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False Dawn is a novel written by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. It was first published in 1978.


It is the turn of the twenty-first century. War, disease, and pollution have made the Earth nearly unfit for human habitation. In America, food is scarce, and what food remains is quickly confiscated by the Pirates--a murderous band of raiders determined to save themselves and to destroy the last stronghold of civlized human beings--the mutant population.

One of these mutants, a woman named Thea, has eluded the Pirates for years. Armed only with a crossbow, her pride, and her common sense, she has been slowly making her way Eastward to Gold Lake-- a legendary place of safety and enlightenment. Until one day she meets Evan Montague, a man who needs her help, a man who is also on the run from the Pirates, but for a different reason--he once led the Pirates himself and has now become their most bitter and most hunted enemy.

Together, Thea and Evan trek across a dangerous and wasted California, hoping to survive the brutality of twenty-first-century life..and perhaps, to find Eden before they die.