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 Post subject: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:52 pm 
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Journeyman
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I had read John C Wright's "Awake in the Night Land". It's made up of 4 loosely related novellas. The first of which "Awake in the Night" is by far my favorite. All are good, "Awake in the Night" hits it out of the park.

It was inspired by WH Hodgson's book "The Night Land". "The Night Land" is a pretty long book - about 580 some pages.

It starts off incredibly well. Great atmosphere and an enthralling concept which includes the last remaining remnants of humanity all living inside of a very large metal pyramid (over 6 miles high, 100 miles deep, and each side over a mile lone at the base) called the Last Redoubt. The story is set millions of years into the future. The sun has since died out and consequently the entire earth is forever in night. Outside of the pyramid lurks evil forces (some physical and some spiritual).
The protagonist is nameless throughout the book.... and we first meet him in the 17th century attempting to court a Lady Mirdath.
Fast-forward millions and millions of years into the future and we find this protagonist in the Last Redoubt having some awareness that he is the same man that courted Lady Mirdath many, many years earlier (when the sun still existed).

It also turns out that this protagonist as something called Night Hearing that allows him to tap into the aether that makes up the atmosphere that fills the Night Land. This Night Hearing helped him notice a cry from many miles away, outside of the Last Redoubt confirming tales of another, smaller pyramid somewhere in the Night Land called the Lesser Redoubt.
The one calling to him is his Mirdath (who also goes by the name Naani).
Both of the Redoubts are fueled by something called the Earth Current which powers and protects it from the evil outside forces..... The Lesser Redoubt is about to spend it's supply of Earth Current opening it up for attack from without.
The protagonist decides to venture into the Night Land to find his love who has been with him through eternity.

Entering the Night Land is almost a certain death sentence.... but worse than that, not only can you lose your physical life there is something referred to as destruction of the soul that can also happen to someone in the Night Land.


The beginning is amazing.... but early on you notice that the author can be pretty dang repetitive.
But, halfway through the book this incredible story gets sidelined by what can only be described as a narcissistic freak who has a foot-fetissh (yes, you read that right). So many times during that second half the protagonist is talking about how 'naughty' his loved one is and how playful the two of them are..... as they are walking through this terrible land back to the larger of the two Redoubts. Mirdath has lost her father, all of her friends, and the entire bulk of humanity that she had ever known of prior to learning about the existence of the Last Redoubt..... but still has time to be coy and flirty with her rescuer. They are exposed to all of these threats to their life and souls while they play kissy with each other.... literally kissing the food (tablets) that the other is about to eat. The protagonist is never too far from talking about Mirdath's feet; how pretty they are and how dainty they are and how much he wants to bathe them.

At one point when they're acting in a groan and vomit inducing manner the narrator mentions that "she put her pretty little pinky toe up against my mouth".... to then retract her foot and start acting distant, playful, and naughty.

I couldn't finish reading it. It went from a truly scary sci/fi fantasy.... to the unbridled spewings of a sexually frustrated man who more than dabbles in fetissh behavior.
I was hoping for the both of them to be annihilated in the Night Land. I completely stopped caring about what happened with them and since I doubted the likelihood the author would mercy kill them both off.... I put the book down and stopped reading it entirely (with less than 100 pages to go).

I never have stopped reading a book.... certainly not that far in.
But I also never have seen a book go from one level to plummet so incredibly to such a weird tale of playful flirting in such terrible of conditions.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:53 pm 
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Journeyman
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fetissh is intentionally spelled wrong in that..... apparently you can't type that word in the dialog box and successfully submit it.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:16 pm 
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NIGHT LAND is my least favorite Hodgson. Even more so than his HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND.

He is much better in the short story format, and when his setting is the sea. His Carnacki stories are very good.

If you want to try his DREAM OF X, it will seem familiar. And a lot shorter.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:20 pm 
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Journeyman
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Thanks for the tip, GKC.

I do have a book that I picked up (prior to starting Night Land) called something like Carnacki the Ghost Hunter (much shorter than Night Land). I wasn't going to read it after Night Land spun off of the track, but, with your cosigning, I think i'll give it a shot.

I was hearing about "Dream of X".... so that must be the shorter version Night Land I was hearing about.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:21 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Thanks for the tip, GKC.

I do have a book that I picked up (prior to starting Night Land) called something like Carnacki the Ghost Hunter (much shorter than Night Land). I wasn't going to read it after Night Land spun off of the track, but, with your cosigning, I think i'll give it a shot.

I was hearing about "Dream of X".... so that must be the shorter version Night Land I was hearing about.



Yes, DREAM was reduced to about 10% of NIGHT LAND. It, including a few poems and stuff, was published in the US, under the DREAM title, in a very limited edition, in 1912 or so, for copyright purposes. Another limited edition came out around 1977, which is the one I have.

Wright wasn't the only SF writer to delve into the NIGHT LAND theme. Several others have done so.

CARNACKI THE GHOST FINDER. Short stories. An excellent example of a psychic/occult detective, which is a subgenre I collect. Amongst a lot of such things.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:26 pm 
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I second the sentiments re Carnacki.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:33 pm 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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HalJordan wrote:
I second the sentiments re Carnacki.


And there are other such detectives.

Now, if I could only find my Mycroft and Moran edition of CARNACKI. Gonna ruin my New Years.

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Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:39 pm 
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I am still struggling to get through The Night Land. I think I am about 3/4 done - ordinarily it would not take me so long but it is so repetitive - "and Mine Own and I rested after eighteen hours of journeying, ate some of the tablets and drank some of the water," etc. What Wright did with the "Night Land" as a backdrop for his stories is nothing short of amazing.

Anyway, I started reading The House on the Borderland and so far, so good (I think I am about half-way through it right now).

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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:18 pm 
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Prodigal Son of Thunder
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p.falk wrote:
I never have stopped reading a book.... certainly not that far in.
But I also never have seen a book go from one level to plummet so incredibly to such a weird tale of playful flirting in such terrible of conditions.

OK here's the irony - you put it down shortly before the part at which it gets good again.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Night Land" by William Hope Hodgson
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:06 pm 
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I still can't find my CARNACKI. And I'm missing the Don Grant edition of OUT OF THE STORM.

I suspect my daughter.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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