SF Based on Finnish Mythology from the Nebula Nominee Author!
In a bland, planned, regimented future, a strange new alloy extruded from another dimension is used in millions of products, triggering murderous impulses in everyone who touches them. The rational, benign leaders of government are helpless, but two daring scientists, Dr. Clifford Enoch and his niece, Silia, believe they have the answer.
Through a dimensional gap, the metal has come into contact with the Pahaliset—evil, God-like aliens who attempted to invade Earth long ago, but who were driven back by the four legendary heroes of Finnish mythology, whose powers and exploits were chronicled in the Finnish national saga, the Kalevala. To stop these destructive, near omnipotent beings, Enoch and Silia suggest scanning all computer records to find the genetic descendent of the greatest of the heroes of the Kalevala, the lover, warrior Lemminkainen. Enter Carl Lempi, a restless misfit in the perfectly designed future utopia, who just may have the power to overcome the Pahaliset. But, first he and Silia must journey alone to the frozen north, then cross the dimensional barrier to seek out Ilmarinen, the wonder-smith who hammers out magical weapons.
Then, when Silia is kidnapped, Carl Lempi he must confront the vile star witch, Louhi, in her own demon-haunted island in spacetime, the dark realm known as Pohyola, where imprisonment and ignominy wait. Finally, defenseless and unarmed he must face the assembled Pahaliset. In all its might—armed only with his own uncertain beliefs and the help of a Goddess who may not exist!
Emil Petaja, who was nominated for a Nebula Award by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1967 for Best Short Story, was of Finnish descent and first learned the lore of the Kalevala in childhood. From it he crafted a quartet of science-fantasy masterpieces inspired by the four heroes of Kalevala—the Cosmic Kalevala—which begins here!
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