The Grelnocks by Jonathan Maas
It begins with a call from a desperate man
When Wes is brought in to resolve a standoff at the top of an upscale apartment building, he is told that the man barricaded inside the penthouse isn’t a threat to anyone but himself.
So Wes puts on a bulletproof vest and walks up to the top floor, with a team in tactical gear right behind him in case anything goes sideways.
Wes walks in and finds that this man – and this situation – is unlike any he has encountered before. The top floor is completely covered with strange materials, and the man is wearing a thick body suit.
And then the man starts talking about the truths that he has recently perceived, truths so horrid that they suggest existence itself is not worth it.
There are things we are not meant to perceive
The standoff does not end well, and though Wes is soon absolved of fault, his problems come from a different angle — or perhaps every angle.
Wes starts seeing things, or rather ‘perceiving’ things out of the sides of his vision. When he turns these creatures are inevitably gone, but there is a solidity to their being that suggests these creatures at the edges of his perception are very, very real.
And then Wes finds that he is not alone in the expansion of his perceptive world. Wes is put on the case of a new serial killer, one with a profile far different he has ever seen before.
The evidence suggests that this killer too is experiencing existence in an entirely new way, with unspeakable results.
As Wes explores what is happening – he’ll find that our sense of perception is limited for a reason. There are some truths of existence that we are not meant to perceive.
And these truths are being delivered to Wes, in the form of creatures called the Grelnocks.
A note from the editor:
“When I got this manuscript from Jonathan Maas, I was immediately hooked by this Philosophical Thriller. It had shades of paranormal events, but still grounds itself in the explainable. It treads the line between Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy and Police Mystery. The tale unfolds like something out of True Detective, but it also holds deep philosophical undertones like The Schopenhauer Cure by Irvin D. Yalom, or perhaps Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
It is linked to his other podcasting tale #EOTW, though readers need not read that first. But like #EOTW, you may pick up this novel / novella and read it in one sitting like myself. Just keep the lights on – or perhaps off – you might be safer from the Grelnocks that way.”
J. Shaw, Cynical Optimist Press
For fans of: Philosophical mysteries, True Detective, #EOTW, #EOTWAWKI, Urban Fantasy, Forensics, Police Procedurals, Podcasts, Existential mysteries
For fans of authors and books: Eugene Thacker, In the Dust of this Planet, David Benatar, Yuval Noah Harari, Ed Yong, An Immense World