Reviewer Praise for AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND

Mr Andy Robertson, who is the editor that first published my Night Lands stories written in homage to William Hope Hodgson, writes a memoir of his effort, fueled by his personal loss, to bring Hodgson’s flawed masterworks back into the public’s attention.

All of my short stories and novellas set in the Night Land background are soon to be published in a volume soon to be released by the small but fierce Castalia House titled AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND. Each tale had been previously published by Andy Robertson, so he knows them.

Mr Robertson pays my work some remarkable compliments that would embarrass me if only I lacked the vast ego and brass heart of a professional artist — ah, but let me not fib — they do embarrass me.  Alas, even my vast ego shrinks in humility in the face of overpraise. Fallen Spirit of Overweening Pride, where are you when I need you?

When a story speaks to the reader’s soul, it is because the muse who inspired the writer inspires the reader as well, like the touch of the divine finger of a goddess, and the writer gets the credit, when he has done little or nothing.  All the writer does is introduce the muse to the reader, who go dancing off to their nuptial consummation without him. Do not give the matchmaker the praise the bride deserves.

Mr Robertson also makes some observations I find surprising. I did not know he found the portrayal of the Last Redoubt society a work of vivid imagination, where men fight duels for the sake of honor, or adhere to lifelong monogamy. I should have told him that this is still the current culture here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, at least in the parishes that conserve the older way of life.

Also, I did not know he liked the ‘Last of All Suns’ story, because I thought he overcame some personal reluctance to buy it. I did know that the thought the ending was religious, but I fear I unintentionally deceived him, because I wrote that tale back when I was an vehement atheist. It is merely that I was an honest vehement atheist and honesty compelled me to tell and ending that grew organically out of the logic of the story.  I am sorry he was unmoved by the female lead, Fraulein Else the big game huntress, whom I thought came across quite vividly and amusingly. But, not every reader will like the same things or in the same way, so no matter.

These stories mean more to me than they did when I wrote them. Since joining the Roman Catholic Church, I have discovered it to be The Last Redoubt in the Night Land, a fortress against the inhuman horror of the modern world and its ancient sin. And with my Night Hearing, my brain elements detect a dim voice calling from the Orthodox Church to the East, a Lesser Redoubt, still alive in amid the strong terrors of the darkened world.

I think this is the nicest review that anyone has said about my work, ever. I wish Andy were not in New Zealand, or that I was, so that I could clasp his hand and look in his eye, and tell him how much his website, his encouragement, and his efforts have meant to my life.

I cherish and bless the hour when I first came to know him.

By all means read his very generous review of AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LANDS, and perhaps do Mr Robinson the kindness of looking over his website, and buying some of his anthologies.

If you cannot do that, then at least look at his timeline, which is my favorite part of the site.

The Days of Light are less than a legend, their stories mouldered to dust amid the chaos of the ancient Libraries.

Yet, within their vast arcology, the last Millions of humanity live and thrive.

Outside, the huge entities of the Night Land watch – and wait.

The Last Redoubt has stood ten million years, and may stand ten million years more, but its final fall is inevitable.

The Land is as unknown as the depths of space. It holds life, some of it remotely akin to humanity. Fires burn and and shadows creep; cities and lights lie still; clothed and shrouded walkers glide forth.

Other Creatures, vaster than hills and slower and more ponderous than glaciers, wait eternally.

Forces stir in the darkness. Messages pass across the Land. From the tower above the Redoubt, the Monstruwacans keep record.

To this Land go the explorers of the Redoubt.

Rarely, rarely, they return.

last redoubt mid distance