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Ebook: £7.99


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Time of Passing

Tales of Twilight and Borderlands

John Gaskin


Time of Passing, the fifth volume of John Gaskin’s acclaimed ‘Tales of Twilight and Borderlands’, contains nine entirely new stories, along with four which first appeared in a previous collection and an anthology. Infused with an almost uncanny understanding of things past and to come, and enlivened by touches of sardonic humour, John Gaskin’s stories are firmly in the tradition of the classic English ghost story and tales of the unknown.


A sense of place is always strongly present, as is the influence of the author’s Classical scholarship. Some stories feature academics and Oxford colleges, but also, in ‘Time of Passing’, lock keepers on the River Isis in Oxford. The beautiful wilds of Northumberland and the hazards they pose for the unwary or unlucky, are the setting for ‘Cropsey’s Hole’. In the elegiac ‘The Sea’, time itself drives the narrative.


Contains: ‘Foreword’, ‘Time of Passing’, ‘The Stone Guest’, ‘The Second Master’, ‘Avernus’, ‘The Gathering’, ‘The New Member’, ‘Dead Hands’, ‘Blaeweary’, ‘The Return of Fire’, ‘On a Summer Night’, ‘Cropsey’s Hole’, ‘The Sea’, ‘Last Words’



About the author:

As well as A Traveller’s Guide to Classical Philosophy (Thames & Hudson, 2011 & 2019), academic books on philosophy, and a full length mystery novel, A Doubt of Death (2011), John Gaskin has previously published four vividly atmospheric and disturbing collections of ‘Tales of Twilight and Borderlands’: The Dark Companion (Dublin, 2001), The Long Retreating Day (Tartarus, 2006), The Master of the House (Tartarus, 2014) and The New Inn Hall Deception (Tartarus 2019).


John Gaskin was educated at the City of Oxford High School and Oxford University. Having had employment with British Railways, the Thames Conservancy, and as the first graduate trainee in the Royal Bank of Scotland, he took a lectureship at Trinity College Dublin where he became a Fellow, Junior Dean at the height of the troubles, and held a personal chair in philosophy. He retired in 1997 to write and travel. He is married with two children, five grandchildren and a cat. In 1997 he was awarded a Doctor of Letters and is an honorary Fellow of Hatfield College, Durham.



'While Tartarus Press may be best known for its multi-volume edition of the “strange stories” of Robert Aickman, it has also championed current practitioners of the British tradition of supernatural fiction. This fall’s Time of Passing: Tales of Twilight and Borderlands, a fifth—and apparently final—collection from John Gaskin, demonstrates this restrained style of storytelling.' Michael Dirda, Washington Post


"Another classic ornament to the genre. For reading by the fire with a bottle of port, preferably by candlelight, with the shutters firmly closed." Clare Rhoden, Aurealis #166


"A book for clever and sensitive readers, Time of Passing is the beautiful, melancholic literary last will of an author who’s supposedly retiring from writing. We can only hope that he will change his mind." Mario Guslandi, Black Gate



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