IFWG is over the moon with the acquisition of Jack Dann’s new novel, Shadows in the Stone. This will be a significant work added to Jack Dann’s impressive catalogue of works, and we believe, one of his outstanding pieces.
Jack says: “Like The Memory Cathedral, Shadows in the Stone came to me initially as an image; not one overwhelming catalyzing image, but a series of images. The first and strongest image that come to mind are two illustrations depicting scenes from Milton’s Paradise Lost by John Martin (1789-1834), an artist famous in his own time, but now largely forgotten: two mezzotints, entitled “Pandemonium” and “Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council” seemed to me to encapsulate (or perhaps generated) my vision of the aeon Belias as dark angel and place.”
Pandemonium by John Martin
Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council by John Martin
The following is the accompanying text from the novel:
As the theurgist Pico Della Mirandola fell into eternity, into the abyss of souls, Pietro Neroni and the aeon Athoth journeyed across Belias’ empty, crystalline wastes.
In a sense Pietro and Athoth were stepping over or passing through the dark aeon’s volcanic, thundering body, for Belias and his world—his dark heaven—were the same, each a glittering reflection of the other, a reflection of a reflection, a reflection nested in itself; and if one wished to visualize these moments as Pietro experienced them, one might imagine Athoth, the beautiful aeon Athoth and his club-footed companion Pietro simply walking together. Around them was a darkness so deep and sharp and soul-destroying that the surrounding mountains and cratered ice sheets were simply chiaroscuro contrasts of the same tenebrous void. As Pietro moved through this negative terrain, he imagined that he was looking into (or through) a crystal gazing globe that had been crazed with glittering cracks, so that the darkness within appeared as shards of black, their various changing shapes defined only by slight differences of darkness and edgings of silver.
The darkness was palpable, tactile, numbing; and Pietro experienced a cold yet distant grief as he tried to remember his tender feelings (love?) for the beautiful Isabella as he visualized her heart shaped, freckled face and dark curly hair; and he remembered, yes, he remembered when she had caught him gazing into Maestro Mirandola’s gazing globe, which was now part of his soul and viscera; remembered her calling him a heretic in the catacombs of Florence…remembered his prediction that she would betray all her companions.
Shadows in the Stone will be published next year – details of the release date will be forthcoming soon.