The Fetch
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The Fetch

by Robert Holdstock
Release date: 1991
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, horror

Also published under the title Unknown Regions.

Locus Award nominee 1997.

There is a landscape between reality and dreams, a strange and primitive country that exists upon the edge of our waking world. Michael Whitlock knows that country well. His best friends lives there…

It begins with a scatter of earth, thrown over the infant by unseen hands, a haunting attack that is repeated day after day, culminating with an explosive fall of mud that nearly kills the boy. And found in those tons of raw, wet earth: flints, chalk artefacts, the remains of a primitive shrine and the dismembered carcass of a hunting dog.

The Whitlock’s house, in the Kentish Weald, stands near a chalk-pit, and it is here that their son, Michael creates his peculiar imaginary world, making his camp by the pile of grave-earth from that early attack. Unaware of what is happening to him, the boy touches and uses the strange force that now ebbs and flows in the pit. And when the haunting returns, this time it is more subtle, almost wonderful in its seductive nature.

Torn between a fear of the supernatural and greed for the results of Michael’s power, his adoptive parents are helpless. It is left to Francoise Jeury, a psychic investigator, to piece together the bizarre truth of the pit and the shrine and the oddly silent boy.
(updated 2011-01-29)

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