Viator

by Lucius Shepard
Release date: 2004
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

Quartered aboard the freighter, Viator, run aground twenty years before on a remote section of the Alaskan coast, the four men hired to determine the ship's worth at salvage have begun to exhibit a variety of eccentric behaviors. They've become obsessed with Viator to the point that the world beyond seems of consequence only as it relates to the ship. When their putative leader, Thomas Willander, is afflicted by a series of disturbing dreams, he concludes that something on board may be responsible for their erraticism. He seeks the help of a woman in the nearby village of Kaliaska and together they initiate an investigation into the history of Viator, hoping to learn, among other things, why the ship was run aground and who was the mysterious man who hired the four. But their efforts may be too late. The men, whose eccentrities are now verging on the insane, show no sign of intending to abandon their new home, compelled by Viator's eerie allure. To make matters worse, winter will soon be setting in, ominous incidences of sound and light are issuing from the forest surrounding the ship, and Willander's dreams may be coming true...

(updated 2017-01-22)

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