Dienstag, 7. April 2015

TERRA SF 532 - Jack Williamson : Die Herrscher der Nacht


Jack Williamson : Die Herrscher der Nacht (Darker Than You Think)
Terra SF 532, 04.08.1967
Deutsche Erstausgabe
Originalausgabe 1940, Expanded Version 1948
Aus dem Amerikanischen von Monika Glettler & Hans Kneifel
Titelbild : Johnny Bruck


The novel begins with the announcement from an ethnological expedition to Mongolia that among humanity exist people who can turn themselves into animals. However, the expedition's spokesman dies of a sudden mysterious seizure in the midst of a press conference, just as he was about to provide detailed proof of his assertions. His friend, journalist Will Barbee, suspects his alleged colleague, the fascinating April Bell.

Determined to discover the truth, but also attracted by Bell, Barbee finds out that in a past era a war took place in which Homo sapiens defeated werewolves (Homo lycanthropus) - who can, in fact, also turn themselves into various other animals other than wolves. The surviving werewolves continued to live hidden among humans and await the coming of the Child of the Night who will lead them to recover the supremacy.

In the secret history depicted in the book, medieval witch hunting was not a manifestation of blind fanaticism but a means of protecting Homo sapiens against the resurgence of this very real threat; conversely, modern skepticism and rational disbelief in the very existence of witches were deliberately fostered by these hidden werewolves, as a way of gaining a breathing spell and preparing for their counter-attack.

While becoming aware of all this, Barbee is faced with the issue of discovering precisely who and what he is himself, and on which side should he range himself in the coming titanic struggle.
Wikipedia

Keine wirklich interessante Geschichte - vom Standpunkt des Jahres 2015 aus gesehen. Denn während heutzutage die klassischen Werwolf-Anzeichen dem Leser nur allzu deutlich ins Auge fallen, war dies vor 75 Jahren, als die Story das erste Mal in Unknown erschien, keinesfalls so, die einzelnen Details waren absolutes Neuland. Auch die Handlungsweisen der Protagonisten sind nur vor diesem Hintergrund zu verstehen, dem heutigen Leser kommen sie absurd vor. Nichtsdestotrotz sollte man diese Geschichte gelesen haben, und sei es nur als Vorlage für die seitdem geschriebenen Werwolf-Romane.

Im Netz finden sich diverse Rezensionen zu diesem Roman, die sich mit ihm im Detail auseinandersetzen und detailliert Vorzüge und Nachteile besprechen. Ich fand den Roman jetzt nicht so prickelnd, aber ich bin ja auch kein Literaturwissenschaftler. Hier eine kleine Auswahl :

Steven H Silver : Darker Than You Think
Hannah Priest : Darker Than You Think
Scott Lazerus : Forays into Fantasy: Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson
John Clute : yore is us

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