Best Adventures of 1946 (5)

By: Joshua Glenn
June 9, 2016

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1946 adventure novels. Happy 70th anniversary!



Henry Kuttner’s (and C.L. Moore’s?) science-fantasy adventure The Dark World.

Whisked — from the Pacific theatre, during WWII — through a dimensional portal into the Dark World, a fantastical version of Earth where mutants rule — Edward Bond finds himself possessing the body of the wizard Ganelon, head of a tyrannical coven of evil werewolves and witches. As is common in the science fantasy of the era, we find rational explanations for fantastical creatures such as the vampires and werewolves. Ganelon, meanwhile, is transported into Bond’s body! Bond works to free the Dark World from Ganelon’s tyranny… all the while persuading the coven’s members that he is, indeed, Ganelon. (Hello, Star Trek‘s “Mirror, Mirror” episode.) There’s a sacrifice-demanding entity known as Llyr, who is strongly reminiscent of a Lovecraftian elder god. Freydis, a good witch, leads a rebellion of forest-dwelling creatures against the coven. Things get even more complicated when Ganelon returns to the Dark World, his body now housing two distinct, and opposed, minds and personalities.

Fun fact: The novel was first published in the July 1946 issue of Startling Stories. Ace issued the first book version in 1965. C.L. Moore and her husband, Kuttner, co-authored a number of books without attribution; sf scholars tend to agree that Moore should receive co-author credit for The Dark World.


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1946 adventures that you particularly admire.


Adventure, Lit Lists