This volume contains five stories â€“ some short, some long. Each that builds upon the heritage of the other. It starts with The Castle of Ontarato (1764) by Horace Walpole which is considered the first, â€śGothic Novelâ€ť; Vathek, An Arabian Tale (1782) by William Beckford, was influenced by Walpole and Arabian Nights; The Last Man (1826) by Mary Shelley carries on the theme of the previous works, but could be viewed as one of the first science fiction post-apocalyptic novels; The Masque of the Red Death (1842) by Edgar Allen Poe also focuses on apocalyptic forces and societyâ€™s efforts (or lack thereof) to deal with it. Finally, The Scarlet Plague (1912) by Jack London describes a world-wide pandemic that humanity cannot control. Even the cover illustration, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, by Goya is influenced by the Gothic art and forms a sort of double-entendre of monsters made in our mind and by doing nothing.