‘So,’ he said, ‘I found you. Let me tell you a story. Listen.’
‘When I approached you from the South,’ he said, ‘I was young. I was giddy as a mayfly and, though I look down now on that time as frivolous and childish, oh God, I would give it all up to know such youth again. The world was beautiful, exotic, erotic; I lived entirely in my skin and muscle and knew heaven through some strange alchemy of fascia and foolishness. It was – in my memory, at least – always Summer. My skin was golden and warm, hungry for the touch of fingertip or lip, but sufficient in delight to slip through the world unimpeded by loss or longing. I leap-frogged through the streets and danced in the fields and knew that the world was brightly-coloured and alive.
The man paused and looked at the stone, then shook his head and sighed.
‘It couldn’t last, of course. Nothing fleeting and beautiful does. This flash of lightning, this short journey across the perilous abyss. Gone in an instant. And so, when I danced across the green hill, so light were my footsteps that it took nothing at all to press my skin against stone and so become it. That was how I first understood the secret.’
A man encounters a standing stone in a field at the end of the world. Apparently, they have a history. This is the account of their meeting and their past, the ways that Black Hat has approached the mysterious stone from every direction, attempting an alchemical conjunction. Black Hat and his dog are no strangers to strangeness, but the nature of this field is a perplexing mystery.
BLACK HAT is the contribution of Tom Hirons (Sometimes a Wild God, Nettle-Eater, Falconer's Joy) to the Seven Doors in an Unyielding Stone series (see below for all the titles in the series) for Autumn 2018. The series is also available as a limited edition collectors' boxed set and a book-lovers' bundle of all seven books.
Note - where there is white on these cover previews, there will actually be SILVER ink.
Black Hat is lithograph-printed for high quality on 100% recycled paper (140gsm internal, 280gsm cover) using veg-based inks in England, by Calverts, a workers' co-op and is professionally perfectbound.
The book is A6 size (4.2″x5.9″) and has 36 inner pages. This is the first printing. Publication date 31.10.18
This series of pocket-sized books is new for Autumn 2018 and is an audacious step forward for Hedgespoken Press. Seven extraordinary authors, seven beautiful books. Seven ways to approach the unapproachable and speak about the unspeakable. See the SEVEN DOORS homepage for more information about the series.
A small book, but it packs a punch. This story opens a different way of looking at the world (or is it a different world completely?) which sets your mind thinking, and remains with you long after you have finished reading. I liked it so much, I had to give a second copy to someone else straight away!