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Down Station by Simon Morden
  

Down Station

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When a terrifying fire seems to envelop London, a group of maintenance workers on the Underground make their escape through an access tunnel and find themselves in a seemingly uninhabited, possibly mythical world. Portal fantasy has been a staple of modern fantasy from C.S. Lewis to Stephen Donaldson but Simon Morden’s clever and engaging novel keeps the reader guessing as to exactly what sort of portal and what sort of world we have here.

This is a very personal world and it seems to offer the (pleasingly diverse and vividly portrayed) characters very particular challenges and opportunities. Not to mention extraordinary changes to their own nature. Making things this personal means the characters are key and from a girl trying to escape her criminal past to a young Sikh man looking to escape family expectations Morden’s characters are consistently real and surprising. As we follow them we learn more about their lives and the true nature of the strange world they are in – this land is neither as empty or as simple as it first appears. This is a wonderfully original novel with real psychological depth and a canny way with fantasy archetypes. Fans of Ursula le Guin will enjoy mapping Morden’s world. ~ Simon Spanton

Maxim Jakubowski's view...

Modern fantasy at its best, far from the shadow of Tolkien and nearer to the more fertile literary lands of Michael Moorcock and China Mieville. After an apocalypse devastates London, a group of survivors enter the Underground tunnels in a quest for salvation. Wonderfully delineated characters populate this modern saga, the first in a new series, and we see them reach an impossible portal into another reality as well as realise they are not the only denizens populating the darkness. Morden is fast becoming a master at evoking shattered urban landscapes as he proved in his earlier pyrotechnic and highly original science fictional 'Metrozone' series, and this could well become a major addition to the fantasy cannon. A word of warning, the book ends on a major cliffhanger and you'll be rather impatient to wait for the next instalment! ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Synopsis

Down Station by Simon Morden

A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through...and find themselves on a wild shore backed by cliffs and rolling grassland. The way back is blocked. Making their way inland they meet a man dressed in a wolf's cloak and with wolves by his side. He speaks English and has heard of a place called London - other people have arrived here down the ages - all escaping from a London that is burning. None of them have returned. Except one - who travels between the two worlds at will. The group begin a quest to find this one survivor; the one who holds the key to their return and to the safety of London. And as they travel this world, meeting mythical and legendary creatures,split between North and South by a mighty river and bordered by The White City and The Crystal Palace they realise they are in a world defined by all the London's there have ever been. Reminiscent of Michael Moorcock and Julian May this is a grand and sweeping science fantasy built on the ideas, the legends, the memories of every London there has ever been.

Reviews

'This is a very fast paced book, with intense moments of danger as well as being full of wonder. There are so many things to discover in Down not only geographically but historically...Morden has written a book full of mysteries that are just waiting to be discovered.' Fantasy Book Review

'Down Station is a fun and interesting read which I zipped through in no time at all!' Books By Proxy

'The world is an interesting and well realised one. The central characters are believable and feel entirely human (though I would like to see more of the supporting cast in the sequel). The plot rattles along nicely, and kept me enthralled to the last page' Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

'Once again Simon Morden takes the fantasy genre and moulds it wonderfully... What makes Down Station so great is the immaculate pacing and the way character shapes fate for each of the well-drawn main characters' The Sun

'It's the character's experiences that make this a fresh take on the cut off from civilisation subgenre...we're drawn in by their responses to this world' SFX

'there are horrors that surprise as well as moments of wonder. The story is patient, and every sequence is both a physical battle and philosophical teaching that merge with well-placed hooks' Sci-Fi

About the Author

Simon Morden

Simon Morden has w on the Philip K. Dick Award and been a judge on the Arthur C. Clarke Award. A popular figure on the genre scene he has also proved to be a popular author of both noir SF and extravagant Fantasy themed SF. He has also been an editor at Focus magazine. He has a degree in Geology and Planetary Geophysics. He lives in Gateshead.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th August 2016

Author

Simon Morden

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Author's Website

www.simonmorden.com/

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Publisher

Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
368 pages

Categories

Science Fiction
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Science fiction

ISBN

9781473211469

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