The Curator by Owen King
(Hodder & Stoughton, 2023)
Reviewed by Phil Nicholls
In his second novel, King has created a fascinating fable that rewards close reading. The Curator has an urban setting that feels like second-world fantasy, but is presented as a fictional city on an island off Europe. King playfully nods at genre conventions by insisting that the city cannot be mapped.
The whimsically unnamed city is a mix of Dickensian London and the setting of Gormenghast, yet London is specifically mentioned, so cannot be this city. In a sense, this could be any European city of the 19th century, with grand museums, factories, rotting docks and a crowded slum district.
Review from BSFA Review 21 - Download your copy here.