The Erstwhile brings readers back to the singular world and mind of B. Catling, continuing the groundbreaking storytelling of his hit The Vorrh.In London and Germany, strange beings are reanimating themselves. They are the Erstwhile, the angels that failed to protect the Tree of Kwledge, and their reawakening will have major consequences. In Africa, the colonial town of Essenwald has fallen into disarray because the timber workforce has disappeared into the Vorrh. Now a team of specialists are dispatched to find them. Led by Ishmael, the former cyclops, they enter the forest, but the Vorrh will t give them back so easily. To make matters worse, an ancient guardian of the forest has plans for Ishmael and his crew. Meanwhile a child of mixed race has been found abandoned in a remote cottage. Her origins are unkwn, but she has powers beyond her own understanding. Conflict is coming, as the old and new, human and inhuman are set on a collision course. Once again blending the real and the imagined, The Erstwhile brings historical figures such as William Blake and places such as the Bedlam Asylum, as well as ingenious creations such as The Kin (a family of robots) together to create unforgettable vel of births and burials, excavations and disappearances.
B. Catling is a poet, sculptor, painter, and performance artist. He makes installations and paints portraits of imagined Cyclops in egg tempera. Catling has had solo shows at the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Arnolfini in Bristol, England; the Ludwig Museum in Aachen, Germany; Hordaland Kunstnersentrum in Bergen, Norway; Project Gallery in Leipzig, Germany; and the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, England. He is the author of The Vorrh.