"The Light of Lilith" is a science-fiction novel by G. McDonald Wallis, published in 1961 as one-half of an Ace Double, the other side being the classic "The Sun Saboteurs" by Damon Knight. "The Light of Lilith" was somewhat confusing for me to read, and when I tried to do some background research on it, it left me just as confused.
Our protagonist, named "Mason" (and I checked, I don't know if that is his first or last name), is a space reporter who is sent to the planet Lilith, a world where the sun shines in a spectrum that includes colors that normal human eyes can not see. The physics of this, as well as what these normally non-perceptible colors look like, is not really explained. Mason's first experience on Lilith is watching a man die in an experiment. He also finds out that the people running the colonies are experimenting on the native animals, including a cute, squirrel-like animal called a "melan". In a sudden vision that seems psychedelic, but this was 1961, before we really had psychedelia, Mason discovers that humans will be banished back to earth in the far future, but that the cute little squirrels will later evolve into a supremely powerful alien race that will save humanity. Mason then escapes Lilith to seek advice from super-advanced, wise and gentle aliens, who protect him as he comes back to Lilith and tries to save the "melans", which involves a type of biblical flood, and then maybe he meets God at the end.
And that is the abbreviated version.
The book isn't really a story, as much as it is a fable. And it really isn't a science-fiction story as much as it is a fantasy...in space. But at the least, the basic outline I gave above is further proof that classic pulp science-fiction was not all rocket ships and ray guns. This book is a psychedelic fable about man's overreach. Which led me to wonder: who wrote this?
There is a short biography before the title page where it says that G. McDonald Wallis was a woman who worked as an actress, was raised in Hawaii and Shanghai, and who had witnessed the Nuremburg Trials. The online encyclopedia of science-fiction says that her name was Geraldine June McDonald Wallis, and that she was born in Seattle in 1925, and that she is still living. However, I can find no other information that confirms this information, and the IMDB doesn't contain any information about the stage names she used as an actress. In addition, there is another unusual fact: pioneering 19th century fantasy author George MacDonald wrote a book named "Lilith". To me, it seems an unusual coincidence that "G. McDonald" and "George MacDonald" should write books with a similarly unusual reference to kabbalah, and while that doesn't seem a definitive link, I do suspect there is something going on here. I also find it unusual that this work, and the other side of the novel, "The Sun Saboteurs", should both involve the idea of super-advanced and wise aliens exiling a space-faring humanity back to earth for their crimes. It is not beyond coincidence, but I found certain aspects of this book, such as the author's great imagination combined with basic gaps in storytelling, to make me wonder who could have written this, and why?