Comments on Arthur B's Fresher Than You Think

For a story dating from the 1940s, Darker Than You Think has held up surprisingly well.

Comments (go to latest)
Craverguy at 23:00 on 2014-12-09
Your review has inspired me to put in a hold on this book with my local library.

Incidentally, I notice that this is described as a "werewolf" novel on both Amazon and Wikipedia, rather than a "witch" or "psychic" novel. Is that an accurate reflection of its contents, or more of a marketing thing?
Arthur B at 08:07 on 2014-12-10
It is all of those things, though the mechanics of lycanthropy here are rather untraditional (it's people astral projecting in animal form rather than their bodies actually transforming).
Ashimbabbar at 00:16 on 2014-12-30
Also, I think there is an interesting sub-text in this novel.

The novel basically subscribes to the Out Of Asia theory of the origin of humanity - which had been quite popular in the end of the 19th century and until about 1930.
The nazis had been very much into it, Hitler sending an expedition to Tibet to look for the cradle of the 'aryan race'…

So. We have a would-be master race originating in TIbet. Also, its powers are animalistic and Hitler's aim was to turn the next German generations into "magnificent beasts of prey" unencumbered with sentimentality or conscience…
Anybody sees a pattern here ?
In that light, the promised Rule of Darkness takes a new meaning ( and so does the conspiracy which includes wealthy and eminent members of society… )

Also, it must be the only serious novel where the protagonist transforms into a pterodactyl.
Arthur B at 15:18 on 2014-12-30
That's a good point, though it's interesting how Williamson also subverts Nazi racial theory by pointing out that if the "superior" traits originated that far back in human evolution, then you'd expect them to be distributed through a wide swathe of populations - and indeed the telepathic master-race has representatives from more or less every racial and ethnic division out there.

I suspect Williamson would bristle at this being referred to as a "serious novel", if only because he was quite unashamed of being an adventure story hack and was suspicious of attempts to create "literary" SF. Which is ironic because he's quite good at not overtly trying to be fancy-pants or highbrow whilst at the same time presenting something that is a little more clever than it looks at first glance.
Ashimbabbar at 00:49 on 2017-12-04
( deleted my former comment as I think it was erroneous )

Another point to take into account is the bad guys' ruthlessly scientific point of view on reproduction: it's all amatter of getting the best gene combinations, so selceting the partners on purely biological grounds, all in order to obtain the purest possible strains…

Sound a lot like the SS married life and Lebensborn program, right ?
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