At the University of Corporeal & Ethereal Studies meddling with unknown powers can be dangerous work. Courses in arts and sciences experiment with supernatural forces to solve the mysteries of the universe, but when school projects go awry, the students may discover more than they would like to about the madness of the cosmic ‘Beyond’.
Eight interwoven stories follow students whose school work, social lives and inner demons crash together, leading to fantastic and horrible experiences, supernatural powers, and a fuller understanding of the dark depths of their world.
Classes include subjects such as time travel, alchemy, oneironautics , psychedelic transformation, rogue automatons, cosmic ghosts, reality-warping crystals, and more.
Inspired by many authors of science fiction, fantasy and horror, including H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, Kurt Vonnegut and Isaac Asimov.
Wolfgang Edwards was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1987. He has been an aspiring writer since he was a child and intends to keep writing the rest of his life.
Screeching to a halt within a metre of the Cognition Echo’s insectile legs, I let the velocirocket fall on its side. Clutching another copper in its mighty fists, the machine slowly turned its bell head, the optical apparatus locking on me.
With a cry of frustrated, guilty fury I charged the massive automaton, leaping high, metal lance held up like a spear. Through the tears I struck true. Broken crunching and the muffled crackle of shattered glass and mirrors answered my desperate thrust.
Opening eyes I had involuntarily squeezed shut, I looked upon my work. The thin lance of iron stuck straight out of the Cognition Echo’s skull, held in place by untold bits of metal and glass. The machine was stunned.
For a moment the entire world was frozen. Caution long-forgotten, my heart began to tremble with the elation of victory – prematurely.
An ominous click of turning cogs. Stomach lurching. Heart sinking. Eyes widened as the daemonic machine dropped the bluecoat it had been inspecting, reached up and pulled the shaft of metal from its own eye-socket.
An impossible, low, bass bellow rang out of nowhere; the bell of an alien temple from the darkest Beyond.