‘Smithereens are hard to aggregate. Penguins can slide on their bellies but the humour is wasted on those stiff-billed bastards – yet put a paper hat on an owl and it’s you who feels like a fool.’
Corpses rain down from the sky as punishment for the massacres of the last century. A teacher solves the behavioural problems of a young girl by installing a nest of black spiders in her brain cavity. A police chief and his trooper unravel the twisted suicide of an ex-mobster by rehydrating a raisin. Criminals in animal masks parade around Beerlight City. A volunteer test subject for experimental hallucinogens experiences the entire history of mankind in a sensory deprivation tank.
This collection of early stories displays a variety of ghastly objects removed from the surface of Steve Aylett’s brain, in which he tears down the walls of reality and lets all of the monsters out. Including the 9/11 story ‘Gigantic’ (first published in 1998), a unique take on The Bible Code (‘The Waffle Code’), a shrewd riff on police/press bugging, ‘The Met Are All For This’, and ‘Resenter’, the first of several ‘one particle of honesty destroys an entire city’ stories.