Nick Holdstock

What would you do if you knew you were going to die?

It’s ten years since a deadly pandemic swept the globe, and five years since the last new recorded case. Society came close to collapse, but a vaccine was found in time, and life is slowly getting back to normal.

But while a vaccine was found, a cure wasn’t. Lukas is one of the last people to contract the disease, and he waits, quarantined, in a camp in the mountains of central Asia. With nothing to do, and no future to speak of, the inmates are imprisoned, yet free to do whatever they want: some create cults; some retreat into themselves; some have sex with whoever they can.

In New York, Rebecca is a scientist who worked on the vaccine. Having lost her partner in the years of chaos, she is obsessed with trying to prevent something similar happening in future, and spends her days trying to engineer ways the virus might evade the vaccine. When she succeeds, she realises she needs people who still have the disease – and there’s only one place she can go to find them.

Intelligent, gripping and human, Quarantine is a novel about how we – as individuals, and as a society – deal with the aftermath of catastrophe.

First published:
May 5, 2022


James Lindsay

James Lindsay is a mathematician with a background in physics and founder of New Discourses ( He is interested in the psychology of religion, authoritarianism, and extremism. His books include Everybody Is Wrong about God, Life in Light of Death, and How to Have Impossible Conversations. His essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Philosophers’ Magazine, Scientific American, and Time. He led the Grievance Studies Affair probe that made international headlines in 2018, including the front page of the New York Times. He lives in Tennessee and can be found on Twitter @ConceptualJames.