A skeletal hand clutching an iron key lies hidden within a mermaid's wooden sarcophagus; a hand-drawn map is stolen from beneath the floorboards an old museum. All while an eccentric inventor - he Sleeper - dreams of a passage to the centre of the hollow earth. And by dreaming, brings the passage into being....
Pursued by kidnappers thinking of riches and murder, Katherine Perkins and her two cousins must descend into the depths of the hollow earth in order to return the Sleeper to his ancestral home on the shores of Lake Windermere. But to awaken him might mean the end of his dream, the closing of the Windermere Passage, leaving the three intrepid explorers marooned in a savage land forgotten by time itself.
Zeuglodon, set in the world envisioned in James P Blaylock's The Digging Leviathan, is a landscape of colour, mystery, and adventure, in which reality and fantasy are shifting currents, and nothing is quite what it seems to be.
James P Blaylock is one of the founding fathers of modern steampunk along with fellow writers and friends Tim Powers and K.W. Jeter. He has won the World Fantasy and Philip K. Dick Awards. Blaylock lives in Orange CA with his wife, they have two sons.
©2013 James P. Blaylock (P)2013 Audible Ltd
"A singular American fabulist." (William Gibson, author of The Difference Engine)
"Blaylock is a magician!" (Michael Swanwick)
"Blaylock's prose is so rich it literally sings!" (Charles de Lint)
I've been studying Blaylock's work for four years now, since I first read portions of the omnibus collection of his early steampunk works, "The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives." When I was asked to interview Blaylock at a convention, I thought it best to acquaint myself with his non-steampunk writing as well, and read a few of his urban fantasies. I found that I preferred his later writing, which is to be expected. While I enjoy his early steampunk immensely, it's his modern theodicies like "Last Coin" and "All the Bells on Earth" I found to be more compelling. "The Aylesford Skull" combines the best of Blaylock's urban fantasies' villainous horror with the whimsy and romance of his steampunk world, in a book that is easily one of his best. William Gaminara's narration is superb, and his delineation of voices by accent, pitch, and mannerisms is among the best I've heard. I have no idea what prompted an early reader to give it one star, though I will readily admit that Blaylock may not be to the taste of modern readers used to brainless page turners. If you're looking for thoughtful, whimsical, and sometimes dark prose, Blaylock is your man.
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