Strange one, this. I read Keenan’s This is Memorial Device a couple of years ago, so when I saw a new one by him listed on my local bookshop’s ‘forthcoming’ page, I had a look.
That book was Xstabeth, and more on it in a few posts' time. It hadn’t yet been released at the time, but there was a special offer from the publishers: upload proof that you had preordered it (such as the receipt from your local bookshop) and you’d get a free novella-length ebook prequel: The Towers The Fields The Transmitters.1
So I did all that, and here we are.
I’ll note right away that, having read both, they seem to be connected only by location and one tenuous, ambiguous, confusing event.
In fact those terms apply throughout this book. It’s kind of a magical realism piece, set mostly in St Andrews.2 A businessman visits the town to audit the books of a military facility, and starts trying to find his missing daughter. Why does he think she might be in St Andrews? That is never explained. Nor does it need to be.
Time goes weird, with second-world-war bombers appearing in the skies. Or on the phone, at least.
The more I try to write about this, the more it feels like a hallucination I had a few weeks ago. Very strange. Worth reading.
That title needs some commas, I can’t help but think. But that’s the way it’s given, so [sic], I guess. ↩︎
Which town needs an apostrophe, it seems to me, but doesn’t have one according to Wikipedia, so [sic]) I guess. ↩︎