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Friday, May 23, 2008

NEMONYMOUS #8: CONE ZERO

Pretty darn proud and chuffed to announce that one of my stories has been selected for inclusion in the new Nemonymous paperback anthology called "Cone Zero." This is edited by D. F Lewis and if you don't know who he is, then be warned! - for a dark, sooty shame shall soon fall on you and your little chimneys.

Under the rules of anonymous engagement that accompany each volume of Nemo I'm allowed to tell you that I'm in it, but not anything about my story or the names of any of the other contributors; not that I actually know who they are or even want to know, 'cos it makes it soooo much more fun not knowing...but don't fret, my little chiquittas 'cos knowing Des' revered international rep the quality levels will be sky-high and will probably feature assorted prize-winnin' lit.novelists along with unknown wastrels like myself...

This time round the rules have changed slightly, so all I'm allowed to say right now is that every story in the antho is either called "Cone Zero" or has "Cone Zero" in the title or features "Cone Zero" in the story in some way, and that one of these, er, "Cone Zero" thingys is mine. You'll have to wait to the next volume to find out who did what in the previous: that's how it werks, see? All I can say is that (unusually for me - anguished, tormented artiste that I am lol) I think my story is actually a really strong piece and I'm extremely pleased at how it came out. It's weird-but-linear; nuffink like the more overtly experimental free-form stuff I do on Discharge or Bizarro sites: I'm a man of many tongues, or so I'm told lol.

This is speeding off to the printers even as we speak and should be out sometime in late June/early July, I believe. Please, please do check this out and buy it - it's the latest in a terrific series of low-key weirdo.fict that some deranged individuals are calling the beginning of a post-New Worlds formation of Alt.Brit.Lit. (Try saying that if you're a drunken dolphin!) I'll let you have more info when I get it meself...

Long-time Shrrrrt-readers might remember that I had a piece published in the previous volume of Nemonymous - Vol. 7: "Zencore!" ("Cone Zero" anag. "Zencore" - geddit!!) a little while back...this antho is still available and I recommend that you suh-suh-score a copy before, as Stan Lee would say, it becomes a gen-u-ine collector's item classic. There was a recent review of it in MACHENALIA -The Newsletter of the Friends of Arthur Machen (Winter 2007-2008) which reads as follows:

"'Zencore!' is a collection of 17 strange and often horrific tales whose subject matter ranges from a call centre employee's disgusting experience in the staff toilet to the more refined doom awaiting the Machen aficionado who strays into one too many second hand bookshops...

Edited by respected writer DF Lewis the stories are all individually unattributed but the authors' names are listed on the back cover, so you can try to guess who they are by. The idea of such an Nemonymousanthology was created back in 2001 by Lewis and this is the seventh. The variety of this collection makes it a pleasure to dip into.

A theme many of these tales share is the banality and misery of everyday existence being made manifest through some external and supernatural manifestation. A strange and needy being erupts into the life of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage, a man trapped in a soul-destroying job ends by stamping out the life within him, while an actor in TV adverts is just that little bit too perfect. The stories naturally vary in quality. In particularly like the bitter "Fugly," the mysterious "Red Velvet Dust" and the bizarre "The Nightmare Reader" in which a man becomes deeply implicated in a world of boll weevils. The masterly Machen-influenced "Undergrowth," of course, provides a salutary warning to us."

By coincidence I've been reading a bit of Machen and Blackwood recently...ah, those dour, fucked-up Welshmen (Blackwood wasn't Welsh! - Ed.)...also been digging some other pre-Lovecraft Wyrd.Fict, incl. Edwardian author William Hope Hodgson's complete, collected tales of Thomas Carnacki, the ghost-hunter who came armed with an electric pentacle...I could imagine that Hodgson's "The Whistling Room" might have been an influence on Grant Morrison's short story "The House Where Love Lives"...

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