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The Vorrh

by Brian Catling

You'll have to abandon genre expectations, and work hard as a reader to supply psychological categories - so deep is this inner landscape, and so intuitive the supernatural uncertainties. In terms of characters it's a Jacobean bloodbath, but so many shards of primitive visions and alternative realities emerge, which will develop later in the trilogy.

Extract

He came out of the nightmare into the nightmare. The scream of the whistle and the blistering sun illuminated worse than he had dreamt. He had no idea why the floor shuddered, why he held on to a dead man who stank of vegetation, or why he could not wake out of it. The train was slowing, the first signs of civilisation beginning to show. Fences and enclosures appeared by the side of the track, cut into the edge of the forest, which seemed to be loosening its grip on the land. Slower still, and the huts began to cluster and swarm around the track, gradually gaining height and culture. The shrill train braked, piercing its arrival to the approaching city. The corpse's head jolted to one side, its marble black eyes staring at nothing. The Frenchman looked away with a regret he could not explain, as the train slouched to a halt in the steaming station. He did not see that the wet, black orbs were still moving, still actively flinching to grab at any motes of light or meaning.

Parallels

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones
The Ritual by Adam L G Nevill
Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay
 

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