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Night Land

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By: (1877-1918)

The Sun has gone out and the Earth is lit only by the glow of residual vulcanism. The last few millions of the human race are gathered together in a gigantic metal pyramid, nearly eight miles high – the Last Redoubt, under siege from unknown forces and Powers outside in the dark. These are held back by a Circle of Energy, known as the "air clog", powered from a subterranean energy source called the "Earth Current". For millennia, vast living shapes—the Watchers—have waited in the darkness near the pyramid. It is thought they are waiting for the inevitable time when the Circle's power finally weakens and dies. Other living things have been seen in the darkness beyond, some of unknown origins, and others that may once have been human.

To leave the protection of the Circle means almost certain death, or worse an ultimate destruction of the soul. As the story commences, the narrator establishes mind contact with an inhabitant of another, forgotten Lesser Redoubt. First one expedition sets off to succor the inhabitants of the Lesser Redoubt, whose own Earth Current has been exhausted, only to meet with disaster. After that the narrator sets off alone into the darkness to find the girl he has made contact with, knowing now that she is the reincarnation of his past love.

H. P. Lovecraft describes the novel as "one of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written". Clark Ashton Smith wrote of it that "In all literature, there are few works so sheerly remarkable, so purely creative, as The Night Land.

First Page:





"This to be Love, that your spirit to live in a natural holiness with the Beloved, and your bodies to be a sweet and natural delight that shall be never lost of a lovely mystery.... And shame to be unborn, and all things to go wholesome and proper, out of an utter greatness of understanding; and the Man to be an Hero and a Child before the Woman; and the Woman to be an Holy Light of the Spirit and an Utter Companion and in the same time a glad Possession unto the Man.... And this doth be Human Love...."

"...for this to be the especial glory of Love, that it doth make unto all Sweetness and Greatness, and doth be a fire burning all Littleness; so that did all in this world to have met The Beloved, then did Wantonness be dead, and there to grow Gladness and Charity, dancing in the years."



"And I cannot touch her face And I cannot touch her hair, And I kneel to empty shadows Just memories of her grace; And her voice sings in the winds And in the sobs of dawn And among the flowers at night And from the brooks at sunrise And from the sea at sunset, And I answer with vain callings ... Continue reading book >>

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