The Insubstantial Pageant by Brain Stableford, published by Snuggly Books 2018
Review by Sally Startup
I found this novel to be so clever it made my head spin, but I think I liked it.
The story is a sequel to Spirits of the Vasty Deep. Simon Cannick is continuing to meet relatives he was previously unaware of. He is set to inherit seven million pounds and an ancient abbey, complete with its secret vault, which may, or may not, contain the holy grail.
Being an expert on both folklore and science fiction, as well as having proposed a number of scientific hypotheses about dark matter and the human unconscious mind, Simon appears to be a good choice of translator for seemingly mythical or alien intelligences. He is also very well aware of the possibility that he is being lied to by everyone and everything. In spite of all this, he continues to be kind whenever possible. Kindness seems to come naturally to him, even when he is faced with mortal danger.
Simon, who is also a writer, does his very best for everyone, as far as he is able. And, perhaps for that very reason, he brings out the best in various other characters, both human and inhuman.
I hope this series develops into a trilogy, at the very least. I would very much like to find out what happens to Simon and his associated characters next, however insubstantial they might truly be.