What is the
machine that Mr Caulkiss is constructing in his laboratory?
Who are the
'Little Ones' that Craylene Caulkiss is feeding in
What is the
purpose of the Box of Tools?
Mr Scrab live under a grating in the back yard?
Melestrina Quode keep talking about 'the Great Return'?
a pair of underpants go scurrying across the floor?
And who is
the Vicar of Morbing Vyle?
Download a pdf file of The Vicar of Morbing Vyle for free
|The Vicar of Morbing Vyle is a
GOTHIC FANTASY for adults or older. Almost as GOTHIC and almost as FANTASTICAL as its prequel The Black Crusade!
hundred years ago, a series of terrible murders was committed
in the village of Morbing Vyle. Now the place lies hidden
behind a forest of burned-out blackened trees, and people
in neighbouring towns prefer to forget it ever existed.
Martin Smythe rediscovers it, following an old signpost
and a hidden path. All that remains is a vicarage and a
vast building site.
characters inhabit the vicarage: Mr Quode, Melestrina Quode
and their son, Baby Panker; Mr Caulkiss and his wife, Craylene;
and Mr Scrab, kept outside in the back garden. They make
Martin welcome - but there's a price to pay.
of his own danger, Martin investigates. What strange religious
belief drives these people to try and build the largest
church in the world? If they're so religious, why is Mr
Caulkiss obsessed with mechanical inventions, why is Mr
Quode obsessed with gourmet cuisine? Martin is sure that
the mysterious Vicar is at the bottom of it all.
he discovers that he is no longer free to leave . . .
Vicar of Morbing Vyle is published by Karl Evans Publishing.
Order through your bookshop, or order by mail.
Dowling, Saturday 8th May, 1993, The Australian
fantasy doesn't get much of a look-in Down Under, but Richard
Harland's story uses traditional modes to serve up some
fine classic shudders.
Smythe, an Aussie at Cambridge, becomes more and more intrigued
by an East Anglia village which seems to have vanished both
from maps and living memory. After questioning folk at New
Morbing with little success, he dares go beyond a burned-out
forest (whose trees still curiously retain their heat),
finds the foundations of a gigantic church and ends up at
the vicarage, snared in the sinister schemes of its distintly
odd occupants: Messrs Caulkiss and Quode and their good
ladies, characters cut from the same quirky cloth favoured
by Mervyn Peake and Charles Dickens, with a dash of Machen
and Lovecraft thrown in.
result is often hilarious, sometimes gross but very entertaining.
Ikin, September 18th, 1973, Sydney Morning Herald
Rabbits Invade Kingzone
Vicar of Morbing Vyle is a wacky tale that doesn't break
the rules; it just bends them into pretzels, and it doesn't
actually bend all of them, so you never quite know where
on the floor lay a pair of my underpants. Motionless
now - but strangely humped and bulging! How could
they have got there?
then I almost jumped out of my skin. All at once the
fly parted and two small blue eyes appeared in the
opening. Something was watching me out of my own underpants!
a Cambridge PhD on Darwinism, the Sydneysider Martin Smythe
seeks information held in the quaint old village of Morbing
Vyle - only to find that no-one in New Morbing wants to
give directions. He solves the mystery of old Morbing Vyle
- in a venerable Gothic manner, of course - but it's an
Anglo-Gothic solution to a totally non-Anglo and thoroughly
contemporary scenario! There's the vicar and his masterpiece
(for which he must paint the grass blue); there's Melestrina
Quode (a sort of Gothic daughter figure turned vamp); and
there's the precocious talking baby, Panker, who just wants
to return to the womb (and is small enough to do so).
is not 'straight' horror novel, but it's far, far richer
than a spoof. Harland distils the essence of B-grade flicks
and pulps, producing a romp that is pure celebration.
of Morbing Vyle
Inhabitants of Morbing Vyle
Great Shudders in The Vicar of Morbing Vyle
NOTE: The publisher of The Vicar of Morbing Vyle is no longer in business and the book is out of print. However, the prequel to The Vicar is now appearing in bookshops: The Black Crusade, published by Chimaera Publications at $19.95.
Contact Chimaera at www.sf.org.au and ask them to re-issue The Vicar!