at a shipping company, and one of Arthurs ex wives, he was known to have several of those. She was living in Malaysia when she receives a phone call about the death of someone she once wanted to spend her whole life with.
In chapter six everything suddenly disappears, “No more countries, all borders unmanned. No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance or garbage pickup. No more spacecraft rising up from Cape , from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, from Vandenburg, Plesetsk, Tanegashima, burning paths through the atmosphere into space.” (Emily Mandel, chapter 6)”. This story started with a paramedic trying to save his family, and a women finding out about the death of her ex husband on the other side of the earth, to a world of absolute emptiness. A world left with nothing, but possibly only ashes and dirt left. We are left to wonder what actually happened, could it be that this flu epidemic had done this. Destroying every part of our earth, or was this something else. Something far more scarier than we could imagine. It makes you wonder for a moment, what if this happens to us one day no more countries, no more cities, no more light, no more anything. What if everything was about to change for us, how would you react? Would you react like Jeevan, freak out and try to escape, or like Laura not even realizing what could happen .