|Ace Double paperback, 1967. Cover painting by|
"EARTH ZERO TO EARTH FIFTEEN - WHICH WAS THE REAL ONE?
What the inhabitants of Greater America didn't realize was that theirs was the only inhabited landmass, apart from one island in the Philippines. They still talked about foreign countries, though they would forget little by little, but the countries were only in their imagination, mysterious and romantic places where nobody actually went.
That was the way it was on E-3, one of the fifteen alternate Earths that had been discovered through the subspace experiments.
Professor Faustaff knew that these alternate Earths were somehow recent creations, and that they were under attack from the strange eroding raids of the mysterious bands known as the D-Squads. But there were tens of millions of people on those Earths who were entitled to life and protection - and unless Faustaff and his men could crack the mystery of these worlds' creation and the more urgent problem of their destruction, it would mean not only the end of these parallel planets, but just possibly the blanking out of all civilization in the universe."
|Ace Double paperback, 1967. Cover painting by |
This fourth science-fantasy novel based on the Finnish legendary epic Kalevala, seemed like a good idea because there are actually four important heroes in these wonderful legends, and this novel completes the cycle, concerning itself with the prophecy of the Great Return when the Vanhat seed shall return to Otava, the planet of their origin. Kullervo is the "bad one" of the legends. Ugly, sullen, despised, he was actually born out of evil. He kicked his cradle to pieces and refused to drown when the wise women flung him into the river. As a vindictive cowherd slave he changed cows into bears and this killed all of Ilmarinen's household. Like Manfred and Oedipus, he was predestined for tragedy and doom. However, he is surely one of the most fascinating characters in all mythology. Jean Sibelius, the great Finnish composer, chose his tragic life for the theme of his magnificent symphonic tone poem Kullervo, one of his finest works, involving choruses, soloists, and a sweeping Wagnerian nobility. My Kullervo Kasi, a prototype of his ancestor, is the spawn of a leakage from a dark dimensionof matter-energy that is invompatible with the life forces in this one. Therefore, Kullervo Kasi is the natural choice of the Starwitch Louhi to find the tag-end remnants of the Vanhat existing somewhere on despoiled Terra and destroy them...."