You never know which ideas will stick in your mind, let alone where they’ll go. Roth-Steyr began with an interest in the odd designs and names of early automatic pistols, and the decision to use one of them as a story title. What started out as an oddball short piece became a much longer and darker tale about how easily a familiar world can fall apart, how old convictions vanish or change, and why no one should want to live forever.
It’s also about my obsession with history, in particular the chaotic upheavals that plagued the first half of the twentieth century and that are waking up again. Another ‘long dark night of the European soul’ feels very close today.
So here’s the story of Valerie Varden. And her Roth-Steyr.
"Roth-Steyr is bold and original, a scary, yet poignant, departure for an author who is always pushing at the limits of his craft." - Gary McMahon, author of Glorious Beasts, The Bones Of You and The Concrete Grove.