From the author of The Loosening Skin and The Beauty, Aliya Whiteley, Skein Island is a powerful and disturbing look at the roles we play, and how they form and divide us. This new edition features a brand new novelette set in the same world as Skein Island.
Skein Island, a private refuge twelve miles off the coast of Devon, lies in turbulent waters. Few receive the invitation to stay for one week, free of charge. If you are chosen, you must pay for your stay with a story from your past; a Declaration for the Island's vast library.
What happens to your Declaration after you leave the island is none of your concern. From the monsters of Ancient Greece to the atrocities of World War II, from heroes to villains with their seers and sidekicks by their sides, Skein Island looks through the roles we play, and how they form and divide us. Powerful and disturbing, it is a story over which the characters will fight for control. Until they realise the true enemy is the story itself.
About the Author
Aliya Whiteley writes novels, short stories and non-fiction and has been published in The Guardian, Interzone, Black Static, Strange Horizons, and anthologies such as Fox Spirit's European Monsters. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice, and won the Drabblecast People's Choice Award in 2007. Her writing is often violent, tender, terrifying and funny. It has garnered much critical praise and provoked discussion.
I firmly believe that Aliya Whiteley is one of the most original, innovative and intelligent writers of speculative fiction working in Britain today. – Nina Allan, author of The Rift
“Whiteley skilfully blends Greek myth with the horrors of the second world war and scalpel-sharp observations of contemporary society in a compelling, disturbing read that examines gender roles and the power of individuals to take control of their lives.” The Guardian
"Extraordinarily clever" SciFiNow best of 2019
“At its heart, Skein Island is a novel about storytelling, gender, and the tales we fall captive to or fool ourselves into believing. It’s about the power of the written word and, quite appropriately, Aliya Whiteley’s writing is spellbinding, blending reality and mythos together to create a world that is most terrifying when it reflects our deepest fears back at us.” Starburst
"An inventive and haunting postmodern novel" The Herald
“A story that is steeped in mystery and mythology – a darkly disturbing and challenging read. Skein Island is savagely honest and sharply attuned to the perils and unspoken agony of our times. Whiteley writes like a force of nature and there is no stopping this coming storm!” Storgy best books of 2019
"Whiteley’s novel, steeped in mythology, is a lyrical journey that’s ultimately about learning to let go of the past" Kirkus
Ginger Nuts of Horror best of 2019
We can expect great things from Aliya Whiteley. – Rising Shadow
If you’re looking for deep waters and shadows in the pages of a summer read, come to Skein Island. – Mookychick
PRAISE FOR THE BEAUTY
Teeming with the spirit of feminist speculative trailblazers like Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Joanna Russ, Whiteley's original, gut-wrenching tale renders a world that exists somewhere between post-apocalyptic and fable-esque. – Kirkus Reviews, on The Beauty
Elegantly written, balancing on the line that divides prose from poetry. – Booklist, on The Beauty
PRAISE FOR ALIYA WHITELEY Aliya Whiteley’s fiction scintillates with ideas, skips back and forth across genre boundaries with an ease and audacity that is glorious to behold. She is very much at the forefront of the new wave of UK genre writers – Mark Morris
There’s something so easy about Whiteley’s prose despite constantly delivering a dense philosophical gut punch. Her characters are rich but mysterious, flawed and fascinating. The plot twists and turns, blindsiding the reader at every turn while feeling as though it could never really have gone any other way. – British Fantasy Society
“Food for thought.” – The Sun
“Aliya Whiteley’s quiet prose is perfect for the slowly unfolding narrative... Compelling.” – SciFiNow