The Levelling

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“I want you to imagine that everything you know about ancient history is wrong. Everything you learnt in school—our primordial past, clubbing each other like cavemen, before blundering into something resembling civilisation, eventually leading us to where we are now, the pinnacle of advancement and enlightenment. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

“The reality is bigger, more magnificent than you can possibly imagine. We humans are merely a shadow of what we used to be. We were like angels once, powerful and terrible, with every force the universe has to offer at our disposal. And we were not alone in this world.”

When World War II ended the plan was called “The Pastoralisation of Germany.” Once put into effect, it was simply called “The Levelling.”

Now the year is 1955. Germany, ten years on from its defeat, has been systematically dismantled, its cities and industries torn down to create a mediaeval society living off the land. Nothing remains except a sparsely inhabited forest, stretching hundreds of miles from the northern coast to the once-powerful nation’s interior.

But when RAF pilot Howard Shale overflies a ruined German research site he is exposed to the truth of what the nazis were really trying to achieve. Hitler’s fascination with the occult—and the military value it might hold—were not merely academic, and the Germans were close to unleashing powers that have not been wielded on Earth for over six thousand years.

Now someone is continuing that work, and they do not intend to stop until the gateway between this world and the worlds beyond is theirs to control.

This story is the result of a challenge I came up with in a “random combinations” writing exercise a few years ago (in this case Battle of Britain air drama mixed with Lovecraftian horror). It’s actually set after the war for various plot-related reasons, but it has a number of influences scattered through it based on other Lovecraftian stories and wartime books and films that I’ve enjoyed, such as “At the Mountains of Madness” by H. P. Lovecraft, “Enigma” by Robert Harris, “Wrathful Skies” by Robert Lassen, “Declare” by Tim Powers, and “Just War” by David Gullen.

THE LEVELLING is available at

Reviews and Accolades

14-Dec-2019: The first review is in, and it’s a good one!



Why have I never heard of William Mitchell? This is the second story by him I’ve read and it was also incredible. I like the out of the box story concepts a lot more than some of the really played out tropes.