The Platinum Raven and other novellas by Rohan Quine is a paperback comprising a collection of four novellas – The Platinum Raven, The Host in the Attic, Apricot Eyes and Hallucination in Hong Kong – each novella being also available by itself as an ebook. All four are literary fiction with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror, celebrating the darkest and brightest possibilities of human imagination, personality and language.
The Platinum Raven is a triple convulsion whereby our heroine Raven escalates herself into the Chocolate Raven and then the Platinum Raven, from London to Dubai to the tower in the hills in the desert – then back down again, forever changed. The daydreams of the downtrodden Raven propel her into a fantasy life as a more glamorous version of herself: a party girl living in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. This latter’s imagination then spawns a yet more empowered and intense version of herself, as empress of a sequence of events whose fusion of extraordinary beauty, violence and sensuality is bewitching…
The Host in the Attic is a hologram of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, digitised and reframed in cinematic style, set in London’s Docklands in a few years’ time. High-flyer Jaymi discovers a secret novel online called The Imagination Thief, written by a woman named Alaia; and they meet and fall in love. In his attic he hides the prototype of a new worldwide Web-browsing hologram, for whose appearance he was the model. While this hologram deteriorates into ever more terrifying corruption, Jaymi’s appearance remains forever sweet and youthful, despite his escalating evil … until the inevitable reckoning unfolds.
In Apricot Eyes, a cat-and-mouse pursuit through the New York City night involves a preacher, a psychic and a dominatrix, broadcast live on air – until a horror is unearthed, bringing two of them together and the third to a sticky end. Beneath a waterfront waste ground in the Bronx, a monstrous population is being fattened up, by the preacher, for malign purposes. Jaymi and Scorpio are on his tracks, however, in a blast of fun that trumpets boldness, tolerance and voltage, celebrating the mystery and dangers furled just behind the surface of the everyday.
In Hallucination in Hong Kong, sliding from joy to nightmare and back, a plane-flight frames a journey into Jaymi’s and Angel’s polarised identities and perceptions, where past and present merge in an obsessive fantasy of love, death, horror and apocalyptic beauty. At take-off, warmed by the presence of his friend Angel beside him, Jaymi starts to doze, and enters a fog of horror in seeming to remember that their destination lies in their past, not ahead … forcing him to explore those hellish possible events lying beneath the surface of our present and future, always ready to break through into reality.