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What the Giants were Saying

by David Rix

213 pages

The November air was cold, but not cold enough to still the energy of the great white towers. They spun and spun as always – huge sails whirling around, always seeming just slightly faster than they should be.

What the Giants were Saying is a dark-hued and surreal fable on the theme of creativity. It is an extreme horror tale of artist's block, tattoos, Don Quixote, copper wire . . . and wind turbines! Always wind turbines! It tells of a landscape artist desperately trying to escape his own feelings of mundanity and having hallucinatory encounters both with those great white whispering giants and a wild tattooed girl who pushes creative experience to the very limit and knows that the towers are the key to something remarkable. Tattoos, Windmills, turbines, human skin and copper wire . . . with these keys a world of supernatural change is unlocked - and supernatural creation. After all, what could creativity be like when such things as pain, life and death no longer have the same meaning?

It's simply a choice between one life and another.

* * *

What the Giants Were Saying is accompanied here by the shorter work that inspired it, Red Fire, a piece that pushes the boundaries of extreme horror into a visionary and surreal world of love and pain, great white moths and tattooed skin, and above all, into the world of story itself.

I cannot see any more - and you want me to read you?

These two connected tales are both horror writing at its most spectacular and extreme.

* * *

"What the Giants Were Saying is a powerful and at times disturbing book. At one point I thought to myself 'This is a lot like J.G. Ballard's wackier New Wave material' [. . .] What we have here, as in Ballard's Crash, The Atrocity Exhibition and The Unlimited Dream Company, is a vision of transcendence through violence - [...] perhaps a yearning after some kind of personal fulfilment that has nothing to do with society, sanity or even life itself.

Let me add that ­ thanks to the author¹s skill in the visual arts ­ this is a beautifully produced book. But not, perhaps, one to give to a Presbyterian auntie for Christmas. While nothing is explicitly described, the mutilation level is almost enough to put Clive Barker off his Horlicks."

David Longhorn - Supernatural Tales website.


Rix weaves a wonderful tale that takes us along a man’s slide from a conventional life into something different, weaving copper into skin in an act that alters and defines the new life, leaving everything once known behind in the pursuit of art and the creation of Art. . . . Final comment is that Rix has contributed something solid and uncompromising that deserves a good outing.

Albedo 1, Issue 34


What the Giants Are Saying is an unnerving, edgy work. It asks the inevitable question, what is art? And then explores the issue in a supremely visceral and unflinching manner. Yes, it has become acceptable (though controversial still) to manipulate inanimate tissue, such as Damian Hurst’s sharks and sheep, or Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ corpse sculptures, but to carve and stitch your art onto living flesh, to mutilate the breathing, that is another matter, or is it? After all, who owns our flesh? We accept the tattoo, the piercing, gender change (whether medically necessary or simply a need), even genital mutilation—weren’t the Castratos of a bygone age mutilated in the name of musical art—so who is to say where it ends, what is acceptable and what is extreme, if not even criminal?

What the Giants Are Saying is a bold work, it eschews story-telling conventions, it is readable, but difficult. It gives no easy answers or comfortable conclusions. It asks mote questions than it answers. It is horror, and then it isn’t, not in the conventional sense anyway, it is that rare and wonderful thing, an unclassifiable work. Even the beautiful, striking and disturbing cover is ostensibly horror, but then, on closer examination probably not.

Terry Grimwood - The Future Fire


I enjoyed the spare, dynamic style and Rix is good at dealing with emotions at fever pitch. He explores the artistic impulse more thoroughly than much supernatural fiction . . . Perhaps the best thing about this book is the imagery, with seemingly disparate visuals and ideas pulled together to create weird pictures that sear the mental retina like a flare in the dark.

Most importantly, no-one can fail to be touched by Rix's bounding enthusiasm, and many artists may even be a bit inspired by the way Rix is willing to "take it to the wire", like his characters Don and Feather.

Joy Silence - Darkling Tales

David Rix, was born in England in 1978. He has had a lifelong fascination with horror and the surreal and has been a dedicated reader and collector of books for several years. In 2004 his first story was published in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Strange Tales from Tartarus Press.

What the Giants were Saying is available in the following formats:

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