THE TABORIN SCALE: a Novella of the Dragon Griaule by Lucius Shepard, dust jacket by J. K. Potter. Burton, MI; Subterranean Press; 2010. 1st edition hardcover.
Length: 104 pages.
In the Carbonales Valley, a remote region separated from this world by “the thinnest margin of possibility,” there is an ancient, incredibly large creature known as the Dragon Griaule. For twenty-five years, in stories ranging from “The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule” through “Liar’s House,” Lucius Shepard has brought us extraordinary accounts of lives shaped by the dragon’s undying influence. The Taborin Scale is the latest installment in this ongoing epic, and it is an astonishing—and revelatory—accomplishment.
The story begins when George Taborin—numismatist, collector, and solid citizen—travels to the valley on his annual vacation. There, he encounters a prostitute named Sylvia and acquires a tiny dragon’s scale with unexpected properties. With shocking suddenness, George is removed from his everyday life and thrust into a primal world of violence and cruelty. In the course of an adventure that will change his life in fundamental ways, he is forced to bear witness to the gradual unfolding of a vast, implacable design.
The Taborin Scale is Lucius Shepard at his absolute best. Bizarre, horrifying, and strangely beautiful, it is both a gripping, self-contained narrative and a pivotal moment in what might be the most singular fantasy of our time.
Limited: 1500 deluxe signed hardcover copies.
From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Master literary fantasist Shepard (Vacancy) makes a grim return to the world of his classic surrealist short story ‘The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule.’ Beautifully written and intensely ironic, this tale will strongly appeal to connoisseurs of sophisticated adult fantasy.”
“To the wealth of literary color and psychological penetration Shepard normally affords, he adds a dollop of unsettling theological speculation to produce a small, portentously gleaming jewel.”
"What you can expect in this little book is a gorgeous volume, chock full of JK Potter's best, and a slippery, surreal tale of sex, strangeness and ancient plans that envelope modern men. Shepard has spent a long time creating this particular series, and as a series, it has a depth and texture unlike any other. Of course, this is down to his style of creation. Shepard's work has an organic feel, and this story, the story of the Dragon Griaule seems truly alive, even though it has at its heart a creature whose heart beats only once each thousand years. Might it finally be dead? Shepard's not afraid to explore the philosophical as well as the physical, and he does both with incredible dexterity. There's no need to weigh the buy-it level of 'The Taborin Scale.' This is world that even in death, offers new life."
Fine in fine dj. Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED (unnumbered) edition of 1500 copies.