The genesis of 'The Sulfuro Bhangarh Manuscripts' occurred during a night-time flight over the Mediterranean in September 2007. Looking from the cabin window I saw a tiny, shimmering atoll lost amid the vast emptiness of ocean and fancied that whatever joy or misery was occurring there was completely self contained; unbeholden to the outside world; set apart from the tenets of civilisation. Obviously in our digital age this was more reverie than truth but it has not always been so. And as we all know, even today there are dark corners of the world where reason holds no sway. I have always felt a great affection for island tales, from the adventures of Jim Hawkins and the psychosis of Dr Moreau to the primal regression of Jack Merridew, and this is my homage to the genre. The magnificent isolation that a land apart affords the writer is an opportunity like no other; a chance to create a self contained world where ones protagonist is forced to face what we all fear the most - ourselves.
By Thomas Curtis
Published: September 21, 2011.
1809. A malign and gloomy Indian Ocean. The slave galleon Sulfuro is inexplicably destroyed by fire.
60 years later, British trading vessel the Bhangarh disappears without trace in the same location.
Only one crewmember from each tragedy survives to warn the world of the terrifying events that transpired.