Tarburton-on-the-Moor – just another sleepy Dartmoor village. Or so it seems to Joanna Gard when she comes to visit her elderly aunt here, until the fabric of the village begins, like her personal life, to unravel. The villagers become less and less substantial as she watches, the local church degenerates into a nexus of terrifying malevolence, siblings of a horrifyingly seductive family pull her inexorably towards them, elementals play with her terrors on the midnight moor ... At last Joanna is compelled to realize that a duel of wills between eternal forces is being played out – that nothing, herself included, is what it seems to be. In this uncomfortably disturbing tale of clashing realities, Hugo- and World Fantasy Award-winning author John Grant skilfully juggles a strange, fantasticated cosmology with images from the darker side of the human soul.
“The Beach of the Drowned”
He thought he was booking himself in for a day's idle sailing and lovemaking, and it would all have been fine except then a storm blew up out of nowhere, his girlfriend suffered a horrible death, and finally he himself was sucked under the waves. But death eluded him. Instead he found himself drawn to the beach where all drowned folk go, a place outside normal existence where the few people who retain their intelligence band together in the hopeless hope of finding their way back to the living world again. After all, legend says it was done once before ...