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Peter Higgins read English at Oxford University and Queen's, Ontario. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford and worked in the British Civil Service. His short stories have appeared in FANTASY: BEST OF THE YEAR 2007, BEST NEW FANTASY 2, ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY MAGAZINE, ZAHIR and REVELATION, and in Russian translation in the St Petersburg magazine ESLI. He lives with his family in South Wales.
This is an omnibus volume of three short but quite spectacular SF thrillers. I would also guarantee that they are quite unlike anything else you have read before. Striding along the shadowy border between SF and Fantasy, Peter Higgins has imagined something that feels a little like China Mieville writing a John le Carre novel. With a dash of Gorky’s paranoia and Martin Cruz Smith’s edge-of-your-seat plotting. Set in a world that feels like an alternate Russia (but isn’t) the trilogy compresses a sense of Sovietesque history between 1939 and 1969 into a few short months as it follows downtrodden and rumpled provincial police inspector Visassrion Lom, into a plot at the centre of the dark dictatorship that is the Vlast. But there is a lot else going on beyond the cruelties of politics. An alien visitation, the spirit of the land, the press of other realities. As I say quite unlike anything else and sometimes you do feel like you’re running to keep up with its twists and new directions. But stay on board. With engaging characters and sometimes effortlessly beautiful and poetic prose (Higgins has an amazing way with describing nature) all nailed to a steam train of a plot this is the sort of book where you can afford to forget asking what sort of novel it is and just glory in the ride. With rights acquired for TV this is a trilogy you’ll want to be reading before it hit the screens. If you like David Mitchell this could be a dream for you. ~ Simon Spanton
Maxim Jakubowski's July 2015 Book of the Month. The breathless conclusion of the astounding WOLFHOUND CENTURY trilogy proves powerful and moving. In a version of Russia which never was where the supernatural still reigns and angels have fallen from the sky, dark powers are at play, both human and magical against a background that blends harsh political realism, the overall beauty of the landscape and a teeming chessboard over which mere humans must journey. A disgraced cop and a young woman half born to a forest sprite must halt a war on heavens and earth and prevent the launch of a monster spacecraft built by a totalitarian regime. Unsettling, gripping, and ever surprising, Higgins's bizarre and frightening world is a mighty and awesome creation, held together by the unbound power of the imagination and a style of writing both luscious and expansive, and renews your faith in the possibilities and beauty of fiction. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
A thousand miles east of Mirgorod, the great capital city of the Vlast, deep in the ancient forest, lies the most recent fallen angel, its vast stone form half-buried and fused into the rock by the violence of impact. As its dark energy leeches into the crash site, so a circle of death expands around it, slowly - inexorably - killing everything it touches. Alone in the wilderness, it reaches out with its mind. The endless forest and its antique folk lore are no concern to Inspector Vissarion Lom, summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist - and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists. Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head at the children's home. Lom's investigation reveals a conspiracy that extends to the top echelons of the party. When he exposes who - or rather what - is the controlling intelligence behind this, it is time for the detective to change sides. Pursued by rogue police agents and their man-crushing mudjhik, Lom must protect Kantor's step-daughter Maroussia, who has discovered what is hidden beneath police headquarters: a secret so ancient that only the forest remembers. As they try to escape the capital and flee down river, elemental forces are gathering. The earth itself is on the move.
Peter Higgins' Vlast is a superbly imagined 'other' Russia, an epic land of trackless forest, sentient rain and deep powers in the Earth. Its capital Mirgorod is home both to a brutal dictatorship centuries old and fleeting glimpses of the houses and streets of another city. Compared to the works of both China Mieville and John Le Carre WOLFHOUND CENTURY was a hugely original creation. Now Peter Higgins returns to that world. Investigator Lom returns to Mirgorod and finds the city in the throes of a crisis. The war against the Archipelago is not going well. Enemy divisions are massing outside the city, air-raids are a daily occurrance and the citizens are being conscripted into the desperate defence of the city. But Lom has other concerns. The police are after him, the mystery of the otherworldly Pollandore remains and the vast Angel is moving, turning all of nature against the city. But will the horrors of war overtake all their plans?