by Paul Di Phillipo
This was a weird one. The first part starts in the middle of an interview with an aging artist with some scattered thought processes.
A mysterious package arrives which leads the ill old man into experimentation with an apparently pharmacopial substance with unknown but interestingly observable properties, and leads through obsession to a gruesome outcome.
The second part might have been a little too abstract for me. It was about a bone collector and a monster in the shape of a man, but I had no idea what was supposed to be going on through most of it or why collecting bones should be profitable. A connection to the first part becomes apparent eventually. We're expected to follow strange events and circumstances that we presume to be normal, yet are very different from any world that we know. It's an alternate world that doesn't quite seem to make sense, where we learn a few nonsense words and try to keep up with what an introciptor might be and where we've heard of a creature called a wurzel. This world is populated by strange creatures who hide their genitalia on their heads under a caul.
None of the characters were particularly endearing and there was no one that most people would identify with. It's interesting in a sort of old science fiction meets psychedelic drugs sort of way, but I can't say that I felt any real connection to the story.
All things considered, this one was just a little too 'out there' for my taste.