Dark Travellings by Ian Whates
Cover Image by Michael Marshall Smith, Layout by Vincent Holland-Keen
Showcasing the darker side of the author’s imagination, Dark Travellings takes us from a post-apocalyptic future where music offers mankind its only hope to a quiet country lane where an apparently chance encounter leads to deception and betrayal, from rain-swept London streets terrorised by a creature out of folklore to the nostalgic beauty of a seaside town, where a young girl learns far more about her grandfather than she ever wished to. We are introduced to a cast of heroes and villains, including a brilliant artist with a unique form of inspiration, an ordinary man who stands firm against a vampire horde, and a woman who personifies a dangerously misunderstood legend. Thirteen stories that reveal the best and the worst of humanity: murder, adultery, treachery and depravity, but also compassion, hope, and love. Thirteen stories that will unsettle, delight, and entertain.
“The stories of Ian Whates manifest a vivid particularity of place and a clarity of suspenseful plotting, along with an endearing ability to conjure up vivid characters both noble and nasty.”
– Paul Di Filippo.
“Ian’s stories, unexpected yet unnervingly apt, come as a masterfully easy read that can lull or shock, please and dismay, and may quietly break your heart.” – Tanith Lee
“It is his characters who live through the story and make the reader need to know just how it’s all going to pan out, human characters who may seem familiar but then there’s that one thing, that shifted alteration that changes the world and changes the reader too.” – Interzone
“Intelligent, ingenious, often funny, and told with an easy and down to earth style.” – Adrian Tchaikovsky
“Brilliantly inventive.” – SFX
Opening Paragraphs of Dark Travellings
It shouldn’t be long now. She pushed back a stray lock of blonde hair and considered the house again. It was perfect for
her requirements: an unassuming, detached suburban home. She knew the type well. Built in the 1970s, upstairs would
boast a main bedroom with en suite shower, plus two further bedrooms and a family bathroom, while the ground floor
consisted of a front to back through-lounge and a spacious kitchen, big enough to accommodate a table that the whole
family could sit around at mealtimes. Of course, that didn’t necessarily mean they ever did.
She glanced at the car parked in the driveway; a midrange Toyota – metallic blue, this year’s number plate. It spoke of financial comfort rather than prosperity. Then her eyes returned to the house, looking up to take in the neat red brickwork, the replacement upvc facia and guttering – white to match the frames surrounding the double-glazed windows – before settling on the windows themselves; her attention drawn by one in particular.
Yes, there was a flicker of uneven light and shifting shadow.
It was almost time to make her move.