- Children of the Hive
- Knots in the House of Silence
I had never heard about THE NIGHT LAND or its author until I saw Andy Robertson passing around the book in the pub. Everybody was commenting about its vivid pictures and ideas way ahead of its time, and I felt curious about it. Even more curious when Andy said that he wanted authors to write stories set in that universe!
After reading it, I couldn't help but agree that it was a very interesting universe indeed. First, because even though the setting is markedly fantastic, its inhabitants try to explain it in a rational, rather than magical, way. Their explanations may sometimes look naive and more typical of the Dark Ages than of a truly technological era, but it's made clear that even the strangest unexplained events must have some kind of logical reason behind them. So it was a fascinating challenge to try to find some rationalizations for some of the most curious facts, that Hodgson never even tried to explain.
Another interesting aspect is the idea of a humanity whose history spans over a period of millions of years, instead of a mere few thousands. Cosmic events that we usually consider too slow to be of any importance become then an integral part of human history. I liked the idea of writing a story that developed during such a long period of time that you had to take into account cosmic changes.
And I couldn't forget that the Night Land universe is one that takes to the limit the "Us or Them" scenario. All humanity is confined to a giant pyramid locked in itself, and the outside world is full of monsters of unknown intentions, but undoubtedly evil. I couldn't help wondering what would be the perspective from the other side.
Those were, basically, the ingredients I used to write "Children of the Hive."