The Derelict

-by Neil Williams-

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The Derelict is really a story of two derelicts – the events on the first and their part in the creation of the second.

With this story I’ve pretty much nailed my colours to the mast, so to speak. As the tale is intended as a tribute to stories by the likes of William Hope Hodgson or H P Lovecraft (with a passing nod to Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner), where some terrible event is related in an unearthed journal or (as is the case here) by a narrator driven to near madness.

The primary influence on the story was the voyage of the Demeter, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, one of the more compelling episodes of that novel. Here the crew are irrevocably doomed from the moment they set sail. There is never any hope of escape or salvation once the nature of their cargo becomes apparent. This was to be my jumping off point with The Derelict.

Though I have charted a very different course from the one taken by Stoker, I have tried to remain resolutely true to the spirit of that genre of fiction and the time in which it was set.”

Neil Williams

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  • Black Shuck Signature series
  • Format ~ Novella
  • Length ~ 88 pages
  • Published ~ 29th April 2021
  • ISBN ~ 978-1-913038-63-2