XX part sIX


“After several days, the fruiting body of the fungus grows […] and ruptures, releasing spores which settle to the ground to be consumed by new hosts.”

Part Six of my review of this Picador book by RIAN HUGHES


The previous parts: ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE

When I read the rest of this book, my thoughts will appear below in the comment stream….

What the hollow hell are we meddling with here?

26 thoughts on “XX part sIX


    “Coming up on the outer core.”

    “, the Grid is still in lockdown. We can be in and out, we’ll not isolate them in the Oxbow for a moment longer than we need to.”

    The joyride continues.
    Including the analogy of the “ironclad bubble” of Captain NEMOnymous diving and showing us grotesque creatures in the lowest depths.

    A joyride tantamount into several precarious pages of –


    …a 1960s phenomenon that I experienced in real time that I mentioned earlier in this review. But here as a rendition of 1970s computer game graphics?

    Time is its own Proustian self-interpretation, I guess. The I that is not me.

    NB: My ‘Two Ways of Anonymity’ — (especially its point two(ii)) about the original philosophy behind the NEMONYMOUS journal (as set out in the middle of the page here in 2010: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/nemonymous/ ) — seems to be relevant to the newspaper article appendix: ‘Islands of Consciousness…what constitutes the borders of the ‘I’?’

    C6F24211-E431-4C0F-BDC8-C967AB4F56DBCrikey, this book does not need any help from the likes of me and is indeed its own self-mutilator, as we enter deep into the Grid structure, its forces facing us with, say, an amalgam of our historical dictators and general bad boys and we facing them with, say, an amalgam of complex scientific and maths equations! That is a simplified, perhaps confused, view of what sort of battle is happening here from the vantage point of my own stop-start rollercoaster. The layers of Data as Dana?

    … is a short chapter giving more on the collateral damage to people just like you outside the Intelligencia office whence and wherein this journey proceeds…

  3. 61C7AC0D-04EB-463D-BB89-4835492C892D

    “I bet they hate that. They’re evolved to retain meaning at all costs — I hope they’re agonising over every line.”
    This is a tour de force of an in media res endgame rollercoaster as we resort to bombarding opposing forces with my favourite author Proust as well as Rowling and Tolstoy! And others. Whole texts to tangle them. And somehow with pages of images and lexophonies and blocks of vantablack. Tristram Shandy, eat your heart out. Concrete poetry as a weapon against an already agonising gestalt real-time reviewer! And so, meanwhile, I feel the XX freehold author himself might be attacking the leasehold DF Lewis’s past texts as well as attacking the latter’s allegation of a self-mutilating book! But, taking inspiration from a perhaps confusing reference to Harriet’s ‘tapestries’, I battle back with my wife’s quilts that have long decked the sidebar of this site with quilted stars; many of my wife’s quilts have been used in many of my book reviews in the past. Loads of such quilts, but only two examples shown above.

  4. And I also must muster to my aid an old friend P.F. Jeffery’s BIG DRAWING (1975-76) and its details on my ZENCORE site: https://zencore2007.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/p-f-jefferys-big-drawing-1975-1976/

    And my son’s ‘Malbique Illustrations’ from his own site: https://malbique.org/

    And my daughter’s new cosmos: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2020/12/08/the-new-cosmos/

    BATTLING IDEAS AND IMAGES as weapons IN THE GRID: more than just pop guns.

  5. Every book has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.” —from ‘The Shadow Of The Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

    Above is a passage I have quoted on my various sites for many years, especially from the time when ebooks started.


    For me as a ‘Hawler’. Seminal material. Needs to be read. Addressed to the reader by the soul of the book. Too much to quote, so I won’t quote anything from these two chapters. A culmination of my gestalt real-time reviewing and at the darkest of times, but paradoxically at the brightest, too. Seeing the Birnam Wood for the trees. Whatever inimical or blessed may sit inside this book, I am hopefully match for separating its two brains.

  6. B40F2347-8E2F-43AE-B6A6-E3C78AEFFE5B

    My long-term Yieldingtree



    My Kindertotenlieder tree

    “; a mass of intricately detailed fractal growth that reminded her of the interlinked branches of a twisted willow.”

    As we resume the rollercoaster ‘fall’ towards the core, along with the recliners’ ka-tet, the prose style grows increasingly strong and the images and ideas even more impressive. Its “zoo of creatures”. Digital sinew and textured growth in words.


    “…for which the human race has no antibodies, no defences.”

    A Visitor from Porlock interrupts our ka-text’s rollercoaster ride. A todash too far?
    Accompanied by a door buzzer, if not chimes.

  8. Outside the ordered universe that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—“
    H.P. Lovecraft (Azathoth)
    (My reference, not this book’s.)

    0, 0, 0

    …transcending the earlier interruption, I seem to reach some knowledge of how Azathoth resided at the the Core of the Earth, in ‘Nemonymous Night’, a deity from a borrowed mythos, here perhaps crystallised in the ka-text’s Grid with sexual organs instead of bubbles just behind the head, possibly with visible hindbrain and forebrain, wearing a mask-banDANA as PPE I wonder (?), and there is much more in a significant passage in this chapter, a description later further extrapolated by means of a magazine article about such personal deities entitled “Which ART in HEAVEN?”….

  9. G, 0, D

    More amazing stuff.
    The Gestalt or Grid or God “started more by by instinct than design”? It seems to deal, inter alia, with The Music of the Spheres as astrological harmonics, a phenomenon that I specifically mentioned, by such instinct earlier, in this review above. Who is God, the author or the reader?! Dana in my head, of vice versa?

  10. Later…

    ‘Andromeda’ was a princess rescued from a monster, also means, as a word, “to be mindful of a man.” Also a galaxy or constellation where lurked, inter alios, Shaggai…


    An implacable intelligence that had ruminated alone since before the Solar System had coalesced was now growing in the dark between galaxies, reaching out to touch new minds made sensitive to its Cimmerian vibrations.

    I am now beginning to believe this ruminator is, after all, not synonymous with but is in battle with my version of Azathoth in its Nemonymous Night!
    As perhaps the identities of the competing works of ‘fiction’ to obtain ‘truth’ become clearer?


    “To tame the unknowable, to give shape to the incomprehensible. Yes, it is a story. But it’s also an explanation for something real, something not fully grasped or understood.”

    I still wonder why I more than once risked this physical book to the mushrooms!
    But having been enticed to buy it to replace the ebook version I was originally reading, I now have grounds for not wondering about that at all?

    Whose or who’s the inimica, whose or who’s the diaspora?

    And there follows a Wikipedia article on Quasar.
    Cosmological Evolution et al.

    Also just realised today that my long-term WiFi hub here at home has a security key password that begins with the separate word ‘grid’! Honestly.


    “That felt like an epiphany. That felt — blimey, I’m not what you might call spiritual, but spiritual is how I’d describe it.”

    Black holes and a halted red lever. Another interlude or rest in the harum scarum, but an interlude fraught with an impending sledgehammer to crack the cosmic nut variant…

    “We cannot risk a biological outbreak here in central London. This has to be contained.”

    This book needs to be contained, too.

  13. DFCC636F-2705-4111-8F3C-74CF145FC026


    “She folded herself back in.”

    From the single red lever to a snatchteam’s “red holdalls”, a scene from John Le Carré, or what? Several Vantablack shapes and blank pages and tangled giantesque graphologies are interspersed to make digitalised, even cosmic sense out of crude paper as Dana creates her own spatial ventilators in the Grid’s ICU to ease her huffing breaths… and to flee civilisation’s breathless flashmobs. The reader, disguised as this book’s foppish character disguised, in turn, as a famous painting, looks on from a mountain perch. One level above the author’s own, the reader thinks.


    “: she seemed to turn over, like a page from a book, or a card being shuffled. Peeled up off the — off the — like she was flat, and then she slid into someplace else.” My italics.

    Hazmat PPE and face masks on nurses etc., two of our ka-text team examined bodily by a spy novel’s swat team if not snatch team, followed by a time shift, the first such in this whole book, I suggest, a flashback common to such spy novels, when Jack first met Nixon at a booze trade fair. Interfaced with a a newspaper report of a Mark Samuels psychogeography moment in the streets of London. Or rather under these streets. A redaction as an opaque palimpsest with moles. Every spy novel has at least one mole? Then a heavily redacted Home Service document, a Home Service pre-Priti, I guess.

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