Set in the aftermath of the Great War, it follows the pairing of stage magician Will Goulston and spiritualist Frederick Kelly as they tour the lecture halls of provincial Britain.
In the afterword to Out of His Mind (winner of the British Fantasy Award for best short story collection, with an introduction by Brian Clemens, thangyouverymuch), I wrote this:
It was at Peter Crowther’s suggestion or inducement that I wrote In Gethsemane for an angel-themed collection titled Heaven Sent, and although it’s hardly right for me to say so it’s something of a favourite of mine…
As far as the device at its heart is concerned, that came about when I heard of how, in the late ’70s, ideological opponents G Gordon Liddy and Timothy Leary partnered up to tour on the debate circuit. I thought of them berating each other’s beliefs at every engagement and then checking unto the same hotel afterwards. I’d been looking for a form in which I could do something about the conflict of science and superstition that would allow for the kind of complexity that I felt it needed, and here it was on a plate. It was human, it was absurd, and yet it still made perfect sense.