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  • La Dentelle du Cygne

Vincent Gessler



Publication date : March 2010

Illustrator : Yoz

ISBN13 : 9782841724994

Number of pages : 252


In thedepths of the great forest the ruins of the old world still stand. Onlymurmured talk remains of that time... And vital technology painstakinglymaintained but which goes from village to village carried by trappers,travelling merchant wagons, armed gangs and treasure hunters. Men united intotribal communities have taken refuge in remote places, safe from other humansand especially from formidable metal demons that haunt the forest.

This is thestory of Syn, a trapper and his dog with a fur coat of grafted syntheticstrips. This is the story of a strange machine waking up in the heart of theice. This is the story of two worlds swinging towards each other amidst fireand bloodshed.



La déesse blanche (The whitegoddess), in Ilessur le toit du monde (Isles on the roof of the world), a Swiss-French science fictionanthology, Archipel no 24, 2003.

La tête dans le sable (Head in the Sand), in Horrifique, (St-Jean, Québec) no 41, 2004.

Fractal, in Utopiæ 2006, presented by Bruno della Chiesa, L'Atalante.

Au bord de l'Abyme (On the edge of theAbyss), in Lunatique no 73, Eons, November2006.

Les risques du métier (Risks of the trade), in Lunatique no 77, Eons, December 2007.

Retour aux sources (Back to origins), in Les Tribulations d'un voyageur helvétique (Thetrials of a Swiss traveller), ÉditionsZoé, 2008.


  • Press review
What the press said about CYGNIS
Posté le 21 October 2010 -
Vincent Gessler's work is also post-apocalyptic yet remains on a very lyrical human level. This stylistic beauty reminds me of Giono. It really is superb.

Andre-Francois, 29 March 2010, captainbooks.blogspot.com 

There is a bewitching feeling to the whole book: even if nothing very much happens in the first half of the novel, we carry on reading, as if hypnotised. So we arrive without a hitch at the end of this very nice first novel about searching for one's origins, that gives nothing away before the last few pages and has some rather superb passages. Such qualities make Vincent Gessler a promising author.

Bruno Para, Noosfere.com

This novel coming out of the blue is quite a surprise. [...]
An original post-apocalyptic story (my Mad Max and the Trappers ... no, I'm joking) and also well-constructed. Read it while listening to Wolves in the Throne Room or Negura Bunget to keep in the spirit of the Frontier Forest.

Winter, Le blog de la Librairie Critic

A first novel published by Atalante - that's a really good book launch. Immediate recognition by this Breton publisher blazes the trail for writers of the imaginary.

Nicolas Dufour, Le Temps

A stunning novel and an absolute must-read.
And where there's meaning, there's lyricism. What's funny in Cygnis is that the author comes close to excessive lyricism several times without quite falling into the trap, thanks to a command of the action which allows him to alternate bitingly harsh and violent passages with ...silken poetry.
In short, Cygnis is an astonishing novel, vibrant and full of contrasts. It would be a shame to pass it by.

Anne Fakhouri, Actusf

Cygnis is a story about robots, like Isaac Asimov's stories we used to read. However these robots have an affiliation with ambivalent Man, combining a love for life with the necessity of destroying the individual in order to save a race which in the past has caused its very destruction. Syn is a very human hero, capable of friendship and loyalty, but also of atrocity for such futile motives as an adolescent jibe.

Chris de Savoie, Phénixweb

We're fans.                                    Nic Ulmi, Edelweiss Mag Men

We are quite simply in the presence of a divine surprise. Vincent Gessler manages to rhyme erudition and stylistic research with extreme violence, murder and extermination.

Sig, Chroniques de l'imaginaire

And precisely the first and almost only problem with Cygnis is that we finish it much too quickly.         Tsaag Valren, Mythologica.net

An excellent first novel that has well thought-out rhythms and follows the mindset of the characters. It makes it so much easier to go into this post-apocalyptic universe. A great success and an author to follow closely!

Tony Sanchez, Actusf

Cygnis is a clear, simple story whose great success lies in its atmosphere. In just a few pages the alchemy gets to work and we are bowled over, succumbing to the assault of the many reminiscences that it stirs in us; at random, Christian Charrière (La Forêt d'Iscambe) and  Hayao Miyazaki, particularly Nausicaä.
Even if Vincent Gessler is not a novice in terms of writing, he has managed to pull off a masterstroke here. Adding a cover illustration that is absolutely stunning in its evocative power makes the result more than satisfactory. Now we expect the plot to be bolder and broader.

Ubik, Le Cafard cosmique

Concerning the structure, for a first novel there is a real balance between respect for the genres and a completely personal and attractive mixture.

Vinz, Le blog de Vinz

There are books like this: as soon as we see them we want them. "Don't judge a book by its cover". Yes, yes, I know that, but I allowed myself be drawn into the game, borne along by Yoz and his sombre, ethereal, visual universe. And well, I'd like another drink out of that cup.
[...]Revelations, panoramas, we let ourselves get carried away by Vincent Gessler's writing, which certainly gives justice to his imagination.
[...]Unfortunately a first effort like this one sets the bar pretty high. If you want my advice, you'd better keep track of this author.

Sélénite, Mizzenmast

In any case I recommend this book to anyone who likes good narrative style and post-apocalyptic aesthetics and poetry.

Julien, Les naufragés volontaires

In a lyrical style, Cygnis depicts a carefully nuanced post-apocalyptic universe.

Nathalie Ruas, Le français dans le monde

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