St. Madoc, on the coast of North Wales, seems like a suitably quiet place for an aging writer to work; when Simon Cannick moves into Raven Cottage he thinks it might even be too quiet. Stopping by the pub, he learns of local lore concerning mermaids, spirits and the Murden family who inhabit the nearby Abbey. Perhaps some of this might furnish Simon with material, but soon he finds he has little time to write. Before he can investigate the folklore it has already begun to investigate him, through the venerable and isolated Murdens, the bewitching Cerys and even a raven called Lenore. Truth, however, turns out to be stranger than folklore, and, as a storm approaches that has been brewing for generations, destiny intervenes to divert Simon’s plans for a quiet life into deeper and vaster waters.
Eccentric, erudite, adventurous, Spirits of the Vasty Deep by Brian Stableford, is an eclectic, bubbling cauldron full of cosmic vision, droll humour and off-beat science fiction. Intelligent fantasy for those who long ago strayed from the beaten path.