Original 1946 publication authored by Keith Hammond which is the pen name of husband and wife writing team C.L. Moore (not credited in this edition) and Kuttner....
|Title||:||Valley of the Flame|
|Format Type||:||Mass Market Paperback|
|Number of Pages||:||156 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Valley of the Flame Reviews
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 don't think it will surprise anyone to learn that Kuttner and Moore write wonderfully, with a surprisingly wide range of literary, artistic and historic reference (Balzac, Baldur, Brancusi, Arrhennius, Fenris-wolf and Birnam Wood are all brought up) that belies the novel's pulpy origins. The book is as exciting, fast moving and colorful as can be, and was deservedly chosen by James Cawthorn and Michael Moorcock for inclusion in their overview volume "Fantasy: The 100 Best Books." I enjoyed this novel even more recently than I did when I first read it 20 or so years ago, and think that it would make for an incredible film, if brought to the screen with respect by a team with the requisite $200 million. The 1964 Ace paperback edition pictured above, which is the one that I own, has a cover price of 40 cents, and I feel it is high time for this great fantasy work to be put back into print after 40+ years at today's modern, inflated prices. Whatever price the reader winds up paying for this one, I think he/she will be extremely satisfied.
Not a bad little tale along the lines of lost world pulp. A doctor, curious about a mysterious death, an acquaintance's strange behavior, and a strange, almost unearthly, patient, enters a hidden forest deep in Brazil where an otherworldly power known as "the Flame" has caused evolution to follow alternate paths. What appear to be humans there are actually highly evolved jaguars, living in the abandoned cities of a previous people who once tried to harness the Flame. Connections are revealed between the acquaintance and the cat people, and it all comes to a head as they realize the mysterious Flame is flaring, and its radiation could poison the world.
The surprise for me was the major story point of a source of primal energy that stimulates and accellerates the metabolism and time-sense of animal life, but will go through a 'down cycle' that degenerates humanlike life into mutant beasthood. This is a page out of Richard Shaver's beneficial/detrimental rays and their effects on the tero/dero people.Given the time period of the writing, I'm curious if there was an influence, if only incidental.
Henry Kuttner (1915-1958) may be referred to as “one of the most important science fiction authors you’ve never heard of.” He was incredibly prolific and versatile, writing countless short stories of science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller, and adventure, as well as over a dozen novels. Many of his works have been adapted into movies and episodes of television shows, including The Twilight Zone. One of my favorite science fiction stories of all time, “Private Eye,” was written by “Lewis Padgett,” the pen-name of Henry Kuttner and his equally talented writing wife, C.L. Moore. I’ve blogged about a number of his novels before — The Time Axis, Destination Infinity, The Well of the Worlds — and I’m always eager to read more of his bibliography, though it isn’t always easy to find it.I recently came across a reprint of Kuttner’s novel Valley of the Flame (1946), and jumped at the chance to read it.Read the whole review.
Interesting pulp fantasy, fast paced and with an intriguing premise. Deep in the jungles of the Amazon is 'the Flame' an energy source that can speed up or slow down evolution.First published in 1946, it is interesting that Valley of the Flame takes place in the then future of 1985. I'm not sure why Kuttner placed the setting 40 years into the future since has absolutely no effect on the story. Fairly entertaining with a couple of genuinely memorable scenes.
4 stars from Sandy: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...