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Wolfbane

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  439 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The Earth has been ripped from the Sun by a runaway planet, whose inhabitants have their own plans for Earth's resources. Humankind is dying out, but there are those who defy convention and refuse to give in. Feared by ordinary citizens, these Wolves are preparing to fight back against the aliens.
Mass Market Paperback, T2062, 140 pages
Published July 1976 by Bantam (first published 1957)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  439 ratings  ·  42 reviews


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Martin
The Earth is a prisoner in the cold dungeons of deepest space . . the human race barely survivies beneath the pale artificial sun that is now its only source of heat and light and life . . one man still fights the awful domination of the Pyramids - a fugitive escaped from execution, a dead man with a living super-brain . . a wolf in sheep's clothing.

description

On Meditation and its unknown danger
It was the time appropriate to meditation on the properties of connectivity. Citizen Germyn was skilled in
...more
Brian Clegg
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then I like to re-read an SF classic, and there are rarely safer hands to be in than those of Pohl and Kornbluth. I was surprised as I got into it that I couldn't remember a thing about this book - I suspect it's because despite featuring a number of 'adventure' scenes, it is so cerebral. And that is a limitation - but its one that reflects a daring and impressive piece of writing.

Wolfbane starts with what seems to be a fairly straightforward 'rebel in a straight laced society of
...more
Manny
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The Earth is crushed in the implacable grip of... um, I can't quite remember. Giant killer robots from outer space, I believe, but I could be mistaken. Anyway, people are being strongly encouraged to understand that Resistance is Futile and concentrate on spiritual things instead.

The hero initially buys into this mindset, and meekly accepts his fate. He does this Zen-like exercise where he watches water boil and tries to observe all the Eight Boiling Stages, becoming one with the water and all
...more
Denis
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: softcover
This is the third Pohl and Kornbluth collaboration novel I've read thus far. It was much better than "Search the Sky" yet not as good as "The Space Merchants". It's a cool abduction story - the whole planet is abducted, in fact. It is a well put together story and well worth the time - this may vary depending on which version you read, there are three: a two part magazine version (1957) and two expanded book versions, an extra 20 000 words by Kornbluth for the 1959 publication and then one more ...more
Glenn Schmelzle
May 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
45 years before the movie "The Matrix" was produced, Pohl & Kornbluth basically wrote the same story in "Wolfbane."
Stephen Theaker
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a thrilling book crammed with incident, revelation and adventure, clearly the work of writers who felt no need to hoard their ideas.
Simon
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
After being utterly blown away the last time I read a collaboration between these authors, The Space Merchants, I had high hopes for this book. However, where that book felt timeless and avoided so many of the pitfalls that befell many of its comtemporaries, this feels like it was very much written in the period in which it was (late 50's), sharing many of the weaknesses so prevalent in SF at that time.

There are undoubtedly many interesting ideas touched upon here but the way they were delivered
...more
Mick Kelly
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but dated.

Really, I would have given this three and a half stars. It is well written but a bit dated. All S.F. is really about the present day and this book takes place on an Earth that has been conquered and enslaved. Society is run on a kind of half-Japanese Zen culture (very formal, with rituals and meditation) and half Totalitarian indoctrination (China / Russia) - so a kind of mash-up of the societies that Americans found alien.

Our hero is a rebel and the tale follows his expulsion
...more
Philip Athans
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite a weird little book, expanded from a 1957 Galaxy Magazine story. My copy was the 1976 Bantam edition, which my 10-month-old puppy actually shredded. She ripped the crap out of it, but thankfully all the pages I hadn't read yet were (mostly) intact so I was able to finish the book, though in a state of shocking disrepair. Aside from that the book was a little dated in the tech and a lot dated in the gender roles, but something tells me it was a significant inspiration behind The Matrix. The ...more
Peveril
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, sf-september
Starting off in a typical late-fifties alternative human society, this becomes truly odd, evoking an alienness like little other sf. For me its always stood apart even from the pairs' other novels together as strange and special. Though the denouement, okay in itself, becomes more conventional I'm always left appreciating the astonishing and brutal alien vision of this last novelistic collaboration of Pohl and Kornbluth.
A.R. Yngve
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel originally appeared as a serial in the magazine GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION. It is quite original for its time, and the plot premise is thoroughly modern:

An advanced alien civilization called "the Pyramids" has invaded the Solar System, and has stolen Planet Earth - and all of humanity with it.

Hundreds of years into the future, a remnant of humanity survives on a runaway Earth that is warmed by a tiny artificial sun -- still under occupation by the mysterious aliens. Life is harsh, and the
...more
Metaphorosis
3.5 stars, Metaphorosis Reviews

Summary
The Earth has been captured, the Moon turned into a makeshift sun, and the whole system driven into space. From a partner world, mysterious Pyramids control everything. With resources low, humans have become quiet, unassuming, their interaction ritualized and efficient. Except for the Wolves - humans who refuse to follow the rules.

Review
Wolfbane is a bit of a dry read - I always felt a bit distant from the characters, and the
plot a bit of an intellectual
...more
Roger
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this novel because I've enjoyed everything else I've read by Kornbluth and Pohl. The first part was a little hard to get into as it shows weird behavior of future citizens before explaining it. This gets a lot better when it starts following the "wolf" character - someone who doesn't conform, and escapes persecution to seek more of his own kind. In the second half of the book, taking place on the world of alien invaders, I just don't like the style: Page after page of narrative, ...more
Nico Van Straalen
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this classic book many, many, years ago in Dutch translation when I was a teenager and fond of science fiction. At the time I thought it was the best SF book I ever read. When I discovered that the original version was still available I couldn't wait rereading it. The Dutch translation, in Meulenhoff's famous SF series, was entitled "Wolfsklauw", but a more correct translation would have been "Wolvengif" (Monnikskap), as it is the wolf poison impersonated by the main character, Glenn ...more
A.E. Shaw
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

One of the things I love about sci-fi is the way it incorporates themes of the time of writing taken to a logical futuristic conclusion. The idea of calories, and caloric counting, as a sociological backbone, runs throughout this in a curiously interesting fashion. The fairly detached storytelling, which shifts and drifts about our world, another world, and through various narrators' eyes, is pleasingly generic, and there's enough originality and quirk, especially in the final few pages, to make
...more
Greg Williamson
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plenty of people have mentioned the plot so I won't repeat it. This was the first SF book I ever read. I read it in about 1969. I was only about 11 or 12. My brother had the book and I probably read it because it was fairly short and I liked the cover. I have no memory of it from then. I have sought it for some time to read again. When I found it I couldn't put it down. It is masterly SF of a kind you seldom find these days. I cannot fault it. Even its small size is perfect. I'm getting pretty ...more
Lysergius
The Earth has been torn away from the Sun, kidnapped by a runaway planet , whose inhabitants - enigmatic, utterly alien Pyramids - have their own plans for Earth's resources. And humankind, depending for warmth on a constantly renewed but woefully inadequate Moon, wracked by hunger and ruled by a slavish conformity to tradition, is dying out. But there are those who defy convention and refuse to give in. Feared and persecuted by the ordinary citizens, these 'Wolves' are preparing to fight back ...more
PSXtreme
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very complex little book. What originally appeared to be a couple of hour read (140 pages) got all complicated and jumbled. Mostly you were trying to figure out what was being referenced by a society that had been destroyed 2 centuries earlier when the Earth and moon were ripped from their orbit by another planet and hurled into the cosmos. Don't try to read this one tired, you'll get lost by page 10.
Andrew
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
An enjoyable enough book which looks at conforming and rebellion within the context of a human race under the control of a strange alien pyramid.
seemingly attaining a higher level leads to humans being taken from the earthly realm and from this point the book starts to take on a more complex nature.
So brimming with ideas was it that at points it did start to lose me..however I did get snared back in and do feel that for all this was a challenging read it was a satisfying one.
Jared
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Pohl--maybe a 3 1/2. It's an interesting premise, but the story is too disjointed to have the desired impact. Pohl and Kornbluth's natural writing talent salvages the whole thing. If you're looking for a 'We' or '1984' read alike, this'll do.
Elar
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Lighter version of Matrix, but humans are used as computational parts. Quick paced simple reading, but style is little bit out of date.
Chris Hayzlett
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Science fiction these days pales in comparison to the mind trip that comes from classics like this one, and Pohl is a master.
John
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
1980 grade B

with Kornbluth
K
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun matrix like story.
Dann
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strangely enjoyable. A little unusual, but vivid and beautiful. A decent read.
Jack Hwang
Several elements in the books look so familiar.

The hijacked earth and rebelled humans against a supreme race are so common in the later SF works. Connecting the human into the machines and the forge of a collective conscious also appear times and again in Cyberpunk genre.

Unfortunately, the book is quite weak in the plots and the characters.
Larry Wegman
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beth Gilton
A rip-snortin' old-style heroic science fiction yarn about how one man, alone at first, takes on the aliens who have subjugated Earth. Fun.
Jaq
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An interesting take on the post apocalyptic world, troubled by a wandering later third of the book. Again gender is very much an issue.
Charles L. Welch
Stupendous!

A complete change from the ordinary theme. Fast moving and gripping. Hard to put down for an extended time. As I said, stupendous.
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Frederik George Pohl, Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine IF winning the Hugo for IF three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.
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“Total available Calories divided by Population equals Artistic-Technological Style. When the ratio Calories-to-Population is large—say, five thousand or more, five thousand daily calories for every living person—then the Artistic-Technological Style is big. People carve Mount Rushmore; they build great foundries; they manufacture enormous automobiles to carry one housewife half a mile for the purchase of one lipstick. Life is coarse and rich where C:P is large. At the other extreme, where C:P is too small, life does not exist at all. It has starved out. Experimentally, add little increments to C:P and it will be some time before the right-hand side of the equation becomes significant. But at last, in the 1,000 to 1,500 calorie range, Artistic-Technological Style firmly appears in self-perpetuating form. C:P in that range produces the small arts, the appreciations, the peaceful arrangements of necessities into subtle relationships of traditionally agreed-upon virtue. Think of Japan, locked into its Shogunate prison, with a hungry population scrabbling food out of mountainsides and beauty out of arrangements of lichens. The small, inexpensive sub-sub-arts are characteristic of the 1,000 to 1,500 calorie range.” 2 likes
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