|11-09-2008, 11:13 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Borja (Lima), Peru
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Kuttner, Henry: The Valley Of The Flame. v1. 09 Nov 08
An early fantasy novel by Henry Kuttner, originally published in 1946 and later reprinted by ACE in the '60s.
Here's what one reviewer on Amazon says about this novel:
"Yeah, I know that one has to take inflation into account when computing these things, but still, what incredible deals the sci-fi lover could acquire 60 or so years ago! Take, for example, the March 1946 issue of "Startling Stories," with a cover price of just 15 cents. For that minimal charge, the reader got stories by sci-fi greats Frank Belknap Long, Jack Williamson and Henry Kuttner, PLUS the entire novel "Valley of the Flame," by one Keith Hammond. Hammond, as we know today, was just one of the many noms de plume used by the husband-and-wife writing team of Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, and "Valley" turns out to be yet another remarkable tale from this legendary pair. Equal parts sci-fi, fantasy, Haggardian lost-world adventure and jungle epic, it tells the story of Brian Raft, an American medical researcher in the wilderness of the Amazon Basin, who goes in pursuit of a kidnapped colleague and discovers the hidden valley of Paititi. It is a fairy world of sorts, where falling boulders seem to drift like feathers and streams run like molasses. The reason: All life-forms in Paititi have been abnormally accelerated by the flame called Curupuri, a mass of living energy from the heavens that had crashed in the Amazon region aeons ago. The area's native jaguars have evolved into catlike humans (this is not really a spoiler; the subtitle for the tale in "Startling Stories" reads "A Novel of the Cat People") and numerous mutated plant and animal forms thrive in abundance. Raft becomes embroiled in a plot involving the madman Parror's quest to strengthen the Flame; falls into intrigue at the castle court of the crazed King Darum; and becomes romantically involved with the feline Janissa. The book features two tremendous set pieces; one in the Garden of Kharn, in which Raft must fend off all manner of monstrous flora, and the second in the cavern of the Flame itself, as Raft battles his tigerish madman foe at the brink of an abyss whilst the mountainous, mutating Flame threatens to destroy the entire region. Throw in a cave full of deformed mutants, duels with vicious taloned gauntlets, some high-tech superscience, hypnotism and magic amulets, and you've got quite a little package of wonders on your hands."
I read this novel, along with the other Henry Kuttner novels I've assembled, back in the 60s when ACE reprinted them. They're fun to read and enjoyable entertainment. If you're tired of fat, preachy fantasy novels, then these early novels of Henry Kuttner are very enjoyable, indeed.
Like all the books I assemble on MobileRead, this too was assembled to reflect human intervention and artistic judgment.
I hope you enjoy it.
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