Six hundred years ago Geoffrey Chaucer created one of the first great works of English literature about a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims traveling to Canterbury.
A century into the future, Canterbury is the new capital of an England struggling to rise from the ashes of the 21st Century. A nuclear-powered steam train is stopped on its journey toward Canterbury by a massive storm.
The waters rise with the storm's fury. The lights on the train dim. In the saloon car a coal stove is the only source of light and warmth until the passengers, these modern-day pilgrims, begin to tell their tales.
They are from every kind of background telling each other tales high and low. The Metawhore tells of her love. The Tingler makes his living frightening people young and old. He tells the tale of a Hangman. Stories of the Calamity follow, and the way the Mincer-men survived.
You’ll read stories about Plague Babies, Moon people, ghosts, glowing men. Llygers from Whipsnade roam that countryside. The Aberdeen Hulks. Wolves, and robot horses.
The carbon-knitter is on her way to her guild house in Canterbury. She tells the story of Ram Pan the Rain-Hero, a story from the villages of Stoke. The gnomogist follows the blind evangelist.
Even the train’s conductor must tell his tale. This while he holds steady the ledlight so the spy may disarm the bomb that could blow them all to radioactive pieces.
The Geoffrey Tailor story patches the individual tales into a whole, making it so much more than an anthology. This book, edited by Dirk Flinthart, is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
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