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From Our Catalog:
Wolfbane by C. M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl, 1959

Wolfbane  by C. M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl, 1959

Excerpt from the Review of Wolfbane  by Anthony G. WIlliams from

It is the 23rd century. Two hundred years before, a small planet had entered the Solar System, captured the Earth and the Moon, and pulled them out of their orbit into interstellar space. The controlling intelligences of the wanderer were enigmatic mobile Pyramids measuring 35 yards on each edge and possessing incomprehensible powers. One of them planed off the top of Mount Everest and had sat there ever since. Every attempt by humanity to attack the Pyramids and their planet ended in failure, and the Sun had become just another star in the night sky. The Earth remained habitable because the Pyramids turned the Moon into a mini-Sun. This faded over time and had to be relit every five years, causing a cycle of heat and cold which played havoc with the Earth's climates, sea levels and agriculture.

Humanity had suffered badly from these changes and the population had dropped to just 100 million, most of whom had to survive on 1,000-1,500 calories a day. The perpetual hunger had led to a low-energy lifestyle in which people lived their lives slowly within an elaborate structure of approved social behaviour, with every word and gesture being carefully stylised (the authors have some fun with this). Displays of emotion were solecisms, as was any attempt to take more than one was entitled to. Meditation was the most popular pastime, with the aim being to achieve "Translation": when someone reached the state of having a perfectly blank mind, a swirl (known as an "Eye") formed in the air above them and they disappeared in an instant.

Not all of humanity fitted into this pattern. A small minority, called "Wolves" by the rest, lived selfish, competitive, aggressive lives. When discovered they were seized and ritually killed (in a particularly unpleasant way) by the majority.

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