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The Vorrh is a vast unmapped and very mysterious jungle in Africa. No-one comes out of it in one piece.
Survivors report strange, mind-bending phenomena and horrific monsters. It is rumoured that the Garden of Eden still exists somewhere in the middle of it.
In The Erstwhile it transpires that some angels have escaped Eden and the Vorrh and are living in hiding in London, some in disguise as lunatics in Bedlam, one as a mutilated dog. It is also revealed that William Blake, a character in these novels, in interacting with these angels.
Good and evil angels and humans, including William Blake, are heading towards a final, Miltonic apocalyptic battle for the soul of humanity.
The Erstwhile is the second book in the Vorrh trilogy.
Brian Catling’s first novel in the Vorrh trilogy has been acclaimed as a landmark work by Philip Pullman, Alan Moore and Iain Sinclair.
Reviewing The Vorrh in The Guardian Michael Moorcock wrote: ‘One of the most original works of visionary fiction since Mervyn Peake.’
Brian Catling was born in 1948. The London- born multi-media artist’s broad, category defying practice spans sculpture, painting, performance, video-making and poetry. He was educated at the North East London Polytechnic and at the Royal College of Art. He now holds the post of Professor of Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford and is a fellow of Linacre College. He has been exhibiting his work internationally since 1975. Some of his most notable works include a commissioned memorial to the Site of Execution, Tower of London in 2007 and Cyclops at South London Gallery in 1996. In 2001 he co-founded the international performance collective WiTW. He was elected as a Royal Academician in the category of sculpture in 2016.
Patricia is a witch who can communicate with birds. Laurence is a mad scientist and inventor of the two second time machine. As teenagers they gravitate towards one another, sharing in the horrors of growing up weird.
When they later reconnect as adults, Laurence is an engineering genius living in near-future San Francisco, trying to escape a planet falling apart with technological intervention.
Meanwhile, Patricia, a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the magically gifted, works alongside her fellow magicians to secretly repair the earth’s ever growing ailments.
As they each take sides in a cataclysmic war between science and magic, Laurence and Patricia find themselves trying to make sense of life, sex and adulthood on the brink of the apocalypse.
ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY is a sublime and dazzling blend of literary fiction and SFF, already being favourably compared by Anders’ contemporaries to the works of Ursula le Guin, David Mitchell, Emily St. John Mandel and Lev Grossman. A beautiful coming of age story with Dahl-esque wit, set in a future that could be just around the corner. Anders has crafted a poignant love story that transcends time to explore the universal relationship we have with nature, and each other.
CHARLIE JANE ANDERS is the editor-in-chief of io9.com, the extraordinarily popular Gawker Media site devoted to science fiction and fantasy. Her Tor.com story “Six Months, Three Days” won the 2012 Hugo Award and was subsequently picked up for development into a NBC television series. She has also had short fiction published by Tin House, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and McSweeney’s. ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY is her debut novel.