Horrible Monday: Necroscope: The Mobius Murders

Necroscope: The Mobius Murders by Brian LumleyNecroscope: The Mobius Murders by Brian Lumley

Harry Keogh is a necroscope. He speaks with the dead and considers himself to be their caretaker. The “Great Majority” love him because he keeps them connected to each other and the world they left behind. In return, Harry often benefits from their collective wisdom. One deceased person who has been particularly helpful is August Ferdinand Möbius, the mathematician whose famous work in geometry led to the discovery and naming of the Möbius strip. Since his death, Möbius has continued his interest in mathematics and astronomy and has taught Harry Keogh how to travel through time and space by using the Möbius Continuum — a timeless spaceless “place” outside of the dimensions we inhabit.

Harry thought he was the only person alive who knew how to travel the Möbius Continuum, but when one day (if you can call it a “day”) he sees someone else traveling through it, he is startled. When he investigates, he discovers that someone is using the Möbius Continuum to conveniently rid himself of his murder victims. This “someone” must have figured out the math on his own. And so Harry sets out to find the culprit and we have a scary tale of math, metaphysics, and murder!

Brian Lumley began writing about Harry Keogh the necroscope back in 1986. I haven’t read any of his previous work, so I was unfamiliar with this story until I picked up Necroscope: The Mobius Murders. I had no trouble quickly orienting myself to Lumley’s world and protagonist. There is enough background information supplied to enjoy the story, which I did, though I’m sure it would have been even more meaningful if I had the full context. I also can’t address this particular NECROSCOPE installment as compared to Lumley’s previous work.

But I can say that reading Necroscope: The Mobius Murders made me put the rest of Lumley’s NECROSCOPE stories on my TBR pile. I want to learn about Harry’s parents and his estranged wife and son. But mostly I want to learn more about the Möbius Continuum. Is it perhaps, as Harry suspects, the mind of God? The place behind our reality where, as Albert Einstein said “the distinction between past, present, and future is an illusion”? I doubt I’ll find out, but I do hope that in previous stories Lumley explains how the math is applied to space to open the continuum. I was enchanted by this idea and some of the things I learned about Möbius and Pythagoras.

The Mobius Murders is dark, creepy, and exciting. It was published a few weeks ago by Subterranean Press. The cover art and some interior illustrations were done by Bob Eggleton.

Publication Date: March 31, 2013. Publisher: Harry Keough, aka the Necroscope, has always considered himself a master of the Mobius Continuum — a dimension existing parallel to all space and time and his personal instantaneous gateway to anywhere in the multiverse. But this is hardly overweening conceit on Harry’s part, for to his knowledge he is not unique; two other intelligences, with powers similar to his, do indeed exist. One such is the long-dead August Ferdinand Mobius himself, the German astronomer, mathematician, and discoverer of the eponymous Mobius Strip which led him to explore, posthumously, his previously conjectural Continuum; and the other is Harry s son, who has not only inherited his father’s mathematical skill but also the metaphysical talent by means of which the Necroscope converses with dead people in their graves! Picture Harry’s confusion, then, on returning home via the Mobius Continuum from an adventure in Las Vegas, as he witnesses however briefly a flailing figure hurtling conscious but uncontrolled through the endless midnight of the Continuum. Who could this be — how can it be? — that a helpless, silently protesting other is rushing meteor-like across the Continuum’s Stygian vault? Moreover, if he hasn’t arrived here voluntarily, then what vile murderer has sent his victim on this monstrous journey to the end of life itself? For Harry is sure that this is neither his son s nor Professor Mobius’ doing. Who and where is he, this Mobius murderer? It is a mystery that only the Necroscope can ever hope to solve — but at what risk to his own life?

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KAT HOOPER is a professor at the University of North Florida where she teaches neuroscience, psychology, and research methods courses. She occasionally gets paid to review scientific textbooks, but reviewing speculative fiction is much more fun. Kat lives with her husband and their children in Jacksonville Florida.

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3 comments

  1. Damn. I really wish his Subterranean Press editions were easier to come by. The deluxe hardcovers do look very nice, but their availability outside the US is almost nil. I’m a HUGE fan of the original Necroscope novels, as well as his Vampire World trilogy, but I’ve missed out on a lot of his recent work.

    • Bob, it seems like Sub Press often puts their stuff out on Kindle, though you may have to wait a bit for it. They’re a lot less expensive, too. Can you purchase the Kindle editions in Canada? Or maybe you just want to own them in hardback. Can you purchase them from the Sub Press site?

      • They’ve done a decent job of getting his Cthulhu stories out as e-books, but not so much his vampire stuff. Necroscope: The Plague-Bearer & The Fly-By-Nights were quickly out-of-print, and I suspect Necroscope: The Mobius Murders will quickly meet the same end.

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