'Mankind expects pain. However it appears to outsiders.'
Tyler's Folly: a colony world on the unattractive side of Earthspace, a planet wracked by earthquakes and crawling with off-world bodysnatchers. When the local authorities pull a bedraggled Professor Bernice Summerfield out of the ocean in an off-limits 'quake zone', they naturally want to know what she is doing there... but the professor can only mumble something about woolly mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers.
According to Bernice, the planet is hollow, its interior inhabited by warring tribes of cavemen and strangely unconvincing prehistoric monsters. Some dark and ancient god rules this underground kingdom — albeit a dark and ancient god with a penchant for thirties pulp adventures and Saturday morning action serials.
Can Bernice's claims be true? Is Tyler's Folly really under threat from an ageless subterranean horror? And why does so much of her story revolve around the utterly amoral alien known as !X...?
Lawrence Miles is the author of the acclaimed novel Christmas on a Rational Planet, although he's using the word 'acclaimed' just as loosely as all the other New Adventures writers do. You'll be glad to hear that this one makes just as much sense.