Thursday, July 30, 2009

The 'Warriors of Love' by PF Jeffery

I hear it rumoured that this is to be a twelve novel series, making one gigantic novel. I believe it to be a highly significant work, judging by what I know of it already.

I have already commented on an earlier form of a different novel by this author HERE that as 'Odalisque' is being revised, I understand, and will form one of these twelve novels.

The first novel, recently completed, is: JANE

I intend to comment - in a modestly timely savouring - upon each chapter, as provided to me by the author. You can ask me a for a word document of each chapter at

The links to my comments will gradually appear below.

I shall be trying to prevent my previous knowledge of this work from affecting my approach to 'Jane'.

JANE - the first in the 'Warriors of Love' novels by PF Jeffery

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

First Entr'acte

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

Second Entr'acte

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nemonymous / ANONthology

Until further notice, if you specifically request it, every order for Nemonymous will be accompanied by a lovely copy of ANONthology (Harper Collins). Thanks to them for supplying these for this purpose.
My review of ANONthology here.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Following my real-time review of 'ANONthology' HERE, I show below my guesses of authorship. I have no reason to believe I should be good at this task!

DO - Christopher Nicholson
THE HYPNOTIST'S WIFE - Joyce Carol Oates
THE APPROACH - Laura Spinney
PURPLE INK - Rebecca Connell
LETTER FROM PARIS - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
IN THE CAMP - Philip Hensher
THE BEARS - Rudolph Delson

Friday, July 10, 2009


This is a sequel to Billy Belly.

Ertz was one bogie short of a nose. Deirdre knew Ertz at an impressionable age: two young fools: I should know, since, though older, I was one, too. Looking back on the whole thing, we three were inseparable at school. Whilst now, I don't know where they've gone. They may as well never have been. No forwarding points, no keepsakes, in fact increasingly next to no remembrances at all.

Still, in life, there are many ways to skin a story, many means to make a memory. I should fill in a few dos and don'ts of something done during our life together back in the old days, when days were old with natural vintage and not new and tawdry as days tend to be these days. I then may be able to string up a tale to hang Ertz and Deirde from. Bring them back as souls, if not bodies. Jug them a juice to by-pass death with. An existence far more tangible than anything real life ever gave them.

So, where shall I start? Too early and they'd still be silent cry-babies with only mothers to give them a bellyful. I was lot older, or slightly older since a difference of four years is as nothing now. Perhaps that was why I was less impressionable. Less of a fool, if still a fool. No, where the beginning lies is somewhere in the middle - them ten years old and me fourteen, ten years ago.

Much must be taken for granted, including the past that came before the past at which I start reconstituting the truth behind the memories and the past which is still the past by being before the perspective of the present. With that said, if clumsily, let me begin in my own way with Ertz - which, if beginnings are anything to go by, is the second beginning I've tried to make. And let me be more economical with my flair. Less slick with my sack of sayings. Ertz was simply an untamed kid at ten years old. One brain short of a mind. One loose nose short of a head. Known only by his second name, because nobody knew his first one, except perhaps his mother and she wasn't letting on. I expect she had second thoughts about the one she'd christened him with. Ertz was Ertz: the best description I can muster, until the shapeless slabs are slotted back together again to form childhood's crazy-paving. Which brings me to Deirdre - a girl with pig-tails and a tongue that ran away with itself. Her frocks were skimpy, knees knobbly and a heart bigger than her whole body put together again. The way I now describe her makes me think I was in love with her: the first passage-point of self-discovery, a stepping-stone in this my rite of the past. But to treat of my own character would be dangerous. The hardest feat of imagination is that of imagining the imaginer. Suffice to say that I was the ring-leader. The kind who invented games. Made up monsters for delicious delights of fright.

Hide-and-seek was our forte. How better to encapsulate a day in the life than to seek out such hidden moments? It was a hot day. I guess I must remember it well to have chosen this day. Ertz was late. The heat was shining less off the sky than the grass, with the first hints of dusk blurring the sunlit hills and rolling swards. And, indeed, I remember it better than well. I'm there now. Deirdre and I were practising hide-and-seek, while we awaited Ertz's arrival. The fact that we both crouched behind some trees did not seem to make mock of our rehearsal, lacking a seeker as we did. Nor did us hiding together seem as daft as it does now. Perhaps we had an ulterior motive. Or perhaps at least I did.

"Ertz is late," I said. See how well I remember it?

"Yes, so's Billy Belly late," she replied, lightly mentioning one of my invented monsters. Whether he was a vampire or a werewolf didn't seem to matter. He was probably neither. Or a mummy or ghoul. Or perhaps he was all these things. Whatever the case, Billy Belly waddled with a paunch that weighed more than the rest of his body, making his sackcloth flesh to crumple around his feet.

"Billy Belly is never late. He'll be early. It's just not his time to come. It's never his time to come. That's why he's always early."

I haughtily shrugged my shoulders as if I'd told a joke in the guise of a sacred truth. Or vice versa. Who knows? Who cares? I looked around at the disused golf course which served as this flashpoint for our childhood destinies. Mostly overgrown, where the semi-rough had become full-fledged - with a solitary ragged flag on its pole cocktailing a slimeful hole. The bunkers were still evident because their curved scars of sand failed to grow anything; they did not even cover themselves with dream's tidal seasons of soundless sea. Indeed, divots and dunes of landscape undulated towards the leaning grandstand of corroded girders that had been (to my mind) the ancient tessellated launch-ramps for space-rockets, but were really the cantilevered structures that had been erected for an international Open Golf Contest, one which I knew had never taken place because of the Great Recession. Peppering this our runnelled territory were the tiny dimpled white eggpods that aliens had laid in order to hatch out of them. An adventure playground, one with more misadventure to its credit than otherwise. It was our Heaven - and our Hell.

Ertz had still not arrived when the sun cast the grandstand in greater sloping lengths across the thighhigh greens, like black cancers (if my rather childish simile will here suffice).

"There are things that live in the old golf-holes," I said to Deirdre, continuing an earlier theme of mine.

"What things?" asked Deirdre mock-innocently, already knowing my usual answer. But the day wasn't a usual day, because, however usual it may have been, it became unusual by being the day I was to choose to remember - today.

"Men's thingies," I answered, "that have escaped their bodies. They're their wormholes."

Her face was a picture of picturing. I laughed at the strange thoughts I had released from their traps, like a pack of hounds running a fox to its earth. There was silence as we heard the footsteps of Ertz. Or footsteps belonging to whom we thought was Ertz. But the paces were heavier, shamblier, paddier, sluggier...

"Billy Belly?" whispered Deirdre in mock horror.

I shook my head knowing that Billy Belly was purely an invention, just like the vampires, werewolves and zombies with which I peopled other people. If "peopled" was the right word. But, really, I shook my head for my own benefit, not wishing to prolong the fantasy which, for one single moment, I believed had come back to haunt me with more than just a ghost of itself. So it was an unusual day all the time, despite today trying to describe a typical day of our childhood, when the fears didn't get out of hand. So why choose a day when they did get out of hand? Not the best way to construct the past, a slippery, darting-off, fork-tongued sort of past.

The sweet run of the fairways, the confident surrendering of the ball to the wind and to the whining weaves of weather, the awkward straggly fringes of grass where golfballs liked to hide, the choice of club, the caddie's unswervable servitude, the steep deep bunkers, the heady feel of the green up the putter's stem, the ball's tantalising swirl around the lip of the cup and its satisfying plop to the pit of the sunken drain. I could sense, if not scent, the rich tapestry of life left in the air around us, as I peered from our hiding-place to discover Ertz's whereabouts and, hopefully, Billy Belly's nowhere - only to see a plus-foured gent tugging dead birdies, if not eagles, from the tufts and tussocks with a long iron.

"Who is it?" asked Deirdre who dared not follow my gaze with hers.

"I don't know. It must be Ertz."

Surely it was Ertz or as near to being Ertz as it didn't matter. After all, I would have chosen a day to describe with Ertz in it, wouldn't I, if I wanted Ertz in it. He was an essential part of the threesome since, without him, we'd be only me and one other - and we'd only have each of us to bear witness. Her word against mine. My word against hers. We needed a third party to form the angles of perspective - like past, present and future. Why choose that day if Ertz wasn't to be there?

"Is it Billy Belly?"

"Don't be silly, Deirdre. Didn't I say? Billy Belly never comes."

"Unless he's early, you said."

I stared at my watch, as if that was the answer I could give ... until my head came up at the sound of something small but heavy swishing through the overgrowth, falling at my feet.

"It's his ball," said Deirdre, with surprising nonchalance.

"But no-one's played golf here for years and years," I replied, matching her nonchalance with words I remember rehearsing more years in the future than those I then consigned to the past.

By now the darkness had only reflected daylight between it and complete impenetrability. The figure, as it approached our hiding-place was not plus-foured after all - his calves looked tightly bandaged with somebody's creamy pink skin whilst the rest of him was swaddled baggily in somebody else's black skin. He wielded a driver that had a scooping blade which he employed to trawl the whiplash weeds in search of his loose white cannon. Hindsight fills in the details - only his face escaping terror's regeneration, except for the fact he had no profile worthy of a nose, a mouth fenced off with wood-veined teeth that waggled in complete vertical revolutions (rather like the door to our childhood den in the forest) and eyes that burned with the emptiness of Hell's twin pits (one of which some call Heaven). If he had a belly to speak of, then best not spoken of.

Deirdre screeched, providing doubt with certainty. He whoever-it-was flailed aside the dangling feelers of of our leafy hangar - and plucked us both by the neck's scruff from our ill-powered auras of invisibility.

"What have we here then?" His voice was gruffness laced with syrup. Recession incarnate.

"Only us," I said, meaning it.

Deirdre was silent, sounds having fled though the ears rather than risk the mouth. His eyes were suddenly for her only. I was a mere bit part. She the star in the black backdrop of his eyes. His middle belatedly bellied out like the phantom beginnings of child-bearing as he pawed at Deirde's clothes ready to suck her juices from wherever they happened to flow most easily.

Ertz would tell this story better than me. That's because he wasn't there; because the truth was stranger than any story even Ertz could concoct, and far less believable; because, as the truth unfolds, I begin to believe it less myself.

In the end, I've done little to retrace our paths through that crazy-golf called childhood - whilst inadvertently giving credence, and perhaps substance, to something worse than the worst in the worst of all possible worlds. Deirdre and Ertz eventually went somewhere else, I guess, making our land, perhaps paradoxically, smaller by the art of absence. Only the adventure playground of mismemory is left me. And I simply surrender words to the winds of time - each shot further from the hole: a long nose short of a double-bogie, given the sense of it. Or a belly full of stale drink and only frayed ancient eye-sockets to see with.

(published ‘Violent Spectres’ 1995)

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Terrible Changes - by Joel Lane

I’m starting another of my real-time reviews. This time it is of ‘The Terrible Changes’ a collection of short fiction by Joel Lane (Ex Occidente Press 2009). I shall attempt to draw out the book's leitmotifs and mould them into its gestalt. [My previous reviews are linked from here: ]

After The Flood
The main student protagonist lives in a bedsit in Leamington Spa where, during his weekend break away in Cardiff, there was torrential rain and a flood. When he returns his girl friend is missing. He then finds a replacement in a scenario of casual sex and performance music I do not understand. The flood is perhaps a metaphor for the internet. By not understanding, I find myself more easily believing the protagonist’s re-absorption into replications that become a swampy web of self and selves, sired by Occam’s Razor out of Blade Runner. Thankfully, spoilers feed off understanding first and foremost. Nothing but paper-cuts. (6 July 09)
Power Cut
From paper cuts to paper cuttings, pinned scraps of newsprint around the seedy backroom where the rent-boy had brought his customer, i.e. the story’s protagonist (Lake by name, appropriate after the first story’s flood (?) and uglier sounding than ‘Lane’ because of the ‘k’ sound if not the smoother meaning of a scenic ‘lake’ as opposed to the dark ‘lanes’ in a Midland city). This protagonist seems to be an uncaring prominent man but nevertheless a man needing the comfort as well as danger of such human contact amid the world’s mass communications that isolate rather than bring together ... tempted in this direction by the story’s topping and tailing of his lonely desperation by the candles of an old-fashioned Aids march through the city that finally threatens to subsume him as if he were (for me) some sort of wicker man. Those newspaper cuttings already on the rent-boy’s walls turn out, of course, to be significant. I hope that’s not a spoiler. The ‘enjoyment’ and meaning of Lane stories, I maintain, do not lie merely in what happens but in the way each individual reader reacts metaphorically and/or literally to it and in how it is described by the texture of language. You need to read the stories themselves for all that! Each reader's reactions are thus liable to produce a different book. This timeless story will haunt you because you begin to realise that changes are terrible when changes never manage to happen. Or terrible because they do happen. You can't win. (6 July 09 - 3 hours later)

Empty Mouths
I’m left open-mouthed with the seedy ambiance of bedsits, small factories, physical ghosts that are emblematic of cruelty or despairing love or mutation from mirrors or faltering identity, above all, the safety-net of shuttling relationships that has too many holes in it, an ambiance so cold the denizens actually dream of central heating, a horror video of cannibalism, a bone jigsaw, and I forgot the shapes of wicker-light in the previous story leading to “traces of candlewax gleamed on the mantelpiece” in this, and, here, the protagonist’s need to repeat her name time and time again. Every story needs a name, too – as well as its protagonist. This story cries its name time and time again. Then when that doesn’t work, it cries out its own author’s name. But nothing can come out of an empty mouth. A story that knows no bounds to its imputed despair. It cries my name. But I’m many miles away in a different ambiance altogether. It doesn’t even know I’m reading it, let alone writing about it.
Bars in the top windows of houses are either to imprison or to protect from things getting in... and silence is to protect mouths from getting frogs in the throat. (6 July 09 - another 4 hours later)

The Last Cry
A far future story where tumours are catching between a dead loved one and yourself. Just waiting for the cure. Words-in-themselves touch you more when the past is still built into them. One also needs to read ‘A Horse In Drifting Light’ and perhaps ‘Albert Ross’ to complement the experience. Nothing stands on its own. Like words, names can’t stand on their own: they need to be written or said. But stories, once read, can stand on their own or can be screwed up and remembered better for never being able to read it again. Crows are angels in disguise...or vice versa? My own loose thoughts on this amazingly haunting story. A city looks tidy by contrast with the protagonist’s flat’s messiness. At least there seems to be a hope there that the ambiance in ‘Empty Mouths’ has been exorcised. But Ted Hughes could never save anyone, let alone himself. Dreams of landfills. Then a countryside. A countryside lane still contains the same over-used safety-net as any city’s back-alley. But now it’s eating barbed wire. Not bars. (6 July 09 - another two hours later)

Every Form of Refuge
Love Lane’s work as I do, I think this is the story I love most (so far). It conveys the office life that I easily recognise, its random secrets (called by Allen Ashley ‘the apocryphal grapevine’), the astrological harmonics (including a ‘Blind Moon’ and the two balanced ‘planets’ of London and Birmingham in the fiction and fame ethos with echoes of Big Brother TV emotional politics), missing people, dimmer-switch identities, random coincidences, dark outcomes – it tells of a gay narrator watching a heterosexual couple’s difficulties of relationship when faced by life’s intractable ‘rush hour’ as unrelieved by any emotional flextime. Haunting moments of imputed nightmare as the involuntary, unconscious quest by the narrator to find some sense in the relationships around him actually meets nightmare head on as fed to him by the unstoppable onrush of emblems and symbols that life contains. Lies and truths. There are many memorable maxims in this story. I will not quote them here. One includes the phrase: “a way to change”. Go thee and seek these darksome maxims.
It seems cheating to angle for a catch of running leitmotifs in Lane as the pop groups’ names alone provide many a hook for my bait. (I’ve heard of Billy Joel, by the way). It’s just the book’s gestalt? That’s going to be difficult. I can see it before me. But to describe it to you is impossible so far. Why, indeed, the need to discover it? I wish I was someone else. (7 July 09)

The Hard Copy
Another Leamington story, welcome companion pages to ‘After The Flood’. Stories get lonely, too. Here there are more paper-cuts and another flood plus envisaged 'Power Cut' rooms surrounded by incriminating scraps of newspaper. When a child, put to bed too early on Summer evenings, I used to tweak and tease the bedsheet into imaginary towns and landscapes. Here the sheets are cumulatively used to form a safety-net for a memory. A mugging that was made into a work of art, then a touching relationship with its victim, then the memory trawled (photosynthesised?) into his fabricated life years later. We all become husks eventually. So why have regrets? That’s my question. Not necessarily this story’s. But if you read fiction for monsters or ghosts, then read Lane. But the slope of imagination needed for them to come to you for real may mean you need to meet them halfway. Cuttings gone almost opaquely brown with age (or wakingly dreamt incontinence?).
“Twilight reduced the trees along a steep avenue to iron silhouettes, like bars.” (7 July 09 - 4 hours later)

Face Down
Similar to finding the victim of the mugging in the previous story – but here the young male victim is evidently dead with face down in the canal (canals being places, I seem to recall, whence things can’t be dredged). Did the story protagonist imagine it – waste police time? As in ‘After the Flood’, we have a meticulous metaphor (of the recurring waterlogged body in this case) for the Internet, a metaphor which works for me throughout. Of course, I may be wrong. Only others can tell me what they think. Or have all the witnesses gone? It is unquestionably a most memorable and nightmarish piece, with this metaphor or not. And a mind-blowing ending.
Yet what I saw wasn’t terrible.” (7 July 09 - another 2 and half hours later)

Tell the Difference
“But it was more a matter of having got used to the changes.”
The female protagonist (whose relationship with Jamie seems fitful at best) suffers from bouts of empathy sickness or witnessing-self deprivation. The book’s gestalt now stands before me, even as I speak, yet more clearly, but it is only with your own empathy that you will guess its true nature, as my power with words is insufficient to contain its image as well as to fathom Lane’s stories themselves to their bottom bone. This story tells of a jigsaw of a person depicted with the face missing. If you had empathy-sickness, would you seek out strangers to make it worse? I think not. But she does. And there are some scenes in this story that any sensitive reader will regret reading. Including the Ligottian visions at the end. Or are they primary Lanean images filtered through Ligotti back to Lane again?
“She wanted to hold an unblemished, unnamed body, without as much as a birthmark.” (7 July 09 - another 2 hours later)

Blue Train
“That was always the thing that got him with Coltrane: not just the innovatory technique, but the way his visions were rooted in an acceptance of what was in the past and could not be changed.”
Jane Austen never wrote about anything outside her experience, so her fiction only presented settings she knew and conversations between women, and women with men, but never men with men.
“...the drizzle of knowing that he would never emulate his influences: he could only mimic them.”
I will not attempt to critique this story. It is too beautiful for me to understand. It’s a sinuous jazz solo in text but overshadowed by a train that took people to settings they didn’t want to visit. Family that they didn’t choose as they once chose friends. Shades of fate in faith or colour. There are only a few stories in the world you can have inchoate experiences with as this one. Take five more due course.
He didn’t trust the Internet. What was friendship worth if everyone was your friend, whether they knew you or not?” (7 July 09 - another 3 hours later)

The City of Love
To wake up this morning and read this piece as my first act was a strange experience. It tells of a male/female couple in Paris – to go clothes hunting or make a film? A trip to a cemetery? A fairground? Mixed with the woman’s ‘dreams’ of being lightly masked, more facelessnes, cinematic unreality...? So perhaps not dreams at all. Let’s put inverted commas around my first use of the word. Hey, just done it. Must get on with my day. This story will haunt me, make no mistake. Jazz in the morning makes coffee go down better. And invisible smoke.
“Belinda drank several glasses of water, though she wasn’t conscious of thirst."
Read also ‘The Witnesses Are Gone’ and ‘Tomb of the Janissaries’ to complement this experience. (8 July 09)

All Beauty Sleeps
“When I say ‘dreamt’ I am speaking literally, and you can fill in the rest of the picture for yourself.”
A felt autobiographical essay where growing up is threaded with the works of Poe and eventually a Gothic yearning to connect in some way death with the act of sex. The protagonist pays the price of watching Corman’s versions of the stories. When I watched them in the cinema in the Sixties they hadn’t yet become iconic. There are more bodies to be impossibly dredged from canals. A sense of identity only being possible by addressing death head on. Lane’s work is often about the loss of identity but I guess many readers of Lane regain their own identity by that act of reading it. A reader woken like the Sleeping Beauty. The rite of return via the allotments brings an ending where the text itself is death and wakes someone from within its print who plays himself and doesn’t depend on an actor to bring him to life. Fiction writers are so much more facilitators of living things than film directors or even midwives.
The eponymous women in Poe are like the planets of astrological harmonics.
In Lane, often there are scenes towards the end of stories where many quiet, hushed beings await the protagonist after his long fateful journey towards them. Coming to this book is very much like that. All these stories, (some read before, others not) quietly, facelessly, bending their heads at my approach and whispering together in the darkness, blending and merging into each other but without yielding their separateness. Indeed, their separateness is enhanced by the process of blending. (8 July 09 - seven hours later)

The Brand
For me a deeply textured prose poem, combining DH Lawrence and Angela Carter – not the dark maze of a Midlands City but, as in ‘The Last Cry’, the countryside Lane. It is also a Boyhood of Raleigh, a ‘wax painting’ (or palimpsest?) over parts of ‘Power Cut’. And minds protruding through faces like a dry puffballs, echoing earlier caster sugar masks...
Bodies left in a river this time, not in a canal,. Perhaps they’re more salvageable from rivers. A body in a Lake may be far more problematic for obvious reasons. There are rarely any seas in Lane (only floods). Perhaps that’s the Jane Austen syndrome?
A truly beautiful story. A ‘Nemonymity’ like Lane’s poem of that title? ‘The Drowned’ with the boys ungrown up? (8 July 09 - another three hours later)

“The next night, I turned my phone off. But that felt wrong, as if I was playing dead.”
I feel I’m playing dead these recent years when I turn off the Internet.
Lane has here identified an extreme horror phobia of mine – a phone ringing in my house in the middle of the night.
This story tells of something beyond my experience: a mobile phone that shows moving pictures of the caller, and in this case, callers. And something called ‘happy slapping’. Nevertheless, this is a very effective horror story for me. And significant that the protagonist’s crisis takes place on a canal bridge. Self-immolation by technology? But he doesn't fall into the canal.
There’s much more to this story than that. Much more that allows the book’s gestalt still standing inchoately before me to accrete.
Lane --> Lake --> Lark. A pretty bird but a horrible sounding word. (9 July 09)

The Sleepers
“She was pointing out over the canal. ‘Look at the snow. Can you see? It looks like it’s full of faces...'”
The safety-Net of polemics or didacticism? Or a genuine artistic detached vision of the quiet, gathering faces that I mentioned earlier as softly climaxing many of Lane’s stories, now culminating the whole of this book? It is for me, a genuine protest demonstration of gathering forces: a summing up of the caster sugar masks or facelets that often thread this book. And it makes me think of things the way Lane wants me to think of them – for myself. It’s a detached vision. I suspect it was however very undetached when it was written, but I shall never know for certain.
I’ve often seen blizzards as being the swarms of the ghosts of killer bees. Here the quiet result of the blizzard, after the ‘flood’, is a frozen lake made artistic by sad sparkles and facets. Identities eventually made to look like a single entity: Superman’s home planet or a Cormanesque tarn in winter.
And talking of planets, the twin balanced forces of astrological harmonics I noted before in London and Birmingham now truly meet, with the countryside lanes between by-passed, as if with the click of a button on a mobile phone or on a computer keyboard.
I shall ever be stalked by gestalts and leitmotifs. There is no escape.
But a book review must end with the book itself. And it does. A book that’s more than itself. It’s a wonderful Horror symphony, at times dincopated and at others smooth. The Lark Descending. (9 July 09 - 90 minutes later)

NOTE: I shall eventually read Joel Lane's Foreword in the book for the first time after allowing its stories to softly take their course for a while longer without it.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Cern Zoo


This year's ‘Guess The Author’ – and win immortality.
Free Competition

You have up to three chances between now and 31 October 2009 (EDIT: 25 Oct 09: deadline now: 31 Dec 09) to match the stories in ‘Cern Zoo’ to their correct authors. You can do this by a process of guesswork (with or without owning the book) or by careful assessment of styles, rumours etc etc. Each of your three entries will be treated separately.

After the competition's closing date, the entry with the most correct matches will earn a form of immortality. In the November Submission Guidelines for Nemonymous Ten stories (an unthemed anthology due to be published in June 2010), the authors will be asked to include a character in their stories named with that of the competition winner.

The winner’s name will be announced in January, but the actual answers to the competition will not be known until 12 March 2010 when the authors are publically assigned to their stories in accordance with their contracts.

In the event of a tie, the winner will be randomly chosen by the publisher out of a hat containing the names of those equal winners.

The Nemonymous publisher's decision is final.

By entering this competition you accept the above terms.

Please send your entries to headed CERN ZOO COMPETITION -- together with your name that will be immortalised by the stories of Nemonymous Ten and indeed hopefully incorporated somehow into the overall title of that edition.

Story Titles
Dead Speak
Artis Eterne
The Last Mermaid
The Lion’s Den
Virtual Violence
The Rude Man’s Menagerie
Window To The Soul
Salmon Widow
The Shadow’s Departure
Being Of Sound Mind
Dear Doctor
Mellie’s Zoo
Turn The Crank
The Devourer of Dreams
Just Another Day Down On The Farm
Strange Scenes From An Unfinished Film
Lion Friend
The Ozymandias Site
Cerne’s Zoo
Sloth & Forgiveness
City of Fashion
Fragment Of Life

Authors (in random order): Rosalind Barden - Gary McMahon - Amy Kinmond - Tim Nickels - Bob Lock - Lesley Corina - Jacqueline Seewald - Dominy Clements - A.J. Kirby - Brendan Connell - Daniel Ausema - Gary Fry - Mick Finlay - Robert Neilson - Steve Duffy - Geoff Lowe - Stephen Bacon - Rod Hamon - Lee Hughes - Lyn Michaud - Tony Lovell - A.C. Wise - Roy Gray - Travis K. Weltman