The Taborin Scale

by Lucius Shepard
Release date: February 2010
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy

In the Carbonales Valley, a remote region separated from this world by “the thinnest margin of possibility,” there is an ancient, incredibly large creature known as the Dragon Griaule. For twenty-five years, in stories ranging from “The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule” through “Liar’s House,” Lucius Shepard has brought us extraordinary accounts of lives shaped by the dragon’s undying influence. The Taborin Scale is the latest installment in this ongoing epic, and it is an astonishing — and revelatory — accomplishment.

The story begins when George Taborin — numismatist, collector, and solid citizen — travels to the valley on his annual vacation. There, he encounters a prostitute named Sylvia and acquires a tiny dragon’s scale with unexpected properties. With shocking suddenness, George is removed from his everyday life and thrust into a primal world of violence and cruelty. In the course of an adventure that will change his life in fundamental ways, he is forced to bear witness to the gradual unfolding of a vast, implacable design.

The Taborin Scale is Lucius Shepard at his absolute best. Bizarre, horrifying, and strangely beautiful, it is both a gripping, self-contained narrative and a pivotal moment in what might be the most singular fantasy of our time.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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