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First edition
Cover art by René Brantonne

Niourk (published 1957) is a science fiction novel by the French writer Stefan Wul. It first appeared as one of the Fleuve Noir "Anticipation" novels, a series published in France since 1951 which reflected the authors' attitudes towards the supposed post war rise of a "technocracy" in the country.[1]


It presents a future in which Earth is deserted and only small bands of hunter-gatherer tribes exist, and live on paleolithic level. The name of the novel, "Niourk", comes from the pronunciation of the name of New York City.

The "black child" lives with his tribe, but is denounced by the tribe chief. He follows the chief into the ruins of abandoned city, where he comes into touch with pre-apocalyptic human artifacts, and other still functioning automatic devices.

In the meantime, his tribe moves toward another hunting area, where they are attacked by an intelligent chimera-squid monster which were used before for sanitation of radioactive waste on the bottom of the sea. Tribesmen kill the squid, and eat it, which makes them stronger, faster and more intelligent. However, they are also heavily irradiated.

The black child returns to the tribe to save them from a large squid attack, and than eats the radioactive Squid brains and begins to experience exponential transformation of his intellect and abilities, but is also heavily irradiated.

As they travel, they meet a human from a space-bound branch of mankind who directs them to New York. On the trip there, all of the tribesmen die from acute radiation sickness. Upon arrival in New York, he and his pet bear are forcibly and partially healed from radiation, but escape the facilities before the procedure is completed.

The Black Child than meets humans from Mars that got shipwrecked on Earth. They heal the child, but in the process he develops tremendous intelligence, and via connection to ship's computer learns most of the human history. He is also increasingly able to manipulate matter and space, which enables him to "fly", go "through" walls and manipulate objects in ways he please.

He than makes peace with Squid civilization, and relocates the Earth into orbit of Saturn.


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