Beyond the Walls of Darkness
Beyond the Walls of Darkness is the second hand-made book from my childhood that I've taken pictures of.
This is a rather more lavish book than I Bless the World, with covers made from marbled paper and a proper spine (of sellotape). As an ironic result it has fallen to pieces far more thoroughly than the other book, with almost every page now separate from the bindings. I wonder what would have happened if someone had showed me how to actually bind books at that age — I suspect I'd have tried my best to do it.
The marbled paper would be something I also made myself. We used to make such paper at the summer art camps I attended, so it is likely I made it there and then brought it home.
For reasons I don't understand, I only wrote on the right-hand pages in most of this book!
Scarily (for me) this book contains a story that clearly pre-dates my game InBetween and yet is about people living in the walls of a human house. Not mice, I think, but the idea is the same. I could have sworn that I had the idea for that game in 1994, while I was at University, long after these stories were written.
The contents of this book is a little less varied than that of I Bless the World — no planetary maps or board games here. Instead, it is mostly short stories.
- The Book of Scimitar — inspired, I suspect, by Lovecraft's "Dream Quest of Unknown Kaddath"
- Excerpts from the "Bible of the Fallen God" — poems disguised as verses from an evil holy book
- Greenmantle — plants take over the world, compare my story "The Green" in The Night Alphabet
- Love is Never as Great — a cautionary tale in the style of the 1001 Nights
- Escapee — a cat escapes from a research lab
- Escaped — sequel to "Escapee" but from the viewpoint of the person hunting the cat
- Beyond the Walls of Darkness — a blatant Lovecraft rip-off
- A Polystyrene Epitaph — a story that is undoubtedly a pre-cursor to the Inbetween Roleplaying Game
- A Glass of Cosmos — a poem
- Colour — an even more blatant Lovecraft tip-off, of the Colours out of Space
- Fish — a drawing
- Prey — an osprey catches some food