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The Woman Between the Worlds


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Having honed his skills writing short stories, MacIntyre debuts as a novelist with a compelling and imaginative tale that blurs the boundaries of SF, fantasy and horror. It is late 1898 in London when a nameless tattoo artist meets his most unusual client, an invisible woman seeking a full-body tattoo. Vanessa Steele is from ``an unseen dimension'' and wants to live on earth. The narrator has barely begun his work when invisible thugs arrive to murder him and to drag Vanessa, who they say is an escaped criminal, back to their own world to deliver her to ``the Dreadful Eye,'' their ruler. A narrow escape (the first in a book-long chase through both dimensions) and Vanessa's penchant for devouring human flesh persuade the narrator that he's landed a dangerous commission, yet he becomes increasingly fond of his now semi-visible client. Vanessa, who hopes to free her world from the Dreadful Eye, gains allies in the narrator and in Edward Alexander Crowley, a student of the ``arcane and other-worldly'' who doesn't have the firmest grip on reality but can spot Vanessa's invisible enemies. Their path toward life-or-death confrontation is littered with horrors and ends with a twist. (Feb.)

Victorian London is the setting for an unforgettable encounter between a tattoo artist and an invisible woman from another dimension. MacIntyre's first novel pays tribute to one of the most imaginative and eccentric periods of English history as theosophists and mad scientists confront Lovecraft horrors in a tongue-in-cheek romp across the early years of fantastic fiction. Wildly comic, darkly horrific, and surprisingly bittersweet, this quirky novel has a place in most sf and fantasy collections.

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