THE MASTER OF NORRIYA BY WAYLAND DREW

Standard

Copyright 1986.

Yggdrasil is coming to the end of its planned two hundred year lifespan. Instead of just going back to the land like the founders wanted the inhabitants are taking a different approach. Abandoning the Project they opt for implementing the Transformation. So what is the Transformation? Its basically they plan to enslave the natives on the land to work to mine and produce the necessary materials to keep Yggdrasil going indefinitely. Asa who is the Master of Norriya is one of the last in power to still believe in the Project. Yet he is old and has frequent delusions of talking to his dead wife. He eventually goes to the northern island of Jotunheim where the scholars still go on looking for the solution.

It may be too late thought for implementing the Transformation. Things are falling apart real quick. Many of the inhabitants who don’t like the new order become rens and hide out in underground passages where they are hunted down by the security forces. A message comes from an unknown civilization called Juhara. They offer their help in exchange for Yggdrasil becoming part of their empire. They arrive in a huge advanced ship and the Yggdrasillians are sufficiently in awe to agree. But it is an illusion as the Juharians are themselves falling apart. They soon start an oppressive rule in enslaving the natives. When they try to exterminate the Gerumbians a tribe of mutants this opens up a serious revolt that stretches their resources. It all ends in a big nuclear explosion courtesy of the old ones.

The final book in the Erthring trilogy. So in this one anything that can go wrong does. It seems to be just one big disaster after another. The Juharians are an arrogant lot. They believe in power at any price and are so confident that they will control the entire world and start colonizing space in a few years. It is obviously the author puts two complete opposing philosophies in conflict with each other. In the end both are failures. It is sad to see the scholars who continue to go on while being ignored in their belief they are going to find this magical solution to keep humans from being self destructive. In fact the tribes outside the Erthring seem to be doing fine without their help. Teperman and his friends that started Yggdrasil in my opinion come off as the ultimate narcissists in the project they started two hundred years ago. The little games of solving riddles to open doors. The third door is opened and there is only music. What kind of asshole withholds music. Oh and the last door was never to be opened because it had raw absolute power behind it. It was put their to settle an argument Teperman had with his colleagues. Teperman believed that people could avoid the temptation of power while some of his friends didn’t. Well opening the door sets off the nuclear explosion that destroys the islands. Yep a real asshole.

The author wrote a fascinating trilogy. He made his points without being preachy and seemed to admit that the problems at the time had no easy solutions. A high school teacher he was not a very prolific writer. Besides this trilogy he wrote a handful of other non-science fiction books and did some movie adaptations of such gems as Corvette Summer, batteries not included and Dragonslayer. He died in 1998. I would have liked to have seen him try some more science fiction but I will just have to settle for this series.

THE GAIAN EXPEDIENT BY WAYLAND DREW

Standard

Copyright 1985.

The young Asa joins the Yggdrasil project. He shows himself to be a smart man with an endless curiosity to learn. He moves up the ranks quickly as first a peregrinus those agents are responsible to monitor and control the tribes in the Erthring. He successfully manages to bring the Yuloks back to following the rules. Things though are starting to change. Yggdrasil is running toward the end of the two hundred years the founders gave the project. Supplies are dwindling. Tribes from outside the Erthring are assaulting the borders. There are those who want to abandon the project and turn to the old ways that destroyed the planet.

A riddle left by the old ones in the form of locked vaults is solved. It reveals that there is another Erthring in South America. The Erthring is called Xtaplacia. An expedition is mounded to visit. They find a gleaming city on top of a plateau. It is inhabited by people who have abandoned the project and live a life of decadence dedicated to music. Disappointed Asa returns and upon hearing of the location of his wife Persis he abandons his position and heads out to the outer wylds. He finds his wife in time before she dies and the son that he never knew he had. He is met at the end by his friend Alva who has come to inform him that he has been made the Master of Norriya head of one of the administering districts in the Erthring.

The second in the Erthring Cycle trilogy. In this one we learn more about Yggdrasil. It was founded by a rich man named Tuperman who recruited six other millionaires and formed the project. It is lavishly supplied with helicopters and submarines and a supercomputer. All to keep the local tribes down while scholars spend time to research how to make humans one with the Earth. Obviously the whole project is one big waste of time. Interesting the South American Erthring took the other extreme action and is destined to end at the same place as Yggdrasil. Tuperman seems like some crazy moonbat with delusions of grandeur. He devised these riddles that opened vault doors to parcel out information and named the place after Norse mythology. This is such an interesting well written book. You do want to find out how it ends even though you know its not going to end well.

THE MEMOIRS OF ALCHERINGIA BY WAYLAND DREW

Standard

Copyright 1984.

Asa of the Alcheringians is a young seventeen year old on his first raid. Approved by the tribal elders and sanctioned by the gods it is a rite of passage for all young men. The raid is a success and many woman are taken including his future wife Persis. He also earns the enmity of Garm for humiliating him and leaving him bound. Life is good for Asa but things are changing. The young of the tribe are rebelling against the old ways. They want to change and stop the nomadic lifestyle. Start domesticating animals and planting crops. This is in direct violation to the Tabuly that was ordained by the gods.

The gods are actually a group of scientists and scholars on the island chain of Yggdrasil. Before the nuclear war destroyed civilization a group was formed and sheltered on these islands. There mission was to find a way for man to live in harmony with nature. So they formed the Project which keeps the tribes on the mainland a primitive society through the tribal traditions they instituted. Now to stop the Alcheringians they must consider wiping out the tribe to stabilize the Project.

The first book in The Erthring Cycle trilogy. This was by a Canadian author who is an English high school teacher. He didn’t write much and this was his only foray into science fiction. He is a very good writer. This post-apocalyptic society of some intellectuals determined to save the human race from itself is a unique idea with enjoyable characters and settings. It is a sad book as the Alcheringians are destroyed by manipulating the surrounding tribes to attack. So here we have this group that states life is precious but willing to wipe out a people to preserve their goofy project. At the end Asa is the only survivor and his wife is taken by Garm who organized the attack. He ends with Asa going to join the Yggdasilians at the end. I found it fascinating read.

PLANET OF THE APES TALES FROM THE FORBIDDEN ZONE EDITED BY RICH HANDLEY AND JIM BEARD

Standard

Copyright 2017.

UNFIRED by Dan Abnett

A group of mutants is making a pilgrimage to the holy church in the east. They are lead by a mutant who is unfired i.e. surgically altered so he does not have his psychic power and can kill to protect the pilgrims. They deliver a recently discovered holy scripture the launch codes for the Alpha-Omega missile.

MORE THAN HUMAN, LESS THAN APE by Nancy A. Collins

A young Cornelius goes on an archaeological expedition. They are ambushed by a tribe of baboons. Cornelius befriends the leader and lives among them and learns their culture. An army of gorillas comes and massacres the tribe. Baboons are monkeys and not apes so there is no violation of the sacred scrolls.

BLOOD BROTHERS by Will Murray

From the TV series. Galen, Virdon and Burke are continuing their quest and come to the Napa valley. It is inhabited by Native Americans lead by a gorilla. The gorilla was raised by the tribe and is their chief. He is also the brother of General Urko. He defeats Urko and the fugitives continue on.

THE PACING PLACE by Bob Mayer

An alternate world in which Taylor and Nova are not captured by mutants. They found a settlement called Fort Wayne and teach the younger humans how to talk. The pacing place is the place that Taylor paced while waiting for the birth of his son. A tradition starts where all men pace when their women are giving birth. Taylor dies with a thriving human civilization started.

MURDERER’S ROW by John Jackson Miller

A TV producer for the Hexagon Broadcasting Network has a show that will make the network competitive. He will get the future apes Zira and Cornelius to do a variety show on Saturday also known as Murderer’s Row for the killer competition.

ENDANGERED SPECIES by Greg Cox

Years before the movie a young chimpanzee researcher named Janae is studying humans. She notices that they seem to suppress the ability to speak and decides to try and teach a human to speak. She is murdered by gorillas to stop this heresy.

DANGEROUS IMAGININGS by Paul Kupperberg

A brilliant chimpanzee in an alternate future where the Earth wasn’t destroyed finds the backpack of the astronauts. He uses what he finds to invent new and wondrous inventions. This causes Zaius and the science council to crack down because these inventions are inspired by human technology.

OF MONSTERS AND MEN by Kevin J. Anderson and Sam Knight

A young Zaius goes on a scientific expedition to the Forbidden Zone. It is attacked by lizard creatures and while taking shelter in an old museum learns the truth about humans.

THE UNKNOWN APE by Andrew E.C. Gaska

A story from the animated series. General Urko has taken control of the Alpha-Omega missile and plans to use it against his enemies. Then a mixed army of apes, humans and mutants are lead by the Unknown Ape. This ape is Caesar from the past. With his friends Virgil and MacDonald have traveled to the future to stop the destruction of the world. Caesar manages to destroy the missile by sacrificing his life. Peace ensues between humans, mutants and apes.

SILENCED by Jim Beard

A tale of a young woman who was Taylor’s girlfriend. She had his daughter who was a worker at Ape Management when Caesar takes over. Later a descendant is the queen of the last human city. Finally the last descendant is Nova who speaks just before she is killed.

WHO IS THIS MAN? WHAT SORT OF DEVIL IS HE? by Robert Greenberger

General Urko from the TV series is recovering from his injuries with his family. He tells them of a time year before when he killed other human astronauts that arrived.

STONE MONKEY by Greg Keys

In Asia a siamang is hunted by a gorilla warlord. The warlord wants to live forever and forces the siamang to lead him to the immortal stone monkey. Instead he lead him to a refuge for oppressed monkeys that kill him. It is revealed that the siamang is the immortal monkey from human experiments long ago.

MILO’S TALE by Ty Templeton

Milo is from an advanced chimpanzee society far to the south. He comes with an expedition to investigate the crash of an old human ship. While rebuilding it he meets Zira and Cornelius. While in the ship an army of gorillas arrives and forces them to launch. They witness the destruction of Earth.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE by Dayton Ward

Galen, Virdon and Burke from the TV series come on the ruins of an old missile silo. Inside they find a message from a group of humans located at Area 51. They invite the fugitive and they manage to flee before General Urko arrives.

THE KING IS DEAD-LONG LIVE THE KING by Rich Handley

Caesar twenty years later is ruling a prosperous settlement. He decides he wants to make peace with the mutants and sends his son. The mutant ruler Mendez comes but Caesar’s son then kills his mother while the wife of Mendez kills her husband. The mutants leave and it is revealed that a mutant with mind control staged the killing because he was opposed to the peace.

BANANA REPUBLIC by Jonathan Maberry

A temple being built on the fringes of ape civilization uncovers a secret. The New Orleans Naval Reserve armory. Inside are stacks of assault rifles and grenades. An orangutan and gorilla decide to use the weapons against the growing power of the heretical chimpanzees.

An anthology of short stories from the original Planet of the Apes universe. Not only all the movies but the TV series and Saturday morning cartoon. What a great idea. Every story was excellent and there wasn’t a dud in the whole book which is rare for a seventeen story anthology. Obviously the level of writers and their passion for the subject helped. Hopefully there will be many more of such anthologies. A true must read for any Planet of the Apes fan.