Christopher Priest

The Dream Archipelago


Earthlight, 1999. ISBN 0 671 03388 3 [paperback 5.99; pp.264]. Published simultaneously in hardcover [ISBN 0 684 86152 6; 16.99]. First publication in English of these stories, revised throughout and with The Equatorial Moment added. Also available in translation.

What they say

"The six short stories and novellas gathered here are all triumphs of quiet, steady craftsmanship, models of ingenious design and subtle implication, and as a group they further enrich each other, interlocking cleverly, symmetrically, sinisterly." - Nick Gevers, Infinity Plus.

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Chris Priest's short stories are relatively few and far between, but he has always used them as a way of exploring themes that run parallel to those in his novels. Prime among them are his stories of The Dream Archipelago. The thousands of islands that are the Archipelago, languishing in equatorial seas, make up a huge neutral zone in a world at war. As such, they represent a constant lure to young men and women on both sides of the conflict: conscientious objectors, remittance men, opportunists, adventurers, fugitives from military oppression. This is a book of sexual obsessions, moral ambiguities, neural abnormality. [Stories: The Equatorial Moment, The Negation, Whores, The Cremation, The Miraculous Cairn, The Watched.]