Best 1977 Adventures (6)

By: Joshua Glenn
November 9, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1977 adventure novels. Happy 40th anniversary!


Fritz Leiber’s Jungian urban fantasy adventure Our Lady of Darkness.

The protagonist of this philosophical, meta-fictional, quasi-autobiographical supernatural novel is Franz Westen, a San Francisco-based novelist of the supernatural. Westen discovers two books, Megapolismancy by (fictional) cultist Thibaut de Castries and a handwritten journal that may have belonged to (real-life) fantasy writer Clark Ashton Smith, which suggest that large concentrations of stone, concrete, and metal, combined with electricity and other fuels, constitute a great reservoir of energy that can be harnessed in order to evoke powerful “paramental” forces. Like, maybe, the pale brown thing that waves to Westen from his own apartment window. While Westen traipses the streets of San Francisco (cf. the 1972–1977 TV show) in search of answers, are occult entities also searching for him? A slow-building sense of doom pervades this strange, atmospheric yarn.

Fun facts: Originally published in shorter form as “The Pale Brown Thing” (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1971). See also: Philip K. Dick’s philosophical, quasi-autobiographical A Scanner Darkly, published the same year.


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1977 adventures that you particularly admire.


Adventure, Lit Lists