The Sea of Ash, by Scott Thomas
Lovecraft Ezine Press. Afterword by Jeffrey Thomas.
Zounds! I’ve had this slim novel for quite some time (referring to the Kindle edition). It has languished in my to-read queue for an unconscionable period…but at long last I’ve given it a couple of reads, two weeks apart, and have survived to tell the story.
Reading, I was minded so much of Wells that I hd to keep checking the authorship. The Crystal Egg and the Time Machine came repeatedly to mind-the former because of the style and the latter because of a quaintly Victorian device that figures in the narrative. But Wells didn’t go in so much for the supernatural.
MR James, Walter de la Mare, those would be perhaps more suitable names to conjure with, trying to encapsulate or compare the style and subject matter of this most singular work.
Not that comparison comes anywhere close to capturing the essence of the piece, but I feel compelled to try.
There is that of the ghostly(Fractured Harry himself and several other apparitions appear), and that of the steampunk (the general Victorian air and appurtenances), and that of the strictly naturalistic, all bundled together loosely and interdependent upon one another to form the whole of the structure, like one of Clive Barker’s Cities in the Hills, or a Wicker Man.
The work deserves every accolade that comes to it. I’ve seldom beheld such a work of the imagination in a long career of reading fantastical fiction.
I just bought a copy of the Sea of Flesh and the Sea of Ash, to have the original work(s) together.
Five stars plus.