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Five Degrees of Latitude
'Sarban meets Blackwood meets late Machen.' Jim Rockhill
This stunning debut collection by Michael Reynier includes five fictions about landscape, people, and the mysteries in between. They are tales of curiosity and discovery, of passion, hatred and the supernatural, and they will entertain and stimulate the intellect in equal measure.
In ‘Le Loup Garou’ Professor Florant Hortholary investigates a series of disappearances and vicious animal mutilations in a remote French mountain village. In ‘Sika Tarn’, two walkers hear otherworldly sounds at an isolated lake. A Victorian academic discovers the research records of his maverick predecessor and learns of a startling set of experiments in ‘The Rumour Mill’. In ‘No. 3 Hobbes’ Lane’, set in rural England of the industrial revolution, a traveller wonders at the mystery of a house with no windows. ‘The Visions of Lazaro’ blends two disparate narratives—one an academic account of a bizarre religious sect dating back to the sixteenth century, the other a contemporary journal describing a visit to a deserted outstation--and time and space soon become intertwined.
These are stories written in full awareness of the British and European supernatural tradition, but they have a freshness and originality all their own. Michael Reynier is undoubtedly an exciting new talent in the field of uncanny literature.
Michael Reynier is British, forty-three and works in London. He studied as an archaeologist and worked at the British Museum and the University of Leicester before moving into university administration. He is married with two children.
Also available by Michael Reynier from Tartarus Press, Horthólary: Tales from Montagascony
' "Le Loup-Garou" ... a tale of fear and betrayal in which the supernatural elements are only hinted at, the whole wrapped up in a pitch perfect delivery.... "The Visions of Lazaro" conceptually and structurally the most ambitious of these works ... brings to mind the creations of Borges, with its cleverness and artifice, and underlying it all a trust in the reader’s intuition.' Peter Tennant, Trumpetville
'I recommend it highly to all admirers of the classical supernatural tale. Reynier's prose is uncommonly polished for a debut author, and his style is perfectly suited to the mode in which these five novellas work.' Brendan Moody, The Stars at Noonday
' "Le Loup-Garou" [has] a pitch perfect delivery... [In] "No. 3 Hobbes Lane" ... the air of ambiguity [is] carefully maintained ... "The Rumour Mill" [is] carefully detailed ... "Sika Tarn" ... is a disturbing exercise in rustic terror. ... "The Visions of Lazaro" ... brings to mind the creations of Borges, with its cleverness and artifice'. Peter Tennant, Black Static.
'Readers who like weird tales with a vintage feel will find this volume an auspicious debut.' Publishers Weekly
'Five Degrees of Latitude, the debut collection from Michael Reynier is, in many ways, a thing of beauty — from the simple but elegantly designed physical book produced by Tartarus Press to the five intricate and highy-polished tales contained within, there is much to admire here.' Robert Morrish, Twilight Ridge
'...an extraordinary book, featuring stories with very original subjects and such a mature, superior writing style that it's hard to believe that this is the debut work of a brand new author and not the product of a skilful veteran storyteller.' The Agony Column