Ashcroft, B.C.: Ash Tree Press, 1999. First hardcover edition. When Jonathan Aycliffe's Naomi's Room first appeared in 1991, few would have disagreed that we were witnessing the emergence of a new master of the supernatural tale. Subsequent events have proved that Naomi's Room was not an isolated success: a further four highly acclaimed novels have since appeared: Whispers In The Dark; The Vanishment; The Matrix; and The Lost. While acknowledging Jamesian roots, Aycliffe has always been prepared to experiment with the genre: something most noticeable, perhaps, in his accomplished handling of the vampire legend in The Lost. With The Talisman, Aycliffe confirms his position as one of the modern masters of the genre.
'Facing me from a low platform in front of the wall opposite was a statue. Even now, my hand trembles as I write of it. It was as tall as a youth, with a man's body and the head of a horned beast. Great black wings rose from its curved shoulders. I needed no one to tell me its name. Iblis. The Great Satan in all his foulness. I shut my eyes and began to turn. As I did so, I heard a sound behind me . . .'
A statue, unearthed in ancient Babylon during the course of an archaeological dig, is transported to London. Once there, it quickly exerts an evil influence over those with whom it comes into contact; an influence which threatens to spread throughout London, and beyond, and which pits the living against the dead in a battle for all mankind.
An Ash-Tree Press Original. Jacket art is by Jason C. Eckhardt. Limited to 600 copies. Fine in fine dj.