Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with the shame of his desires, he runs away to remote Scotland with a piece of experimental tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.
In the late 1860s, Leonora lives a contented life in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature, her hands and mind kept busy. Contemplating her future and the social conventions that bind her, a secret romantic friendship with the local laird is interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh – an intimidating, sooty city; the place where her mother perished.
But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions that bear no resemblance to anything she has ever seen or known…
A Superior Spectre is a highly accomplished debut novel about our capacity for curiosity, and our dangerous entitlement to it, and reminds us the scariest ghosts aren’t those that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.
About the Author
Angela Meyer’s writing has been widely published, including in Best Australian Stories, Island, The Big Issue, The Australian, The Lifted Brow and Killings . She has previously published a book of flash fiction, Captives (Inkerman & Blunt). She has worked in bookstores, as a book reviewer, in a whisky bar, and for the past few years has published a range of Australian authors for Echo Publishing, including award-winners and an international number one bestseller. She grew up in Northern NSW and lives in Melbourne. A Superior Spectre is her debut novel.
Praise for A Superior Spectre
'Haunting and wonderfully surefooted – a vivid reminder of what fiction can do.'
PETER BISHOP, PETER BISHOP BOOKS
A Superior Spectre is a gorgeously written, viscerally unsettling novel.
Angela Meyer weaves ideas about gender, desire, technology and identity through this creepy,
erotically-charged tale with subtlety and elegance. It’s a book you’ll read in a thrilling rush and
then think about for months.’ EMILY MAGUIRE
‘A Superior Spectre is a wild and risky novel, artfully darting between two
people separated by centuries and connected by — you’ll see. Meyer’s triumph is that each char-
acter, one in the past and one in the future, is alive with the right decisions and details for their
world. This debut is filled with uncomfortable questions about sex, tech, family, regrets and the
times we are stuck living in. There are no lectures or morals here, just a writer taking you to places
you’ve never been, giving one rich vision after another, and, in the end, delivering a daring and
excellent story.’ STEVEN AMSTERDAM
ENDORSEMENT — ‘A beautiful and troubling novel that subtly explores how the past haunts the
present.’ CERIDWEN DOVEY
Praise for Angela’s past work
'Meyer’s language is subtle and skillful, giving us flashes of unsettling truths, peppered with dark humour.'
BRIGID MULLANE, READINGS MONTHLY
'One of the form’s most vital practitioners.'
WILLIAM TEOMAN, THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
'Her best stories are like the perfect skeletons of small animals, from which a warm and living body may be easily imagined.'
KERRYN GOLDSWORTHY, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD/THE AGE