In a universe much like our own, Professor Alister Bane lives a quiet life as an archeologist at Oxford University. But when a nearby excavation triggers a psychotic episode in one of his colleagues, Professor Bane finds himself tumbling down a rabbit hole of strange phemena and frightening possibilities. Having to contend with a slew of disappearing interns and his own terrifying hallucinations, Alister Bane finds his mind-and his whole world-unraveling even as he searches for a solution. It all comes down to half-forgotten memories, a madman's allusion to the thing with terrible arms and a nightmare of being trapped in a cold, dark place. But when he finds the answer, it is something beyond even his wildest dreams. The Elder Machine is the fourth installment in Goldeen Ogawa's sci-fi vella series chronicling the adventures of Professor Odd-and in this case, Professor Bane as well.