The 7th Part of my review of this Picador book by Rian Hughes.

The previous parts: ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX

When I continue reading this book, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…


36 thoughts on “XX


    A missing joystick, and two of our ka-tet perceiving three DMEn via smuggled Depthcharges in a Members’ Club and Hotel out of London lockdown… weighing Dana’s abridgement…

    “— ideas having ideas, which in turn have their own ideas and so on.”


    “…the Grid contains more than a million million million million creatures just within the volume of our good green Earth.”

    Cecil Court, where I used to hunt for realbooks, and now we resume Jack’s relationship with Nadine that makes me wonder whether this is a classic book of character or a classic book of ideas? More likely to be the latter, I guess.

    Fuck what may or may not be legal.
    Fuck ‘em all.


    “We are a small stuttering candle in a cosmic immensity in which life is precious and fleeting, but we need not slip quietly into that bottomless well of a forgotten eternity like so many unremembered cultures before us.”

    A paean to Candle Dreaming. A crucial section, the human IDEAspace in literature and life, a lengthy wondrous beautiful speechless monologue upon ‘ideas’, their birth, their perhaps not inevitable death, a DANa’s DARE as filtered through a new Percy Bysshe Shelley poetry while still in spy fiction prose …. read it and see. Amid the ka-tet’s return to the ka-text of the supposedly abandoned Intelligencia office, with Dana’s bodily dare nearly pulled into some Toilet Mythos but now evolving into the aforementioned idea about ideas. XX as a novel of ideas, indeed, as I specifically prophesied above, a Grand Plan for Immortality. Or, at worst or best, Null Immortalis? In and out of the Grid or God or Gestalt with only two fingers missing…

    Morn More Mere – my solution to the Word Ladder. The first and only stab at it that I made.


    “There are always things one hasn’t thought of.”
    My italics.

    The grand plan entails triangulating coordinates of the Earth and the Moon. With all this deep blue sky thinking, it is ironic that this plan also entails sending something by snail mail with a first class stamp!

    “If consciousness was simply an emergent property of complexity,…”
    My italics.

  5. Watched by a characterful triangulation: an amenable domain or dimension of almost supportive DMEn? …


    “…rotating the Grid in an inertialess translation through a fictive three-dimensional Euclidean space.”

    The ‘centre of chaos’, we thought, during our earlier youthful co-vivid Dreams in the Witch House?

    Mulched analogue of Print or ka-Text as the new mushrooming, muchrooming universe?

    A Christmas Day gift, a Christmas Day theft.


    “Just how alien are we?”

    “A diffuse glow of zodiacal light extended up from the horizon and along the ecliptic: backscattered photons bouncing off space dust and washing out the stars to the west. All else was black against black;”

    Black box within black box on Boxing Day, ‘sticky door hinges’, ‘a page from an invisible book’ and the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, if not their White Album..
    The DUAL purpose of the DaedALUs base on the dark side of the Moon: not to let the Grid come to death in a cul de sac on Earth but also not to let it retransmit itself like a viral…
    Which leads us to an amazing document about the Signal’s retransmission or attenuations in various waves, even a ‘memetic suicide virus’, in retrocausality to “Patient zero”… a kind of sarDANA or circle dance?
    For a book that appears to be first published in 2019, this is a matchless feat of symbolic prophecy!!


    “Some thought it foolish to shout in the dark when there may be predators about.”

    The life out there, and our onward search( for such exterrestriality and ‘hot Jupiters’. The fecundity of Kadath now made tangible by physical probes with ‘first glimpses’ if not encounters — and signals as life itself rather than mere arguable evidence of it, signals like this book’s Signal, almost ideological, almost political. A process. The way to “weave worlds.” Each a DNA dare.

    “The process repeated harmonics of differentiation upon differentiation.”

  8. XIR3675

    Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (son of Daedalus), c.1555 (oil on canvas) by Bruegel, Pieter the Elder (c.1525-69)


    Dana revealed as suspect glitch or virus or seeded diaspora on the Moon, not simply as survival of the fittest, but essentially survival of life’s impulse to live however fit, however unfit — however Grid’s Genesis, however Grid’s Exodus.
    Even a signal aerial of tiny legs upturned in the wash seeks to retransmit.

  9. 73 MINUTES

    “The grand parade of all that we are, a sumptuous riot of colour and noise, the great and the good and the trivial and the indifferent were all passing through.”

    You will never see a list like that, cramming towards the end! No photograph of it here by me. Just buy the book! Towards the gestalt that is us.
    Towards what I now see, for the first time, as the NULL IMMORTALIS that we have always been.
    Humanity as a means not an end.

    “[…]Rian Hughes […] Melania Trump […]”

    From Internet:
    ”The Alien Parasite Hypothesis,” the number 73 is actually pretty special. “73 is the 21st prime number,” Sheldon explains. “Its mirror, 37, is the 12th and its mirror, 21, is the product of multiplying 7 and 3 … and in binary 73 is a palindrome, 1001001, which backwards is 1001001.”’


    Blank Page
    Old cassette that I recall we used in 1980s to load a programme on ZX81
    Mine was MemoreXX
    XX – kisses or butterflies?
    “abject squalor?”


    Three story titles in the book Dabbling With Diabelli….

    1. They Crawl Over the Outside of Buildings More Than They Walk in the Streets Between
    2. A Private Person Travels the World Home
    3. However Close to Someone, You Are Never More Than Two Entities Separated by Head-Bone.

    And also please see front cover by Heather Horsley that was used on ‘Nemonymous Night’

  11. BOOK III


    “hoping that somewhere an alien culture with a dreamcatcher, a trawlerman’s net cast upon the void, might catch our essence.”

    My gestalt review site has been called DREAMCATCHER and HAWLER!!
    Still is, verifiably. Still will be.

    This book and its existing, evolved and missing characters, human or otherwise, are safe in my hands. In my own Grid of triangulated coordinates. ‘The synchronised shards of random truth and fiction’, the subtitle of ‘WEIRDMONGER’

  12. RETRANSMISSION 5572062

    “The cohesive memeplex that called itself Dana Normansson…”

    As well as emotionally touching along with the basest of survival instincts known as sex, also Dana as an Ark captain, there is also some more very strong writing here, not only emotional and visionary in a more instinctively spiritual potentiation, but also expressed in a pure SF way. This is a great SF book, as well as all the other things I judge it to be. I measure this SFdom by the standards of my experience since 2013 in real-time reviewing all the many great and ground-breaking SF stories in INTERZONE written by old and new SF writers (all such reviews linked from here over five web pages: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/interzone/)…
    This section also presents a striking vision of a new Parhelion, and this Gestalt Book Review site was once actually called ‘Parhelion’ (eg written on my current navigation page – “Here endeth thy navigation… Stars, Suns, Synchronicities, Parhelion, Parhelia, Parahelia, Pareidolia, Apophenia, Gestalt, Confirmation-Bias, COinspiracy, COincidence, the Truth of Fiction, a Magical Alliance of Books.”)
    And is “the cross-beams of a ruined dome” in this section an echo of the earlier St Paul’s Cathedral references? Rhetorical question.

  13. RETRANSMISSION 20056732209D

    “She had worn organs that tasted the flavour of neutrinos and conversed with an extended colony-mind over many light years;”


    The survival of the Grid as “race memory” — or a Jungian archetype beyond Jung? Beyond the restrictions of human language. The Core Mythos as Lavie Tidhar’s Ballerina? Or giant creature at the core, which may or may not be like VanderMeer’s “giant squid”. The Grid as a Journey with an envisaged final destination?
    Some more incredible writing here. Worlds that exist beyond even human imagination, or ESPECIALLY beyond.

    Followed by RETRANSMISSION 8130228282201/2

    “Four billion years. A blink of an eye in cosmic terms.”

    Dana’s epiphany is now beyond paper becoming detached from a graspable analogue structure such as human history’s yellowing book, but more King Filament flexing space itself. Even one depicting a Parhelion…


    followed by


    The human soul as narrator or architect of astrological harmonics I presaged earlier in this review.
    Carcosa and Azathoth new planetary transits in my Natal Chart of 1948?
    Here we also have hope at least that NULL IMMORTALIS evokes a REINCARNATION beyond death? We need at least that hope today and here it is, in spades.
    Grid and Gestalt as one. This book as the awaited vaXXine?
    Most importantly, I now feel I have been limbering up for this massive book since I started writing my own stuff as well as writing gestalt real-time reviewing about others’ books .

    Only a day or so ago, this Tweet about ‘dot-dash’ emerged out of the blue for me, to which I replied as follows…

    My earlier mention of Toynbeean challenge-and-response, too, is now borne out at the finale of this book…

    “Civilisations rose and fell, empires spread across the galaxy and retreated; wars raged, peace accords were signed; concert halls were torched and songs of unbearable beauty were composed.”


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