Our friend Joshua Glenn, publisher of HiLoBooks says, "I'm thrilled to announce that the HiLoBooks edition of William Hope Hodgson's 1912 dying-earth novel The Night Land, with an introduction by Erik Davis, is available in bookstores and via Amazon. 'One of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written,' claimed H.P. Lovecraft, in 1927; China Miéville agrees, in his 2013 blurb for HiLoBooks: 'A mutant vision like nothing else there has ever been.'"
In the far future, an unnamed narrator, who along with what remains of the human race, dwells uneasily in an underground fortress-city surrounded by brooding, chaotic, relentless Watching Things, Silent Ones, Hounds, Giants, "Ab-humans," Brutes, and enormous slugs and spiders, follows a telepathic distress signal into the unfathomable darkness.
The Earth's surface is frozen, and what's worse — at some point in the distant past, overreaching scientists breached "the Barrier of Life" that separates our dimension from one populated by "monstrosities and Forces" who have sought humankind's destruction ever since. Armed only with a lightsaber-esque weapon called a Diskos, and fortified only by his sense of Honor, our hero braves every sort of terror en route to rescue a woman he loves but has never met.
Hodgson wrote in an archaic style that adds to the story's ever-mounting sense of uncanny anxiety. HiLoBooks' edition of his novel omits two sections which have until now prevented it from reaching a wider audience: the tale's romantic prefatory conceit and its lengthy, relatively uneventful dénouement. Our otherwise unabridged version begins and ends with the most dramatic moments in this epic tale: chapters Two and Eleven.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects