*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
I always make it a priority to check out the shithouse prophets when I find myself in a new place. It seems like the worse the town is, the more profound their insights. I scan the graffiti on the bathroom stall, filtering out the scatological limericks and requests for ten-inch dicks. The piss vapors sting my eyes. The racist epitaphs remind me I’m in the South – way out in the sticks. The I see what I’m looking for. The prophecy takes the form of a Eucharistic call and response.
What will we do with all of these little brown babys?
The misspelled question is scrawled in black magic marker. Right below, in a steadier hand, comes the riposte.
We will baptise them in the waters of death before they drink the blood of our daughters.
“Amen, brothers,” I chuckle. We’re in the right place. There’s no doubt about that. Something has these hillbillies on edge. They’re scare and they don’t know why. Even after Quint’s death he still has the ability to freak people out. But that’s the way it is with a good messiah. They just won’t stay dead and buried.
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Not all cults are wrong about the end of the world…
Believing their late mentor is calling them from the grave, the last surviving members of a modern doomsday cult travel across the country to reclaim his body in preparation for the end-times he preached about. Tracing their leader’s echo through a cosmic signal known to them as the Transit Frequency brings them to the rural outback of Arkansas, where its presence has drastic and dangerous effects on anything living. Time, though, is running out for the last of the remnants of the Ethereal Transit Society as they attempt to track down his final resting place and unlock the mysteries of the coming apocalypse before they become victims of it.
The Ethereal Transit Society is the debut novella from Arkansas writer Thomas Vaughn, and brings readers a tense and authentic dive into the philosophies of modern doomsday and UFO cults while delivering a strong dose of cosmic horror fiction.
The Ethereal Transit society is a short novella packed full of nuanced characters and messed up people. Exploring cult members task to locate and retrieve their late messiah’s body, in order no less to explain the secrets of the end of the world, this is a novella that sits in the mind long after you turn the last page.
Vaughn’s writing is engaging and shaped by the characters we share the story with. A mixture of sci-fi and cosmic horror, the story delves into universal themes of loneliness, existential pain, and the human drive to find meaning in life and the suffering we are inevitably subjected to. As well as this, there are some gruesome things done to corpses and glow in the dark goo that I personally would not be touching, but each to their own.
The Ethereal Transit Society is a new angle on the familiar idea of cults, where not only are we diving in after the end is over and these characters have been left behind, but also dealing with a cult that might not be as delusion as they seem.
A rich and well written novella that will make you rethink the next time your ears start inexplicably ringing.
About the Author –
Thomas Vaughn is a fiction writer whose work encompasses dark magical realism. He is a byproduct of the debris field of rural Arkansas, a place he calls the archive of pain. When he is not writing fiction he poses as a college professor whose research focuses on apocalyptic rhetoric and doomsday cults. He views the writing of fiction as integral to the struggle for higher awareness. Feel free to visit him at brokentransmitter.com.
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