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First edition (paperback)
|Author|| Frederik Pohl and|
C. M. Kornbluth
|Cover artist||Richard M. Powers|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
Wolfbane is a science fiction novel by American writer Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, published in 1959. It was serialized in Galaxy in 1957, with illustrations by Wally Wood. In his review column for F&SF , Damon Knight selected the novel as one of the 10 best genre books of 1959.
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.
Frederik George Pohl Jr. was an American science-fiction writer, editor, and fan, with a career spanning more than 75 years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem "Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna", to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012.
Cyril M. Kornbluth was an American science fiction author and a member of the Futurians. He used a variety of pen-names, including Cecil Corwin, S. D. Gottesman, Edward J. Bellin, Kenneth Falconer, Walter C. Davies, Simon Eisner, Jordan Park, Arthur Cooke, Paul Dennis Lavond, and Scott Mariner. The "M" in Kornbluth's name may have been in tribute to his wife, Mary Byers; Kornbluth's colleague and collaborator Frederik Pohl confirmed Kornbluth's lack of any actual middle name in at least one interview.
This science fiction novel takes place in the year 2203, if we take literally the age of 250 years given for a Korean War identity bracelet that is dated 1953. A rogue planet, populated by strange machines known as Pyramids, has stolen the Earth from the Solar system, taking it off into interstellar space. The moon has been 'ignited' by alien technology to serve as a miniature sun around which both planets orbit. This new sun is rekindled every 5 years, though as the book opens, the rekindling is nearly overdue and there is fear among the populace that it may never happen again.
The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.
A rogue planet is a planetary-mass object that orbits a galactic center directly. Such objects have been ejected from the planetary system in which they formed or have never been gravitationally bound to any star or brown dwarf. The Milky Way alone may have billions of rogue planets.
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon, Earth's only natural satellite. Earth revolves around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time, Earth rotates about its axis about 366.26 times.
The global population has crashed to a hundred million, due largely to the radical climate changes that followed the arrival of the alien planet. Most of the surviving humans are 'Citizens,' passive people living lives bound up with elaborate social rituals, various styles of meditation, and carefully prescribed selflessness. This constraining lifestyle frequently causes Citizens to succumb to mental breakdowns and run 'amok,' attacking anyone within reach. Persons who commit this or any other crime face ritual execution.
Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
A small minority of the population who retain their aggressive natures are referred to as 'Wolves.' They are considered to be a direct threat to the rest of society. These Wolves, however, generally see themselves as superior humans and refer to the Citizens as 'Sheep.' This labeling system is somewhat ironic, because the Wolves generally try to trick the Sheep into avoiding their settlements, while any Wolf who is caught by the Sheep is murdered.
The Pyramid aliens' motives are unknown, their only visible presence being a lone Pyramid perched atop a leveled-off Mount Everest and the transparent 'Eyes' which form over individuals who have supposedly attained or approached a state of meditative perfection or 'Nirvana.' Persons who reach this stage of meditation vanish from the world to an unknown destination.
Mount Everest, known in Nepali as Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा) and in Tibetan as Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ), is Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The international border between Nepal and China runs across its summit point.
Nirvāṇa is commonly associated with Jainism and Buddhism, and represents its ultimate state of soteriological release, the liberation from repeated rebirth in saṃsāra.
The story opens in the town of Wheeling, West Virginia. We first see Roget Germyn, a banker and model Citizen. An Eye forms over him while he is meditating, but he is interrupted and the Eye vanishes. He then returns to a more Earthly concern - whether or not the 'sun' will be regenerated, ending the current period of hunger and cold.
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located almost entirely in Ohio County, of which it is the county seat, it lies along the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Wheeling was originally a settlement in the British colony of Virginia and later an important city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wheeling was the first state capital of West Virginia. Due to its location along major transportation routes, including the Ohio River, National Road, and the B&O Railroad, Wheeling became a manufacturing center in the late nineteenth century. After experiencing the closing of factories and substantial population loss following World War II, Wheeling's major industries now include healthcare, education, law and legal services, entertainment and tourism, and energy.
Attention then shifts to Glenn Tropile, who lives among the Citizens, but regards himself as one of the feared Wolves. He has even managed to slowly coach his wife, Gala, toward a more Wolfish outlook. Despite this rebellious attitude, he maintains a genuine interest in meditation.
Glenn Tropile is exposed as a Wolf while stealing bread. He escapes execution and is collected by a community of Wolves living in the town of Princeton. They find he doesn't entirely fit in there either, but hope he may get collected by an 'Eye', giving them a chance to measure this process in detail. This eventually happens and they find, as expected, that his disappearance was facilitated by the Pyramid on Everest. Glenn Tropile has been sent to the Pyramid's planet.
We then learn his fate. To the Pyramids, the human race is nothing more than a useful source of 'Components' for a complex world-machine devoted mostly to feeding these artificial and semi-organic beings. Tropile is suspended in a fluid-filled tank and 'wired in' to the vast computer system. Later, he is linked to seven other humans as a 'Snowflake' - eight minds joined together to facilitate more complex tasks than a single human Component could manage.
In this condition, Tropile wakes, manages to retain his sanity, and wakes the other humans. They eventually merge with one another to form a sophisticated collective mind. The freed Snowflake then spies on the Pyramids, finding that they have been traveling for some two million years, and have collected many species as Components, but seem locked in meaningless rituals surrounding an alien creature at the world's North Pole. They later realize that this is the last survivor of the race that created the Pyramids.
In the meantime, they have modified the collection process of human Components so that it selects persons known to at least one of the eight people composing the Snowflake (which has become almost as ruthless and inhuman as the alien Pyramids). These humans are intended as 'mice,' disrupters of the planet, and later as an army with which to fight the Pyramids. Roget Germyn is one of them, as is Tropile's wife.
Facing a philosophical dead-end, the 'Snowflake' decides to separate its component minds to study the problem. Restored to individual identity, Glenn Tropile becomes horrified at what he has done. However, the majority of the others want to carry on. While they are arguing, one of their number is taken over by the mind of the alien at the North Pole, who warns them that the Pyramids have noticed them and plan to wipe out half the planet to get rid of them.
They initially re-merge their personalities as the Snowflake and expedite their plans. Tropile decides he must physically disconnect himself from the Snowflake and leave to lead the humans. They manage to defeat the Pyramids, but not before the remainder of the Snowflake is also destroyed. The humans free many of the other Components and ship them back to Earth.
Tropile now finds he is a hero of sorts, but does not fit the role (though he never truly fit any role in which he was placed - Sheep, Wolf, or Component). He also sees that there is a need for someone to wire themselves back into the alien planet's surviving systems, to re-kindle the 'sun' every five years and perhaps return the Earth to its original orbit. He doesn't want to do it alone, but most of the people he knows are either unwilling or unsuitable. On the last page, though, his wife agrees to join him. He expects that there will later be others, that "[t]he ring of fire [will] grow."
The wolf, also known as the gray/grey wolf, timber wolf, or tundra wolf, is a canine native to the wilderness and remote areas of Eurasia and North America. It is the largest extant member of its family, with males averaging 43–45 kg (95–99 lb) and females 36–38.5 kg (79–85 lb). It is distinguished from other Canis species by its larger size and less pointed features, particularly on the ears and muzzle. Its winter fur is long and bushy and predominantly a mottled gray in color, although nearly pure white, red and brown to black also occur. Mammal Species of the World, a standard reference work in zoology, recognises 38 subspecies of C. lupus.
Lucyan David Mech, also known as Dave Mech, is an American wolf expert, a senior research scientist for the U.S. Department of the Interior, currently with the Department of Interior's U.S. Geological Survey, and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. He has researched wolves since 1958 in places such as Minnesota, Ellesmere Island, Canada, Italy, Alaska, Yellowstone National Park, and on Isle Royale.
The comic book series Elfquest, created by Wendy and Richard Pini, features a race of elves on the World of Two Moons, searching for their origins and place in the world.
Pon farr is a phenomenon in the fictional Star Trek universe. A part of the reproductive cycle of Vulcans, pon farr features in the canonical TV series as well as in various spin-offs and fan fiction.
Timber Wolf is a fictional character, a superhero in the 30th and 31st centuries of the DC Comics Universe and member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He comes from the planet Zoon. His powers are enhanced strength, speed and agility.
Wolf hunting is the practice of hunting gray wolves (Canis lupus) or other species of wolves. Wolves are mainly hunted for sport, for their skins, to protect livestock and in some rare cases, to protect humans. Wolves have been actively hunted since 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, when they first began to pose a threat to livestock vital for the survival of Neolithic human communities. Historically, the hunting of wolves was a huge capital- and manpower-intensive operation. The threat wolves posed to both livestock and people was considered significant enough to warrant the conscription of whole villages under threat of punishment, despite the disruption of economic activities and reduced taxes. The hunting of gray wolves, while originally actively endorsed in many countries, has become a controversial issue in some nations. Opponents see it as cruel, unnecessary and based on misconceptions, while proponents argue that it is vital for the conservation of game herds and as pest control.
A wolf in sheep's clothing is an idiom of Biblical origin used to describe those playing a role contrary to their real character with whom contact is dangerous, particularly false teachers. Much later, the idiom has been applied by zoologists to varying kinds of predatory behaviour. A fable based on it has been falsely credited to Aesop and is now numbered 451 in the Perry Index. The confusion has arisen from the similarity of the theme with fables of Aesop concerning wolves that are mistakenly trusted by shepherds; the moral drawn from these is that one's basic nature eventually shows through the disguise.
The Aztec religion is the religion of the Aztecs. Like other Mesoamerican religions, it had elements of human sacrifice in connection with a large number of religious festivals on the Aztec calendar. Polytheistic in its theology, the religion recognized a large and ever increasing pantheon of gods and goddesses; the Aztecs would often incorporate deities whose cults came from other geographic regions or peoples into their own religious practice. Aztec cosmology divides the world into thirteen heavens and nine earthly layers or netherworlds, each level associated with a specific set of deities and astronomical objects. The most important celestial entities in Aztec religion were the Sun, the Moon, and the planet Venus. One name for the Aztecs is "People of the Sun."
Werewolves have featured a number of times in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its other media tie-ins. The various media may not even be consistent with respect to each other.
The wolf is a common motif in the foundational mythologies and cosmologies of peoples throughout Eurasia and North America. The obvious attribute of the wolf is its nature of a predator, and correspondingly it is strongly associated with danger and destruction, making it the symbol of the warrior on one hand, and that of the devil on the other. The modern trope of the Big Bad Wolf is a development of this. The wolf holds great importance in the cultures and religions of the nomadic peoples, both of the Eurasian steppe and North American Plains. In many cultures, the identification of the warrior with the wolf (totemism) gave rise to the notion of lycanthropy, the mythical or ritual identification of man and wolf.
Rimbor is a fictional planet in the 30th century DC Universe, best known as the home planet for Legion of Super-Heroes member Ultra Boy. It is a member world part of the United Planets.
The Predator is a fictional extraterrestrial species featured in the Predator science-fiction franchise, characterized by its trophy hunting of other species for sport. First introduced in 1987 as the main antagonist of the film Predator, the Predator creatures returned in the sequels Predator 2 (1990), Predators (2010) and The Predator (2018), as well as the crossover films Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
Shaun Ellis is an English animal researcher who is notable for living among wolves, and for adopting a pack of abandoned North American timber wolf pups. He is the founder of Wolf Pack Management and is involved in a number of research projects in Poland and at Yellowstone National Park in the United States.
"World War III" is the title of two comic book sagas published by DC Comics and involving many of the superheroes of the DC Universe. The first was published in 2000 as a story-arc in the JLA ongoing series; the second was published in 2007 as a limited series of its own.
Master of Mosquiton is a Japanese manga series written by Hiroshi Negishi and Satoru Akahori and illustrated by Tsutomu Isomata about a girl named Hitomebore Inaho whose grandmother was in love with a vampire. Inaho meets a vampire at an all-girls Catholic high school. The manga was adapted into a 1996 original video animation series and was re-imagined into a 1997 anime televisions series.
The Sight is a novel written by David Clement-Davies about a pack of wolves. The pack members are: Huttser, Palla, Khaz, Kipcha, Brassa, Bran, Larka and Fell, though Kar and Palla's brother Skop join later.
Medusa: A Tiger by the Tail is a science fiction novel by American writer Jack L. Chalker, the fourth book in the Four Lords of the Diamond series. First published as a paperback in 1983. It concludes the saga started in Lilith: A Snake in the Grass, Cerberus: A Wolf in the Fold and Charon: A Dragon at the Gate.
The Justice League of Earth are fictional characters, a supervillain team of the 31st Century in the DC Comics universe. They were created by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank and first appeared in Action Comics #859 as enemies of the Legion of Super-Heroes.