THE LAST MAN. Never published in Howard’s lifetime. Howard told Tevis Clyde Smith in a letter from August 4, 1923 (Letter #5):

I shall write a story entitled “The Last Man” as a warning to the white races. If the West falls before the East, it won’t be because I haven’t warned the white races. Well, maybe if I progress, which I doubt much, in a few years I’ll become such a nuisance that the Dalai Lama will take notice of me and my career will end suddenly.

“THE LAST MAN” is a speculative narrative by Robert E. Howard set in a future where the world is dominated by the consequences of prolonged conflicts and shifting global power dynamics. The story is an imaginative exploration of warfare, political intrigue, and racial tensions spanning from the 20th century to the year 2000.


Chapter 1: War

The story begins in the year 2000, presenting a world ravaged by war, with the narrator reflecting on the history that led to this tumultuous state. The peace following World War I in 1918 lasted until 1960, with minor conflicts occurring between nations like Italy and Greece. The Soviet Union stabilizes and gains recognition, while the rest of the world focuses on technological advancements and economic competition.

The tranquility breaks when the U.S. and Japan go to war over the Philippines, leading to a series of conflicts involving various global powers, including a notable war between the U.S. and Britain in 1966. Technological advancements such as massive planes and advanced warfare strategies define these conflicts.

By 1980, the narrative describes a stagnant war between France and Russia, complicated by alliances and uprisings throughout Europe and Asia. This period also sees a rise in power from the Eastern world, particularly in the form of a unified and militarized Africa.

Chapter 2: The Last Man

In Richmond, the narrator encounters a white man demonstrating unusual physical prowess by defending himself against aggressive individuals. This man is revealed to be Frank Slade, who shares his concerns about the growing power of Africa and its potential threat to global stability. Slade elaborates on the demographic and military growth in Africa, driven by unity and preparation for an uprising against the white-dominated world order.

Slade predicts a major conflict initiated by Africa, aiming to overturn the existing racial hierarchies and establish black supremacy. This conversation is interrupted by news of native uprisings in South Africa, signaling the beginning of the envisioned conflict.

Chapter 3: Global Rebellion

The narrative fast-forwards to detail the massive and well-coordinated uprising across Africa and parts of Asia, resulting in significant losses for European powers. Slade, the narrator, and a Sikh named Chandra Singh witness the overwhelming defeat of British forces by the African army, showcasing superior physical prowess and strategic execution.

The black forces, led by charismatic and ruthless leaders, aim to not only conquer but also to subjugate the white populations, reversing the roles of colonizer and colonized. The chapter concludes with Slade and his companions narrowly escaping a deadly encounter with a powerful African chief, underscoring the imminent danger of the uprising and the uncertain future of the white race.


  • Frank Slade: A key protagonist who has witnessed the rise of Africa and predicts its dominance. He serves as a narrator and guide through the geopolitical changes.
  • Chandra Singh: Slade’s companion from Delhi, who assists in the narrative and action sequences, showing loyalty and combat skills.
  • Stephen Cameron: Another central character, whose physical prowess and background in sports and archeology are highlighted. He engages in discussions about the decline of Western civilization and its implications.
  • Amazaanda: A formidable African chief who embodies the strength and ambition of the rising black empire. He represents the new power dynamic and the threat to the old world order.
  • Unnamed British soldiers and African warriors: These characters illustrate the scale and intensity of the conflict, serving as examples of the old guard and the new force in global politics.

Alternate title:

UNTITLED STORY (The flaming sun of the year 2000 . . .)

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