Casmeer is the last living keeper of the dead, deserted city of Thermidore. Immortal chronicler of the city, he is the guardian of the crystalline inhabitants. Their sparkling remains are looted by the scavenging plumosites – a strange hybrid of monkey and bird – who cast the broken pieces into an underground river.
Terranauts collect the scattered crystals and use them as pilot stones to guide eternally-moving cities across the plains. Finnigin, a young terranaut, must undertake a proving journey into manhood, leaving the people who have cared for him to find another troupe and learn from them the mystery of the pilot stones.
Ays is a Priest of Hands, a consoler of the dying in the flying city of Min. His ordered life is overturned by a dying man who spurns Ays’s solace. Shaken, Ays leaves his home to confront the questions that the stranger has planted in his mind about the nature of his origins and the world he inhabits.
As they journey on through bizarre landscapes, both Finnigan and Ays are haunted by a mysterious figure, a man who seems to know more about themselves than they do. T hey find their paths are linked, before they come to the terrifying and liberating climax of their travels.
A surreal and quirky fever dream, peopled by eccentric characters, Calenture is reminiscent of the imaginative visions of Terry Gilliam and Jonathan Swift.
Immanion Press, through Amazon CreateSpace paperback, 2015, £12.99 ISBN: 978-1907737640
Headline, paperback, 1994, 978-0747245537