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This is a book that simultaneously makes you want to give up on your own writing because you know that you ll never, ever be this good but also write even because you feel that inspired by what Wright pulls off Any fan of H.P Lovecraft or Gene Wolfe will devour this work, and then read it again and savor it The line by line writing is gorgeous, and the novellas themselves are epic nightmares that somehow manage to stay grounded in very flawed, very believable human characters Tour de force doesn t even begin to cover this book.My only complaint is the large jump in time between the third and fourth novellas I wanted to see what Wright would do with a certain period in the Night Land the earlier novellas had foreshadowed Even so, this is still the best book I ve read in years, and one that I ll be re reading many times in the years to come. This is a sequel by other hands, being based in the setting of William Hope Hodgson s The Night Land However, I can assure you that it stands alone.It consists of four stories, three set in the Last Redoubt, and a fourth set at a mysterious location that only slowly unfolds The first three have their time given in a line up front which tells us, also, how many years they are before the extinction of mankind.That is part of the setting All take place after the sun and the moon were lost, and the sky so clouded to give not even starlight The Last Redoubt is besieged by monsters There are the abhumans, savages creatures once human Night Hounds with teeth like sharks the Watchers, enormous, glacially slow in motion, maliciously bent on the Redoubt the hooded Silent Ones and ghastly and malicious nightmares.Yet there are those who venture out into the Night Lands.Tales of valor and love against that dark backdrop They involve a prophecy fulfilled exactly, a pair of brothers arguing about whether something will lead to disaster, a man in a scene from two memories conflated, a backstory like Orpheus with a twist, a woman who is tempted at a dance to forget her brother, and much. We are 21 Million years in the future, the sun has gone out already and the moon doesn t exist any In the Last Redoubt the surviving humans live and defend against the nightmarish creatures of the Night Land, knowing through the use of advanced technology that in another 7 million years they will fall too The setting is unique and allows a lot of weirdness but there is also room for romance, heroes and of course horrendous beasts who are able to launch physical and mental attacks The first 3 novellas are about ventures into the Night Land I liked the first most because it didn t focus too much on the journey itself but got its power through the relationship between two friends and a woman What absolutely blew my mind though was the last novella, The Last of All Suns , in which Wright explores the last seconds of the universe He does it from a scientific and also from a humanistic point of view and the result is fantastic This is what Science Fiction is for and I am thrilled that there are authors out there who tackle such questions Wright does it in his typical style, which might not appeal to everyone Highly recommended John C Wright is not for everybody, and a series of novellas set in the same realm as an obscure, early piece of weird fiction that almost nobody today has read is probably even less for everybody, but I loved this anthology to bits and pieces figuratively, because it was an ebook, and I would be sad if my e reader no longer functioned.Wright captures perfectly the awful grandeur of William Hope Hodgson s creation, the last bastion of humanity, besieged in its seven mile tall Redoubt, on a world populated by eldritch horrors, unlit by any but the most ghastly of flames He captures it perfectly, and expands upon it, imagining the societies that must have lived or, rather, will have lived there, the trials they face, the decisions, for good and evil, that they make.My favorite story was the first, Awake in the Night Land, with a truly beautiful, redemptive ending that improves on Hodsgon s vision The second, Cry of the Night Hound, impressed me with a new take on a very old story I won t tell you which one, because even though the clues are pretty obvious in retrospect, it still took me half the tale to figure it out, and I enjoyed the discovery so much I would never take that thrill away from someone else The third tale, Silence of the Night, included some of the most horrifying imagery I have ever encountered, and chilled me to the roots of my soul The fourth and final tale, The Last of All Suns, was an interesting departure from the Night Land proper, and included some John C Wright y elements, like mashing together lots of different genre tropes and characters and making them all interact with each other it was fun and weird and terrifying and profound.If I have one quibble I do, here it is , it was the profusion of typographical, especially in the last tale Perhaps a later edition can correct that fairly minor flaw. Interconnected novelettes set in the far future 22 million years away where humanity is dying upon a darkening Earth.This is not so much SF as weird tale horror with some science ish trappings As I read them, I cannot stop critiquing their likelihood and logic For one thing, these stories are set millions of years before the world would end A million years is a long time, guys The entire length of human civilization is not a 10th that at present, and the events of even one thousand years away seem unfathomably distant On an individual level, we can barely care about what will happen in a couple of decades And yet these people are all miserable and deflated, bewailing their doom and behaving as though imminent destruction is just around the corner Were I faced with the knowledge that humanity will end in 7 million years I ll be living my life just as carefree as if there is no prophecy, thanks much.And how little do these societies seem to change although they jump aeons between each story And, how little humans seem to change physically, biologically through out the aeons, despite their landscape and daily existence having changed drastically OK, the 3rd story mentions multiple iterations of Mankind throughout the years, so there s that But for all these different iterations, they seem to act and think much like previous versions Always patriarchal, always and constantly consulting ancient books for lost knowledge, and full of the same rituals and moralities.And, what even constitutes human anyway Stories like these always make me think of Planet of the Apes What, for example, would everything look like from the Silent Ones perspective Or the abhumans , who are cast aside or eliminated just because they have adapted to survive in the new darkness, intelligent, and yet designated as evil and cruel But then I slap myself upside the head, remind myself of the Dying Earth and Cthulhu and a host of similar stories, and returned to the stories themselves The Manichean nature of these forces bother me An eternal evil aligned against mankind Why Because A wild surmise bc darkness hates the light, and death hates life These dainty women with their hair tendrils fingernail scraping on chalkboard.The second story is an iteration of mad Antigone, determined to bring her dead brother s body back to Thebes for a proper burial I ve never understood her insistence, and I do not understand the stubbornness of this chick either.In the third story, an iteration of Aeneas bearing his aged father away from the destruction of Troy, one of these namelessly evil creatures tells the hero they intend to torture and degenerate humanity slowly, and will torment even its ghosts for eternity Why Just because Feh It is entirely possible that, while I appreciate his writing capabilities very much, Wright and I have a fundamental disagreement of sensibilities For the last story, humans throughout the ages are resurrected some 15 billions years into the future, in the death throes or creation of the universe itself They are on a ship falling at lightspeed toward the zero point, the Big Bang, with time breaking down and becoming so uncertain that quantum physic rules expand from micro effects to macro A lyrical imagining based on very hard science of how the end beginning of the universe may look to our puny perspective.This story I like the best, for it explains many hidden assumptions built into the previous 3 stories provided a variety of vastly different perspectives and speech patterns that interacted with one another and is the last mystery left to be solved, ever Very fun set up.Of course, the ultimate resolution is way mushier, as these stories always are, and with religious overtones view spoiler although with a twist and maybe sly dig, bc the forces of evil inserted a fake Biblical figure to fool the protagonists into believing in their original sin but it s of a dig at orthodox religion than with the godhood itself hide spoiler Whoa John C Wright just might be the Tolkien of Science Fiction Read this book as soon as possible, all the way, and to the end. The conclusion is priceless. The Night Land is the distant future imagined by William Hope Hodgson in 1912 It is the end of the human race, long after the death of the sun, where all that remains of humanity and goodness lives in a great fortified pyramid called The Last Redoubt, beset by Elder Horrors from Beyond, giants, werewolves, The Silent Ones, slow moving sphinxes the size of mountains, and so forth This book is a series of stories set in that land, mostly about people who journey out into the night to rescue loved ones The end of the final story, with its reincarnation, travel through a black hole, and mysticism, recalls movies like 2001, Contact, and Interstellar.John C Wright s science fiction is heavily influenced by his Catholicism The themes of hell and grace, sin and righteousness are flavored by his belief in absolute morality emanating from a supernatural god outside of time, and all that follows from that and a scriptural sense of language and pacing that is at times rich and fascinating, and other times weird and boring At times it feels like Gnostic texts than science fiction This book is deliberately written in an antiquated style if you ve ever read any H.P Lovecraft or Mary Shelley, there are similarities In fact, The Dark Land itself was written as if it was a 17th century book, probably for the same reasons as The Faerie Queene or the King James Bible were written in older language. The Night Land is a terrifying place of poisoned waters, deranged abhumans, and ghastly, gigantic Things That Watch Against this encroaching oblivion, the dwindling number of men must make their stand in The Last Redoubt.Wright has a gift for the written word that cannot be taught A writer either has it or he doesn t Wright has it and then some The stories are sometimes horrifying, sometimes inspiring, but the language itself is always engrossing Once you start reading it is difficult to stop.My personal favorite was the second tale Fantastic finish here.I found certain passages of the final story difficult to follow, as different characters struggle to understand what is happening, and some of the characters are quite technically and scientifically advanced That s not a problem, per se, but it is challenging to get through certain passages I also am still thinking about the ending, which was unexpected, but the fact I m still thinking about it means that the author was hitting the right notes.This was an excellent collection of novellas that defies genre or other categorization Part sci fi, part fantasy, part horror It really was a great reading experience. `E-PUB ⇲ Awake in the Night Land ☛ AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND Is An Epic Collection Of Four Of John C Wright S Brilliant Forays Into The Dark Fantasy World Of William Hope Hodgson S Novel, The Night Land Part Novel, Part Anthology, The Book Consists Of Four Related Novellas, Awake In The Night , The Cry Of The Night Hound , Silence Of The Night , And The Last Of All Suns , Which Collectively Tell The Haunting Tale Of The Last Redoubt Of Man And The End Of The Human Race Widely Considered To Be The Finest Tribute To Hodgson Ever Written, The First Novella, Awake In The Night , Was Previously Published In In The Year S Best Science Fiction Twenty First Annual Collection AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND Marks The First Time All Four Novellas Have Been Gathered Into A Single Volume John C Wright Has Been Described By Reviewers As One Of The Most Important And Audacious Authors In Science Fiction Today In A Recent Poll Of Than , Science Fiction Readers, He Was Chosen As The Sixth Greatest Living Science Fiction Writer