SF Masterwork of the Week: The Deep

John Crowley is probably best known for his fantasy – most notably his Aegypt sequence and the career-defining Little, Big, for which he won the World Fantasy Award. However, he started his career writing science fiction: Engine Summer, Beasts and, of course, The Deep, our current SF Masterwork of the Week.

For many generations the Just have been at war with the Protectors. In their strange world, supported by a huge pillar poised in the vast and mysterious Deep, ritual bloodshed and sorcery have obsessed the inhabitants since the beginning of time.

Half human, half machine, sexless and hairless, the Visitor from the skies enters the world on a mission unknown even to himself. Is he a peacemaker between the warrior clans, an observer, or, with his phenomenal qualities, a warrior himself, the likes of which this planet has never seen before?

Only time can tell, and time is something that his makers have not allowed for . . .


The Deep, a strange and compelling tale of alien warfare from the World Fantasy Award-wining author of Little, Big is available as an SF Masterworks paperback and an SF Gateway eBook.

Read more about John Crowley at his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.