StarShipSofa No 354 James Morrow

September 17, 2014 by Jeremy Szal

Coming Up

Interview: James Morrow

Main Fiction: Iron Shroud by James Morrow


“Jonathan Hobbwright cannot discourse upon the formic thoughts that flicker through the minds of ants, and he is similarly ignorant concerning the psyches of locusts, toads, moles, apes, and bishops, but he can tell you what it’s like to be in hell. The abyss has become his fixed abode. Perdition is now his permanent address. Although Jonathan’s eyes deliver only muddy and monochromatic images, his ears have acquired an uncommon acuity. Encapsulated head-to-toe in damnation’s carapace, he can hear the throbbing heart of a nearby rat, the caw of a proximate raven, the hiss of an immediate snake”.

James Morrow’s loopy historical novel, Galápagos Regained will see the publication in January of 2015. In the spirit of The Last Witchfinder (which chronicled the coming of the Enlightenment), this epic dramatizes the birth of the evolutionary worldview.

His heroine, Chloe Bathurst, gets a job as Charles Darwin’s zookeeper in 1848, well before the publication of On the Origin of Species. Eventually she finds herself in South America, heading for the Galápagos archipelago so she can collect her own evolutionary menagerie and thus win the Great God Contest: £10,000 to the first entrant who can prove or disprove the existence of God.

Narrator: Katherine Inskip

Katherine Inskip weighs galaxies for a living, and builds worlds in her spare time. She is addicted to chocolate and Japanese logic puzzles


  1. Owing to a mischievous neurological event, my “Iron Shroud” interview has me ascribing Flaubert’s famous phrase, “le mot juste,” to another French author.