March Books 7) Christmas on a Rational Planet, by Lawrence Miles
The second and third paragraphs from Chapter 3:
They fed from the ship’s structure in the boot-cupboards, and played dice with the universe in the cloisters. Creations, phantasms, aberrations... ... why be coy? Monsters. They were monsters, that was all.
My peculiar reading sequence means that I read this about a month after The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, rather than five years earlier; so I can see it as clearly Miles' first novel, with all the elements that he would later use, but not yet in their mature form. The 1799 in America environment was interesting, but ran slightly off the rails at times, the Tardis/Gallifrey bits fairly incomprehensible, but at least Roz got some good sequences despite a generally dodgy line on gender and race. Some commentators whose opinions I generally respect are huge fans of Miles; I am not yet there myself.