Pleased today to reveal the cover to John Hornor Jacobs’ newest — a novella of cosmic horror, and you can read the description below and check out the cover above. But first I feel that JHJ’s other work is deserving of a mention. Obviously, the world is made of writers. We’re fucking everywhere, like mosquitoes, and it’s hard to sort through the cloud of us winged things to find a creature of some beauty — a pretty moth, a fancy-ass butterfly. Sometimes we miss out, and sometimes a winged thing of especial beauty avoids our discovery for a time and —
Well, this metaphor has gotten away from me, so I’ll just speak it plainly: Jacobs is probably one of the best writers you’ve never heard of. His work is imbued with that really powerful thing that goes into all excellent stories from excellent storytellers, and one day I am convinced the world will figure that out and catch up — I mean, we’re talking the level of a Stephen King, a Robin Hobb, someone whose work is just right a lot of the time.
(See also: Kameron Hurley. Another perhaps unappreciated favorite of mine.)
I don’t know precisely where to tell you to start with JHJ, but my favorites are the Incorruptibles, the start of a trilogy that is an infernal mash-up of Lord of the Rings and the Gunslinger. (Print, or eBook.) Actually, I see the Incorruptibles is $3.99 right now for the eBook, so. Or try The Twelve-Fingered Boy, a YA tale of a boy in a juvie prison who discovers that he possesses a very special kind of power — and here, think a YA Shawshank paired with the X-Men, and you’re close. (Print, or eBook.) Both are trilogies, so you get a lot of bang for your buck, too.
Now, though, time to focus up on the novella —
The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky
Having lost both her home and family to a brutal dictatorship, Isabel has fled to Spain, where she watches young, bronzed beauties and tries to forget the horrors that lie in her homeland.
Shadowing her always, attired in rumpled linen suits and an eyepatch, is “The Eye,” a fellow ex-pat and poet with a notorious reputation. An unlikely friendship blossoms, a kinship of shared grief. Then The Eye receives a mysterious note and suddenly returns home, his fate uncertain.
Left with the keys to The Eye’s apartment, Isabel finds two of his secret manuscripts: a halting translation of an ancient, profane work, and an evocative testament of his capture during the revolution. Both texts bear disturbing images of blood and torture, and the more Isabel reads the more she feels the inexplicable compulsion to go home.
It means a journey deep into a country torn by war, still ruled by a violent regime, but the idea of finding The Eye becomes ineluctable. Isabel feels the manuscripts pushing her to go. Her country is lost, and now her only friend is lost, too. What must she give to get them back? In the end, she has only herself left to sacrifice.
The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky asks, How does someone simply give up their home? Especially when their home won’t let them?
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