1/09/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
pub: Perilous Press. 92 page pdf file. $ 9.95 (US) available from Amazon and others. ISBN: 978-0-9704000-4-8.
check out website: www.perilouspress.com
Here we see the return of Harrison Peel, a character who has appeared in previous works by the author and while it's possible to read this novella on its own without any previous knowledge you'll probably be intrigued enough to delve back into the other adventures. Please don't think this is a ‘Men In Black’ parody. Although maybe a few similarities may exist, this isn't humorous or light-hearted in any way and scientific accuracy is maintained throughout. In fact, there is nothing funny coming from these pages, rather mystery and deep-rooted horror which will leave you feeling uneasy.
David Conyers, who comes from Australia, is very good with his plot, characterisation and dialogue, three aspects which if properly combined make a worthwhile story. He has certainly achieved that here! ‘The Eye Of Infinity’ can be read in one sitting, not bad because it's a page-turner you won't want to put down. It's also illustrated, in this case by Mike Dubisch and Nick Gucker, adding in some respects a new dimension to the story. Mind you, there are plenty of dimensions in the transfer process that Peel uses to travel about the universe, some that you definitely don't want to enter.
The story commences with Peel and his assistant, Dixon, visiting the site of a radio telescope in a remote location in the desert. They had been called out because one of the operators of the telescope, someone working on a top-secret project, had been horribly transformed and was now dead as a result of suicide. He had been investigating the centre of the universe. Apparently not the first instance of this event, further investigations literally open a can of worms.
We are then taken on a journey with Peel to the headquarters of a special organisation which deals with extra-terrestrial matters. We travel not by rocket but by dimensional shifts to places in the universe, near and far, lurking with horrible dangers. We also experience the effects of clandestine organisations and their attempts to cover up reality. Peel comes face-to-face with some of the people transformed by the disease, if it could be called a disease and even this tough guy man vomits within his spacesuit.
Their destination is the centre of the universe. Although the universe is expanding and doesn't have a centre as such, this location represents a centre in space and time, going back to an era when the universe was younger. On the way, an unforgettable encounter with shoggoths takes place. Trapped in their gravity well, they cannot escape but come perilously near, their tentacles almost within reach. Primeval creatures, devoid of any aspects of humanity, they have no feelings that any person could relate to.
The Infinite Eye at the centre of the universe is a bit like Schrodinger's cat. The reality of the universe is created by the observer but it depends on the observer and the reality. The secret programme that Peel is investigating has turned men into monsters because the reality they encounter is being imposed by something else. Billions of years ago, another civilisation existed on Earth. The Pentapods and their Shoggoths still exist and they are attempting to force their reality on humanity, changing us into monsters in the process. This is the task that Peel has to handle and it will cost him dearly.
I wouldn't say this book was entirely enjoyable because it delves into areas you wouldn't wish to go. Fighting a foe is okay if you're only going to lose your life but in this case you will lose your soul as well. Based on Cthulhu Mythos legends, this takes us to dark recesses where the opponents are utterly alien. Vampires and werewolves are not in the same league. Trying to communicate with these other life-forms is impossible and any attempt to do so will drive you mad. Contamination by them as experienced in this book will transform humans into grotesque creatures with a powerfully different mindset. Now, this is horrific!
Overall, David Conyers has written a very good book. The pace is excellent and at no point in the story does the reader get bored. Lots of interesting philosophical questions arise from the events and at the same time, assisted by Peel, the storyline maintains its human thread through the alien landscape it travels. Some of the ideas may ostensibly have similarities to ‘Men In Black’ and ‘Stargate’ but the links are tenuous and the author stamps his own reality onto the scenes. This is definitely a book to recommend and one that is an experience to read but, be warned, it's not for the faint-hearted and may take you places you wouldn't want to go in your worst nightmare.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA