Ice by Anna Kavan

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By Anna Kavan

Publish 12 months note: First released in 1967

In this haunting and surreal novel, the narrator and a guy often called 'the warden' look for an elusive woman in a frozen, probably post-nuclear, apocalyptic panorama. the rustic has been invaded and is being ruled via a mystery company. there's destruction all over; nice partitions of ice overrun the realm. including the narrator, the reader is swept right into a hallucinatory quest for this unusual and fragile creature with albino hair.

Acclaimed via Brian Aldiss on its ebook in 1967 because the most sensible technology fiction e-book of the yr, this outstanding and leading edge novel has for that reason been known as a huge paintings of literature in its personal correct.

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Example text

The walls of these hutches were running with water, with some noisome exudation. Perilous steps led down to still deeper dungeons. We went through several pairs of huge doors, which the guards in front unlocked and the others slammed shut behind us. The warden received me in a civilized room. proportioned, the wood floor reflecting dim old chandeliers. like grounds, sloping down to the distant fjord. His perfectly fitting black tunic was of superb material, his high boots shone like mirrors. He was wearing the coloured ribbon of some order I did not know.

We untie her as soon as we get her up there on the rock. She must struggle a bit, otherwise the dragon might think we’d palmed off a dead girl on him. The water foams down below. The monster’s great scaly coils appear. Then we hurl her down. ’ A lively discussion of the sacrifice followed, different people speaking in turn. They might have been talking about a football match between their team and a rival town. looking girls to spare. Why should we give one of them to the dragon? ’ The tone of voice suggested that the speaker referred to a special person, whose identity was known to all present.

I felt apprehensive, I could not imagine what he could have to say to me in private. His mood appeared to have hardened; he looked formidable, cold, distant. ’ His voice was controlled and quiet, but the threat I had detected in it on a former occasion had become open. I said I did not understand what he meant; the obvious implication did not apply to me. He subjected me to a prolonged stare, which I returned with more coolness than I was feeling. An aura of danger and duplicity surrounded him, I was on my guard.

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