Endless Things is the fourth and final installment in Crowley’s Aegypt sequence.
Spanning three centuries, and weaving together the stories of Renaissance magician John Dee, philosopher Giordano Bruno, and present-day itinerant historian and writer Pierce Moffitt, the Aegypt sequence is as richly significant as Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet or Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time. Crowley, a master prose stylist, explores transformations physical, magical, alchemical, and personal in this epic, distinctly American novel where the past, present, and future reflect each other.
The day the Time Storm came, Marc Despard was one of the handful to survive – or keep a remnant of sanity. Mist walls moving endlessly across the surface of the Earth, created a devastated, shifting patchwork of temporal anarchy, wrenching both inanimate and living things between the past and the future, beyond all hope of return.
But Despard saw strange, dazzling patterns in his head that he knew were instruments that might enable him to beat the Time Storm.
Travelling through the violent, terrifying landscape of an ever-changing world, slowly gathering others around him, he began to realise his awe-inspiring mission.
He, Marc Despard, must become nothing less than master of the universe – what men call God.
Starving to death somewhere in Europe, Anna meets Raoul.
She is ready to sell herself for a meal, but he has other plans. He takes her to England, to a summer of torrential rain, and the dubious mansion of his arrogant and unsavoury relatives, the Basultes.
It seems Anna is also to ‘enjoy’ the godly Basulte life. But the mounds of stodgy food, the genuflecting servants, the mindless cruelty of class, (the endless rain), affront her. Besides, she is becoming aware of the family, Raoul included, is playing with her a macabre and silly game.
Anna is a survivor – she has had to be – practiced at acting out the impossible. Both the aristocratic malignities, and the Hogarthian orgies of the servants, can be accommodated, if they must. For did they but know, Anna has a past as savage and explicit as anything seen in the Basulte house.
The past, that was Preguna, where Anna loved Arpad, during a European summer of soft heat. Until love ended in the darkness that now hangs on every moment of her life, reducing all other things, however murderous, to nothing.
These were the last weeks and days before the end of the world, before total destruction overwhelmed Earth and every living thing on the surface of the planet. No one knew exactly how long they had before the sun turned nova and destroyed not only Earth but all of the other planets in the Solar System. For mankind, the only excape lay in flight to the stars, to Alpha Centauri, more than four light years distant.
The hyperdrive, capable of carrying them there at close to the speed of light had been developed, but as yet had not been perfected. In a world without a future, the starships were the only salvation of mankind and they could save only a minute fraction of the population of Earth.
Panic is there, but temporarily forgotten by most, as the plans for a mass exodus are speeded up, as the long hours of mounting tension draw to a close and Judgement Day, when the world shall be destroyed by fire, is mo longer a hazy time in the far future, but something very close and very terrible. For those who remained behind, there could be no escape; death would come suddenly, eight minutes after the nova explosion. For those who fled the Solar System in the starships, untried and working on principles only partially understood, there was only the long, terrible journey through the endless night, not knowing what lay at the end of it.