Brian Catling


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Agent: Jon Elek
Assistant: Rosa Schierenberg


Up until two years ago Brian Catling's international reputation was firmly established as a visual and performance artist and poet. Then a great tide of narrative fiction overcame him. The first wave to hit was The VORRH; the prime novel in an epic trilogy that he thought was 'obscure Surrelism' until Alan Moore proclaimed it to be a phosphorescent masterpiece and "one of the most original and stunning works of fantasy that it has ever been my privilege to read".

THE VORRH was published by Random House US and Hodder and Stoughton in the UK in 2015 to great acclaim.

Brian has also won a Cholmondeley award for his poetry.


Brian Catling was born in London and is Professor of Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. His website is :


Praise for THE VORRH;

“I am glad to have the book as a companion on my own dark quest.” —Tom Waits

"A dazzling display of storytelling. . . . Readers who enjoy the genre-blending novels of Felix Gilman (The Half-Made World, 2010) and David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks, 2014)—and are comfortable with the violence of Jesse Bullington’s The Enterprise of Death (2011)—will find themselves right at home here."-- Booklist

"Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts, it makes me realize how little imagination I have." —Terry Gilliam


Publication DetailsNotes



Random House (US)/Hodder and Stoughton (UK)

In the tradition of China Miéville, Michael Moorcock and Alasdair Gray, B. Catling's The Vorrh is literary dark fantasy which wilfully ignores boundaries, crossing over into surrealism, magic-realism, horror and steampunk.
In B. Catling's twisting, poetic narrative, Bakelite robots lie broken - their hard shells cracked by human desire - and an inquisitive Cyclops waits for his keeper and guardian, growing in all directions. Beyond the colonial city of Essenwald lies the Vorrh, the forest which sucks souls and wipes minds. There, a writer heads out on a giddy mission to experience otherness, fallen angels observe humanity from afar, and two hunters - one carrying a bow carved from his lover, the other a charmed Lee-Enfield rifle - fight to the end.
Thousands of miles away, famed photographer Eadweard Muybridge attempts to capture the ultimate truth, as rifle heiress Sarah Winchester erects a house to protect her from the spirits of her gun's victims.